Charles Spurgeon is near the top of my list for favorite authors and pastors. Known as the “Prince of Preachers,” Spurgeon articulately communicated God’s truth in unique ways that deeply connected with people. This morning, while reading his “Morning by Morning” devotional, it struck me that what Spurgeon is talking about, is truly the key to successfully living the Christian life.
Christianity is not all sunshine and rainbows. Quite often, it’s the opposite; being a Christian involves taking up your cross and following your Savior. Christians are commanded to die to themselves in order that they might truly live to Christ. (Galatians 2:20) Successfully living the Christian life means to be conformed into Christ’s image. The very nature of the word “Christian” means, “One who follows Christ”. May we be people that live holy lives, who follow after our Savior with all our hearts, minds, and souls. May we be people that follow Christ, whatever the cost.
To be successful as a Christian means to….
Choose to trust Christ above ourselves
Choose to spread His glory, not our own
Choose to love the things He loves
Choose to be with Jesus
“And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
– Acts 4:13
A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we would be pictures of Christ; yes, such striking likeness of Him that the world would not have to hold us to the mirror and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness”; they would, when they saw us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught by Him; he is like Him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and everyday actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your Christianity. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate Him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in His holiness. Was He zealous for His Master? So should you be, going about doing good. DO not waste time; it is too precious. Was He self-denying, never looking to His own interest? Be the same. Was He devout? Then be fervent in your prayers. Did He defer to His Father’s will? So submit yourselves to Him. Was He patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as He did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your enemy by your kindness to him. Good for evil, remember, is Godlike. Be Godlike then; and in all ways and by all means so live that all may say of you….