Practical Christianity

What is the cost of being a Christian? It’s God’s demands. He’s a jealous God, not satisfied with only a part of your heart. He wants it all. He loves you so extremely that He even uses a cross to save you. First, the cross of Jesus, by which you were redeemed. Second, the personal cross that chafes and bruises your sinful flesh as you are forced to carry it through the winding course of your life. In this way, He brings you finally to heaven.

Besides demanding, sometimes Christianity also seems impractical. How can you fit such a religion into your life? Your boss and coworkers probably don’t appreciate how demanding your faith can be. Maybe even your family doesn’t quite get it. When you go to church, it’s likely you will see people there who have trouble carrying their cross more than a few feet at a time.

So how can we make Christianity practical?

Can your church membership get along with all of the other interests and obligations you may have? Sounds great. It’s like having a beautifully decorated wedding cake to enjoy in a glass case in your dining room forever, like a fine sculpture, while also enjoying a piece for dessert with a little ice cream from time to time.

It can’t be done. The difficulty is that the world around us entices the sinful flesh within to join in everything except whatever God wants. Sin excludes God, because God excludes sin.

The world entices you with recreation. You are supposed to work enough that you can afford to spend as much time as possible enjoying yourself. When Thanksgiving arrives, the world says, “Be thankful above all for the conveniences and pleasures you have in your life — for all that makes you happy.” To the fallen world, that’s what life is all about.

But Jesus had plenty of practical things to say about that. For example, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). And again from Mark 8, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” In the ultimate “been there, done that” book of the Bible, Solomon speaks to those who value pleasure, accomplishments and experiences: “Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9) And in the next chapter, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.'”

To be practical is to put something into practice. If you want to be a practical Christian, then you must put your Christian faith into practice. The psalmist writes (119:27), “The law [Word] of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.”

The world is horrified that we might turn away from thousands of coins of gold and silver. But God’s Word is worth more. It’s the only link He’s given to Himself. Only in His Word do we know our Savior. If that’s not more important to you than an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, then what can I say? You’re like a pig staring at a priceless pearl, wondering how it tastes.

Practical Christianity means seeking God’s forgiveness by studying His Word. It’s available to you more richly than ever before: in print, in audio, on screen, or in braille. You can have it delivered to your inbox in measured portions. You can study it with friends at church. If distance is a problem, you can study it online, even face-to-face. God is finding new ways to bring it to you, but in the end, only you can put your faith into practice.

Jesus sent out His disciples saying, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). When you have received, it’s time for your faith to be active as well, showing God’s love to your neighbors. This is a life of faith, practical faith. Practice receiving God’s forgiveness. Practice reflecting it for others. This is practical Christianity.

One thought on “Practical Christianity

  1. Who is it Christians dare to speak of? How do Christians describe God who is like no other? Who are we relying on to speak and describe faith?
    Sharing the gospel is the command to go and make disciples. It was given to us by the God we know from the gospels. Christ himself. The gospel was not given to us based on our ability to share it. Before Jesus tells us to go, he says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18 and 20 are the bookends for the command to go and make disciples.
    Communicating the gospel is first about remembering the authority, power, and presence of the one who calls us to faith that speaks. Two issues immediately present themselves when sharing the gospel. The first has to do with content. What is it that needs to be said? The second has to do with communication. How will I say it? How do we live it? Christianity is a way to live that is both reasonable and practical.
    But, there is a lingering question that confronts our evangelism. Why should I say anything at all? This question becomes important as many Christian’s fear that evangelism is not worth losing things that work well in this fallen world. Friends and activities.
    Pragmatism is the notion that meaning or worth is determined by practical consequences. It is inherently relativistic, rejecting the notion of absolute right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error. Pragmatism ultimately defines truth as that which is useful, meaningful, and helpful – practical. Ideas that don’t seem workable or relevant are rejected.
    Spiritual and biblical truth is not determined by testing what “works” and what doesn’t. We know from Scripture that the gospel often does not produce a positive response. 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 and 2:14. On the other hand, Satan’s lies and deception can be quite effective. Matthew 24:23-24 and 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. Pragmatism as a test of truth is nothing short of satanic.
    Is Christianity practical? What you place your hope in is what determines a practical path to follow in a world with a smorgasbord offering of good, fair and just, and evil definitions. It will make all the difference in what you expect of a church, how you choose a church, how you bring up your children, how you live your life in this world, and how you find hope in the middle of political, cultural, and moral chaos in this present evil age.
    Great thoughts. Thank you for sharing words that sets the mind on Christ and His commands and His authority in time and space and in all eternity.

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