Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stone....16th October 2017
Life principles are codes of conduct that guide you through life with the intention of achieving a set objective. Principles are not always easy but can be achieved through Gods help. By grace all things are possible. The purpose of having life principles as a new Christian is to grow strong and deep in Christ rapidly. Many Christians have been born again for a long time but are still actually only babies in Christ. Paul said of such in Hebrews 5:12-13 (NIV) ‘;..though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness’. These few principles if lived by, will ensure rapid growth and maturity of the Christ life. No one will be happy to have a man of twenty looking like a child, dwarfish and immature. God is no exception. The following principles if adopted prayerfully will astound and astonish you in a few months.
A life of the Word
The most important thing after you are born again is to know your father better and also to know more about your inheritance as God’s child. Yes! Your inheritance because you have come into a great royal heritage with immense benefits and responsibilities. A new believer needs to eagerly search to know who he is and what his new standing is. Additionally, as a new born baby, the believer needs nourishment to grow and gain immunity to fight diseases along its path. Hence, a healthy new born baby requires a very healthy appetite to survive and thrive. 2Peter 2:2 encourages every new Christian to desire the word of God as a baby desires milk so that they can grow. Therefore, you must feed yourself everyday unfailingly with God’s word in the same way a baby drinks ever so often for mere survival and then even more to thrive and be in good health. We must treasure God’s Word and view it as a necessary food without which we will die (Job 23:12). Determine to read Gods word daily. No bible, no food. Find a place apart and soak your soul in God’s word; and even if you don’t feel like reading it or it doesn’t make much sense to you, read it anyway because it has life giving properties that affect your life. Beyond this, be a doer of the Word. Be what you read! Hence, pray before you read and ask God to do in your life what you have read about, and try to dwell in your mind on what you read throughout the day. Start your reading from a book of the Bible such as the new testament book of John and allow the Holy Spirit teach you the meaning of God’s Word.
A Life of Prayer
The beginning of the Christian life is prayer and the same thing sustains it. Prayer is simply talking to God your father, creator, savior and maker. Who else do you talk to if you have any problems? He is the ultimate solution provider! God has promised to answer every prayer of his people. ‘And this is the confidence that we have of him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him’ (1 John 5:14-15). Jesus himself said: ‘Ask, and ye shall be given; seek and ye shall find; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7-8). We have all the requests we make before God and the only things we are advised to do to have all our prayers answered are: to ask according to God’s will and to obey his commandments or instructions of the Holy Spirit. How great God is!
However, all about prayer is not making requests there are also worship and praise to God; and Oh how God values praise and worship! He inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). In the atmosphere of praise and worship, God’s glory can become so awesome that there is no need to make any requests or that you find that all problems are simply resolved as God overwhelms you in his presence. Praise and worship are awesome ways of getting heaven to earth and in God’s presence, the mountains of difficulties melt as wax.
A Life of Faith
The Christian life is one of faith. Paul echoed this throughout the bible: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), not by things which are visible but by the things which we can believe and imagine from God’s Word. One responsibility of a believer is to know that God is true and will not lie. The believer must know that God exists and rewards all those who diligently seek him or his intervention in all matters and are willing to wait for it. Hebrews 11:6 says ‘Without faith, it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him’. The Bible says, “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar,” (1 John 5:10). It also says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. . .” (Hebrews 3:12). God has made so many promises to us in the new covenant and these promises are sure, certain, indisputable, true, trustworthy, reliable, faithful, unfailing, dependable, steadfast, and an anchor for the soul. In other words, you can truly believe them, and because of his character, you can throw yourself blindfolded and without reserve, into His mighty hands. He will never, ever, let you down. He has promised that he will never leave you nor forsake you so you can boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me (Hebrews 13:5).
One exciting way of identifying with the death and life of Jesus our savior is by telling others what has taken place in your life. This is called witnessing or evangelizing. Many today do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Who will tell them? Romans 10:13-14, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” The believer’s greatest joy is the privilege of telling the good news of the Gospel to every creature. Witnessing for Christ is not only a blessed privilege but a divine command, Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The Lord will use you to win souls to Him.
Seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of or in the Holy Spirit is a free gift and an important experience in a Christian’s life. It is a special work of the Spirit after your salvation. On the Day of Pentecost, disciples who had already made a decision to follow Jesus “were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues” (Acts 2:4). Paul asked some disciples if they had received the Holy Spirit since they believed, after which “the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues” (Acts 19:2). New Testament believers were constantly challenged to be filled with the Spirit (Acts 1:4-5; Ephesians 5:18). Jesus himself said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The baptism of the Holy therefore energizes the believer for service. You must desire to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Meet leaders in your local fellowship to pray with you to be baptized in the Spirit.
Fellowship with other Believers
Now that you are born again, God’s love fills your heart. You feel a sense of belonging among fellow believers much like you are people of one family. You are now joined with many others here and elsewhere in one bond of fellowship and spiritual unity. Your heart responds alike and you all are moved by the same Spirit and indeed you are really of one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6). This new family is incidentally set in enemy territory that does not allow your species to thrive. As a result, you need to prayerfully find a place of fellowship with people of like mind. This place of worship must be a bible loving and believing church where sin is condemned and righteousness and grace are upheld. In addition, it must be a place where the whole truth of God’s word is preached and the leaders treat their wives with respect. Do the teachings magnify God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? You need to gather for teaching from the Word, to share inspirations, illuminations, inclinations, encouragements and aspirations. Don’t be a butterfly moving from one fellowship to the other. After the first few checks, as soon as you find a place that meets these expectations and with which you are comfortable, settle down and begin to grow. If you don’t like something taught in the church, meet a leader privately after praying about the matter. If you are still unsatisfied, leave the church, rather than dividing it through murmuring and complaining.
A Thankful Disposition
It is true that you have been told that you have overcome all things and that Jesus has done it all and this is quite true. But then you have a rude shock! Problems show up, these are necessary because they strengthen your new muscles and test your faith in God. It not strange when you fall into divine temptation. God is at work. We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” that are “more to be desired than gold.” Do yourself a big favor — believe those promises, thank God continually for them, and “let your joy be full.” rejoice always and have a thankful heart
Give to GOD
Give generously and regularly to your local church. Giving is an act of sacrifice and always strive to give to God something that costs you. Don’t only give what you don’t need but what you also need. The more costly, the more the reward. Another character in giving to develop is to give cheerfully and not grudgingly. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). A guide is formed in the tithe which is one tenth of your income or 10% (Leviticus 27:32). Even if you do not adhere to this legalistically, always ensure you give regularly, in a costly way and above all do it cheerfully. Give your time and your money. The gospel runs on needs for various things..