TWENTY THINGS A CHRISTIAN MUST KEEP ON DOING (3)

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 14, 2024

TOPIC: TWENTY THINGS A CHRISTIAN MUST KEEP ON DOING (3)

BY T. O. BANSO

I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (Philippians 3:12 Contemporary English Version).

In the first two parts of the devotionals on this topic, I discussed twelve of the twenty things I said that God expects a Christian to keep on doing after his salvation until Jesus returns or until he leaves this earth. The twelve things I discussed are:

1. Keep on loving God.

2. Keep on obeying God.

3. Keep on following Jesus.

4. Keep on reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God, and obeying it.

5. Keep on having faith in God or trusting God.

6. Keep on believing and doing what he has been taught.

7. Keep on loving others.

8. Keep on praying and thanking God always.

9. Keep on patiently doing the will of God.

10. Keep on preaching the Word of God.

11. Keep on being careful about how he lives and what he teaches.

12. Keep on growing spiritually.

Here are the remaining things a Christian must keep on doing:

13. Keep on being filled with the Spirit. The phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” appears nine times in the New King James Version of the Bible (Luke 1:15, 41, 67; 4:1; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9). A Christian must continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18-20 says, Don’t get drunk with wine, because it makes you lose control. Instead, keep on being filled with the Spirit —  sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to each other; sing to the Lord and make music in your heart to him;  always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (Complete Jewish Bible). Note the expression “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” Some Bible translations say, “Be filled with the Spirit.” The International Standard Version says, “But keep on being filled with the Spirit.”

A Christian must be filled with the Holy Spirit continually. Jude 1:20 says, But you, my friends, keep on building yourselves up on your most sacred faith. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Good News Translation). A Christian must keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.

14. Keep on running the Christian race and being faithful to the end. The Bible compares the Christian race to a race. Everyone begins the race when he gives his life to Christ and ends it on earth when he dies or when the rapture occurs. The writer of the book of Hebrews says,Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 New King James Version). Note the phrase “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” A race is set before every Christian; he must run it with endurance. He must run it and be faithful to the end.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul talked about this race and how to run to win it. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 New International Version).

Paul also referred to his participation in this race. He said, I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize” (Philippians 3:12 Contemporary English Version). Like Paul, every Christian must keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. Later in his ministry, Paul said, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 New International Version). Every Christian must keep running the Christian race and be faithful to the end, as Paul did.

Matthew 24:13 says, But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved” (Contemporary English Version). Mark 13:13 says a similar thing: Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved (Contemporary English Version).

It is not enough to run the race; it is important to run in such a way as to get the prize. Every Christian must be faithful to the end. Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians: Dear friends, I love you and long to see you. Please keep on being faithful to the Lord. You are my pride and joy” (Philippians 4:1 Contemporary English Version).

15. Keep on waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promises, including His appearance. A Christian must keep on waiting for the fulfilment of the promise of the coming of Christ and other promises God has made in the Bible or to him directly. Jesus is coming back, as the Bible has said. Every Christian must keep preparing for the fulfilment of the promise of the rapture.

God said in Habakkuk 2:3, At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting — it will happen!” (Contemporary English Version). A Christian must not think that because the promise of Jesus’ coming made long ago has not been fulfilled up till now, therefore, it won’t. He must wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). A Christian must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour (Luke 12:40).

God will also fulfil other promises He has made in the Bible and to His children. They must, however, believe the promises and wait for their fulfilment in the time that He has appointed.I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” (Psalm 130:5-6 New International Version). The promises of God shall come to pass. None of His words shall go unfulfilled.

16. Keep on working. Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father has never stopped working, and this is why I keep on working” (Contemporary English Version). Jesus was referring to the ministry He came to do on earth. He went about preaching, teaching, and performing miracles, and ultimately went to the cross to die for the sins of the world. Acts 10:38 says God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus was busy working. He said in Luke 13:32, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose” (New Living Translation). 

God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). But He has not stopped working, as Jesus said. Jesus emulated His Father and kept on working. Every Christian must keep on working, both ministerial work and his vocation or business. He must not be lazy. Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (New King James Version).

No Christian should be idle. God hates idleness or laziness. Proverbs 14:23 says work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty. Also, Proverbs 19:15 says laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. As Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks. A Christian must keep on working both spiritually and physically until Jesus comes.

17. Keep on sowing seed. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says,Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will” (Living Bible). Sowing seeds is not only about money. It is blessing others with every good thing that God has blessed you with. It includes money, material resources, time, abilities, skills, and talents. Keep sowing seeds.

Some people don’t sow seeds because of their needs, yet their seeds could be the solution to their needs. Psalm 126:5 says those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Don’t let your needs keep you from sowing seeds. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says whoever observes the wind shall not sow and whoever regards the clouds shall not reap. In other words, If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done(Ecclesiastes 11:4 Living Bible).

Keep sowing money, time, good deeds, material resources, etc. Don’t do it just one or two times and stop; keep doing it, as Ecclesiastes 11:6 says. Keep on being generous. Keep on sowing to the church, poor and needy, servants of God, soul-winning progranmmes, other projects in the kingdom of God, etc. A Christian must keep sowing in different ways, including helping the poor (Galatians 2:10).

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 says,God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so you can give even more to those in need. You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift” (Contemporary English Version). Note the expression “Keep on being generous.” God wants you to keep being generous.

18. Keep on encouraging others, especially other Christians. Everybody needs encouragement. A Christian must be an encourager. Barnabas is an example of an encourager in the Bible. Acts 4:36-37 says, Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’),sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet” (New International Version). The early church, including Paul and John Mark, benefitted from his encouragement.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says,We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. Some people have given up the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer” (Contemporary English Version).

19. Keep on hoping and living. No matter the circumstances a Christian finds himself in, he must keep on hoping and living. He must not become hopeless and stop living, waiting for the worst to happen.

Job said in Job 6:11, What strength do I have to keep on living? Why go on living when I have no hope?” (Good News Translation). Job suffered depression because of the trial he went through. Although he didn’t curse God as his wife had told him to do and die (Job 2:9), he cursed the day of his birth (Job 3:1). But Job never lost his faith in God.

A Christian must keep on hoping and living. He must not lose hope. Suicide must not become attractive to him. Psalm 71:14 says,But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more” (New Living Translation). A Christian should say, as the psalmist said, that he shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

20. Keep on rejoicing. A Christian must also keep on rejoicing. Writing to the Philippian Christians from his Roman prison, Paul said, “I am going to keep on being glad, for I know that as you pray for me, and as the Holy Spirit helps me, this is all going to turn out for my good” (Philippians 1:19 Living Bible). Note that Paul was in prison and yet said he was going to keep being glad! No wonder he wrote to the Philippians to “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16 New King James Version). Amid life’s troubles or challenges, a Christian must keep on rejoicing.

Peter said in 1 Peter 4:13, “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be overjoyed” (New American Standard Bible). Did you see that expression: “Keep on rejoicing”? The end of Nehemiah 8:10 says,Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (New King James Version).

Conclusion: The Christian journey begins when someone gives his life to Christ. He is saved by grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:5, 8). But there are certain things God expects a Christian to keep on doing till Jesus returns or he leaves this earth. These have been discussed in the past three days. With the help of the Holy Spirit, a Christian can keep on doing them.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me  continue to do all the things God expects me to keep on doing till Jesus returns or till I leave this earth. I shall run with endurance the race that is set before me and get the prize in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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