We are faced with false teaching and worldly influences all the time – just like the church in John’s day was. The good news is that God has provided ways to help us on our journey with Him; the same things that John mentions in his letter 2 John. John tells us if we are going to continue in Christ, we need to continue in three things: Continue in God’s Word, continue in obedience and continue in Christian community. Let’s think about each one for a second…
God’s Word in our laps
So firstly, we need to continue in God’s Word. I don’t think we realise just how privileged we are to have a copy of the Bible in our laps! It is knowing this Word that will keep us from falling for the lies of false teachers, the lies of our unsaved friends and family and the lies of our own hearts. We must judge everything by scripture. We don’t need extra knowledge or fancy secrets to help us stay in Christ… all we need is to know Jesus better and understand better what He has done for us. This we find by simply reading His word. If you are serious about growing in your Christian walk this year, you need to make His word a real priority. This means not only picking up the Bible when you are in a crisis or when you have time, but making time to hear from God. You need to plan time to hear from God. There are so many reading plans you could use to help you know what to read each day. Check out Come Away’s monthly Bible reading plans here.
Also, make coming to church a priority! This is where we learn from God’s word together as a family – it’s a special time. Make it a priority to come to church regularly this year.
Another way to stay rooted in God’s word is to join a life group. The idea with these small groups is that it is a safe place where you can grapple with the Bible and ask questions together with other believers. Committing to a life group this year would be a fantastic thing to do.
Launch an attack on your sin
Secondly if we want to grow in Christ this year we need to continue in obedience. In the midst of the false teaching surrounding the church in John’s day, he calls them to be obedient to God – this will help them remain in Christ. I don’t know what area of sin you are struggling with, but I do know that continuous sin can hamper your growth as a Christian. If we want to continue in Jesus this year we need to take our sin seriously and kill it. So make it a priority to work through certain sin struggles this year. Maybe you have been struggling with the same sin for years – don’t be ashamed, Jesus wants to forgive you and wants to help you gain victory, but you need to admit that you need help. Come to Jesus with your sin this year. Maybe share it with a Christian friend who can walk a road with you…. someone you can be open and honest with, who can pray for you and hold you accountable. None of us are perfect, but as Christians who are walking with Jesus and growing in Him, we should see a steady increase in our godliness. Are you fighting your sin? If you want to continue in Jesus this year you need to be ruthless!
Stick close to your family
And the last gift God has given us to help us continue as believers is our Christian family. We need to continue in Christian community if we want to grow. Our Christian family is a gift from God to help us keep going. Think about it; we can’t love each other if we don’t know each other. Your remaining in Christ and being obedient to Him will directly affect the spiritual life of your Christian family. We are one body of believers that are growing together – so don’t shrug off your Christian friends as irrelevant; they are vital to keeping you going in your faith.
In your Christian walk, you need the encouragement of others to keep going and not give up – and the people around you need it too.
The Christian life truly is the most amazing race. It has its ups and downs. We don’t know what obstacles will come at us this year, or what false teachings we will be confronted with. But we do know what by continuing in God’s Word, obedience and community, we will stand firm and grow in Christ. Let’s go for gold in 2020!
First blog: Your amazing race in 2020- will you keep going?
Second blog: Lookout! Could you be in more Danger than you think?