This timely message is written from the heart with the purpose that it would spark a little revival in the lives of believers. This world we live in allures, calls, and often overcomes believers, causing them to lose joy, peace, and sweet fellowship with the Lord Jesus – the real purpose for living. In a busy world, with its increased desire for entertainment, we need to evaluate true, Christian living for this rising generation. The general consensus in society is that this world is socially, politically, religiously and educationally crazy and unpredictable. Times do change, but the Truth never changes and will always challenge our hearts, no matter our age. It is especially encouraging to see the younger generation attending conferences, when there are so many other people and things vying for their time and attention. Many a life has been transformed from the wholesome and challenging ministry given. This article will look at five Biblical individuals, each chosen to encourage the present generation to live true, joyful Christian lives, distinct (but not isolated) from the world and devoted to Christ. Each of the characters selected could provide material for one or more ministry meetings, but one characteristic from each will suffice to amplify the reality of Christian living for a rising generation.
THE SECRET FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t blame the times
“Walking (habitually) with God”(Gen 5:24) is the secret that began back in the garden, where God came down and walked with Adam. We can blame the times we are in, or we can do as Enoch did. In those hostile years in which he lived, Enoch turned to God. He was 65 years of age when he began his journey, and he travelled (walked) with God until God took him. He testified for God faithfully, was translated by God suddenly, and had this testimony from God personally, that he pleased Him. This is the secret of Christian living. What a pattern for us to follow in these perilous times. What a commendation from God. He took him, without dying. ENOCH (“dedicated”) is an example of Christian living, marked by Consistency.
THE SUFFERING in CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t blame the trials
Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 2:12 are clear, “If we suffer we shall also reign with Him” – the Cross before the Crown. The early believers in Acts 5:41 were ”rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His Name’s sake.” Joseph, the slave and sufferer, was completely submissive to God, and eventually God made him the ruler over all Egypt, second only to Pharaoh (Psa 105:18-21). Whether trials come from a social, political, family, or religious background, they are permitted by the all-wise God in order to conform us to the image of His Son. Joseph first suffered and then reigned. Joseph never questioned the thorny pathway, the rejection, the prison, or the false accusations. He was tried and he was triumphant. JOSEPH (“he will add”) is an example of “suffering before glory,” marked by Contentment.
THE SUCCESS OF CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t blame failure
The life of David is fascinating and inspiring. Even though David had failures throughout his life, God called him a man after His own heart, an amazing commendation! David was a giver all his life, whether to the sheep, to his family, or to his nation, all the way up to the end of his life. Although he was not perfect, he was an example to the nation he loved. David was a son, a shepherd, and he was sovereign. The imprint he left upon the nation brings us to 1 Chronicles 29:5. “Who is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?” David, at the close of life, had affected the whole nation, so that they had to actually be restrained in their giving. What an impact one imperfect man, called, “a man after God’s own heart” had upon an entire nation! “Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee.” DAVID (“beloved”), was marked by Consecration.
THE SATISFACTION IN CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t blame circumstances
In 2 Timothy 4:6-7, at the end of his life, Paul writes: “I am now ready to be offered,” breathing total satisfaction with his Christian life. Paul exited this life a satisfied servant, soldier, shepherd, soul-winner, and scribe, submissive to his Lord’s will (Acts 9:6). Paul left us with an abiding and spiritual legacy of truth, not only in his writings, but by example. He made sure it was Christ Who was exalted, and himself who was subdued. Paul won spiritual battles, he ran a victorious race, and he was an obedient steward to the faith, keeping it as it was entrusted to him. He began his Christian life by asking, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” From there, throughout his life of persecution and the rough prison experiences, Paul, this satisfied Christian, was committed, from his conversion to his martyr’s death. We reflect on his amazing confession, “I count and continue to count the loss of all things that I may win Christ.” He was truly committed, never asking for funds, never coveting, and even working with his own hands if necessary whether in poverty or plenty. He was persecuted, yet he wrote the epistle of joy from the Philippian prison. He prayed, he praised, he preached, and was a penman, but most importantly, his pattern was Christ. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4: 13). PAUL (“humble”) was marked by total Commitment.
THE STEADFASTNESS OF CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t blame surroundings
Daniel was unwavering, in home life as well as in idolatrous Babylon life. What an example in the present-day world conditions. Daniel was the same, from youth through old age, never wavering in his obedience to God’s laws. He was unaffected by the evil plots against his character. This great man shone brightly in all areas because of his obedience to the Word of God. His convictions were true in every circumstance, whether in regard to the food test, in revealing dreams, in prayer life under the scrutiny of evil men, or in the den of lions. Unharmed, untouched, he was preserved by the hand of God, Whom he served for over 80 years. Daniel manifested the character of the living God Who is steadfast forever. Daniel was steadfast to the Word of God. DANIEL (“my God is judge”), was marked by prayer, but the Word of God Controlled.
THE STANDARD FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING: Don’t make excuses
THE LORD JESUS: He is the supreme example for all time, for all Christians. Many helpful books are written concerning the glories and beauties of Christ, and many messages have reached hearts and changed lives. However, with all we read and hear, we touch only the fringe in our meditations concerning Him. Whether by type, in symbol or picture, or in Old or New Testament presentation of Christ, we are lost in holy wonder, and bow with worship before our risen Lord. It was an amazing revelation on the Emmaus road when He drew near and opened unto them from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. What will heaven be like? We enjoy Christ presently, but what will the future be? “When I stand before the Throne, dressed in beauty not my own, not till then Lord shall I know, not till then how much I owe.” In living for Christ, the rising generation must place priority by enthroning Christ and learning the secret, the suffering, the success, the satisfaction, the steadfastness, and, above all, the standard of true wholehearted daily Christian living. The divine standard is Christ! The doctrine of the cross is vital to overcoming the world and all its ways. We need to live out the words, “Vain world, your charms are spread in vain, I’ve found a richer story, I’ve found a truer gain.” The rising generation, which can easily be allured by many questionable practices and is becoming more like the world in many ways, needs to stop! Remember, there is a cost, but it is all for His glory, bearing His image, Christ only. Love Christ, live Christ, walk with Christ, wait for Christ, long for Christ, commune with Christ, and give your all for Christ. “For me to live IS Christ” (Phil 1:21). “For even Christ pleased not Himself” (Rom 15:3).