How are we supposed to truly live as Christians?
Many times we find ourselves asking this question. Is there one rule we can really focus on, and if we do, everything else will fall into place?
I know that I sometimes ask that exact question. As believers, our hearts should be so full of love for God that we are always asking what the best way to live for Him is.
1 Samuel 12:20-24 gives us the answer to that question.
1 Samuel 12:20-24 comes at the end of Samuel’s farewell address to Israel, as Saul is now taking over the kingdom and Samuel will be taking a backseat in the leadership of the country.
Samuel’s farewell speech rebuked the people for their sin of asking for a king, and to prove how horrible their sin was, Samuel called down thunder and rain.
The people were convicted for their sin and felt extremely guilty.
They were afraid that they were going to die because God was so angry with them.
However, in Verse 20, Samuel shows the great love and mercy of our God despite the Israelites’ sin.
“Do not be afraid.”
Those are the great words of grace from Samuel to the people. Samuel tells the people that while they have surely sinned, they should not dwell in their fear of punishment, but instead “serve the Lord with all your heart.”
As sinners, we can all relate to the words of the famous hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, when it says “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”
We so often “turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.” (Verse 21)
So often our attention is turned to worthless things that distract us from God, but there is good news for every distracted Christian.
The greatest news of all is that, as Verse 22 says, “the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”
What a comforting truth for us today. We may continually wander into worthless sin, but God is always there to rescue us and set us back on the right course.
“What is the right course?” you may ask.
Samuel gives the answer in Verse 24. “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.”
This is our battle plan. Every day we should wake up and say, “How can I serve God today?”
The most practical way to serve God is to serve others and put them before yourself, for in this way, you show God’s love.
God’s kingdom is backwards compared to the world, because in Matthew 20:26 it says, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”
Even more importantly, when we serve others with the gifts God has given us, we are actually serving God. Matthew 25:40 confirms this when it says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
In the end, the best answer to the question we all ask, “How are we supposed to truly live as Christians?” is to serve God faithfully with all our hearts.
The best way to do that is to put others before yourself every day, and use your gifts to serve them. This is what Samuel told Israel to do, what Jesus did for us on the cross, and what we should be doing each and every day.
Let’s talk in the comments below:
- What is distracting you from God’s path for your life? It could be a sin or something good that you have made into an idol.
- What is one way you can put others first today?