5. HOW CAN I BE A STRONG CHRISTIAN?
Today’s Bible Reading: John 13, 14, 15.
As a Christian, you need strength to overcome life’s challenges and to serve the Lord effectively. You may feel inadequate. Good! You must recognize your need before the Lord can help you.
Power for Overcoming.
The first time you fail, you can expect the devil to tell you, “it’s no use. You can’t live the Christian life. You might as well give up.” This is one of Satan’s favorite tactics.
You may even feel defeated because you were tempted to sin – even though you didn’t sin. Remember this: temptation is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted.
Know Your Weak Points. As a new Christian, you might still be struggling with life-controlling issues. Perhaps these are habits that have had a powerful grip on your life – a bad temper, or some other weakness. Knowing where you are weak will help you know how to pray for God’s help. God understands your circumstances and will help you overcome those challenges as you place your trust in Him.
Cooperate with God. Rely on Jesus to help you overcome. A little girl said, “Jesus is stronger than the devil, so when the devil comes to the door of my heart, I send Jesus, and when the devil sees Jesus, he goes away.”
Christ lives in your heart through His Holy Spirit, who is called “the Comforter,” meaning “one called alongside to help.” He will develop in you the nine fruit of the Spirit (see Galations 5:22,23) which together are the character of Christ. God’s purpose is to make you like Christ. Try underlining in John 14 and 16 the things which Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would do.
An obedient attitude will help. Obey the Lord when He suggests something to you. Listen to the pastor and other mature Christians. They can help you.
Cultivate a sense of the Lord’s presence. This is a part of the abiding Jesus mentions in John chapter 15. Let your thoughts go out toward Him throughout the day.
Don’t Get Discouraged. You don’t need to give up, and you shouldn’t. A baby starting to walk often falls, but it mustn’t give up. Simply come to the Lord as you did the first time, ask Him in sincerity to forgive you, and go on.
Power for Service.
Before He returned to heaven, Jesus left a very special promise with His followers. It is called the baptism in the Holy Spirit. You can read about the promise and the experience in Acts 1:1-8; 2: 1-41. Jesus promised that He would baptize His believers in the Holy Spirit. As a result, they would receive power to witness unto Him. This happened on the Day of Pentecost and changed the lives of all who received. Ask your pastor to tell you more about this.
Jesus Is the Baptizer. How do you receive? Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Believe that He will, and wait patiently. He will keep His promise to you as He did for the apostles (Acts 2:39).
Stay Spirit-filled. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a once-for-all experience. As you continue to stay close to the Lord in prayer and reading His Word, you will receive from Him more and more of His life and blessing.
Bible Study for Today.
John 13:34,35. What was Jesus’ new commandment?
John 14:6. What is the only way to come to God?
John 14:13,14. What is the secret of receiving answers to our prayers?
John 14:15. How do we show out love for Jesus?
John 14:27. What has Jesus promised to give us?
John 15:5. Who is the vine, and who are the branches?
John 15: 18,19. What attitude can we expect from the world (those who don’t know Jesus as Savior)?
Good Verses to Memorize.
John 13:35, 14:6, 14:14; 14:27; 15:5.