Category Archives: Practical living
In these days of takeaway and drive by meals being available, the habit of praying as a family is being lost to many in the present generation. This is NOT a tradition I’m talking about. This is something that should be natural in spirit to a Christian. The Christian life among many good things is a life of thanksgiving. This again, is not a tradition. I mean it’s not about some dedicated holiday in which give thanks to God for your blessing once a year. But rather the main thing is about thanking Jesus for giving you new life each and every day of your life. And this is what matters when you pray as a family; that each one present for meals is alive and alive in Christ.
Not everyone gets to meet up together for even a single meal as a family. Why so? Because some are stuck in debts and some family member has too keep working, while some are working overseas perhaps at oil rigs or places of armed conflicts abroad. While the sadder part is that some of their family members have passed away. And the saddest part is for those who passed without having faith in Jesus Christ, no heaven for them!
So, that is why when you are having your food and drink with your family, firstly give thanks to God that you are all together and safe, secondly thank Jesus for the salvation that he gives you and ask for his forgiveness and blessings, and finally confess that Jesus is Son of God who is your all in all. That’s the least you can say in your family prayers together, but you can thank the Lord more and more if you wish. Pray at your family meal times together as a family and make your family meals great again!
Here’s a suggested prayer that you can pray at your family meals:
Thanks be to the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing us together for a meal. We thank you O Lord for giving us life and life in abundance. Forgive us of all our sins and heal us in spirit, mind, soul and body. We believe that you O Lord Jesus are the Son of God and we praise God for sending you to us. By the Holy Spirit bless us now as we all share in our earthly meal and grant us that we eat and drink in the marriage supper of the Lamb of God which is to come. Amen and amen.
When tempted to reveal a secret out of pride,
Then instead in the Word of God abide.
When holding the confidence of others in honor,
Then never let faithlessness be in your corner.
When God tells you to refrain,
Then telling your secret is insane.
When secrets can cause strife,
Then have regard for your life.
When the Holy Spirit wants you to be tactful,
Then with your words be thoughtful.
When hidden things can cause sin,
Then except for the Lord hold them all within.
When Jesus’ word in the Gospel does remind,
Then let not your good deeds anyone find.
When you know you shouldn’t gossip bad,
Then don’t be a selfish lass or lad.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. (Proverbs 11:13)
Every Christian should consider the Biblical call to avoid laziness and overcome it. Now laziness is not the same thing as resting after a hard days work. Laziness is rather idleness and the quality of being unwilling to work or use effort and energy. For some unwitting people a holiday means a time to be lazy and avoid all work including house work, while others just carry their work (via a laptop or smartphone) together with them. Now this doesn’t mean each Christian ought to avoid holidays or be a workaholic who works until he or she is completely drained out. That would be too extreme, isn’t it?
The key to a balanced Christian life would be to live a life consistent with the principles of the Bible. Now there are four areas of life where a Christian can and must avoid laziness, which are as follows:
1. The Spiritual life.
2. The Emotional life.
3. The Physical life.
4. The Financial life.
I’ll explain what each of them mean and what can be done to avoid laziness in them but first let’s get to know a few Bible verses about laziness. Here’s the first one:
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)
Plus here are a few more Bible verses about laziness to consider:
* A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:4)
* Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)
* The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)
From the above verses you’d notice that laziness can bring in eventual poverty, hunger and lack. At the same time diligence can make you rich. What would you prefer? For those who want to not be in poverty, hunger and lack which come due to lack of action in the right direction, there’s where the teachings of the Bible come to use. I’ll now explain the four key areas in detail:-
1. The Spiritual life
This is the most important area of life a man, woman or child could ever have. Whatever you do in your present spiritual life can have dramatic consequences in the after life. The problem is that some people are very busy in all areas of their life except that of the spirit. They neglect their prayers unto God, forget to give thanks to the Lord, and even avoid doing good works. The usual excuse is that they are too busy or don’t have time. But whatever be the reason, if you be lazy in your spiritual life then do not expect a good commendation from the Lord God. A few verses to reflect and act upon:
1. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
2. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
3. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
4. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17
2. The Emotional life
Your emotional life is the next most important area. Many people make life changing decisions based on their impulses instead of wisdom. This causes them a lot of hardship later on while it may be possible they might enjoy themselves temporarily. Because people are too lazy to cultivate and safeguard their emotions they easily break in the face of adversity. The people of God are called to be vigilant and wise instead. It’s wise to know your current emotional state towards yourself and the Lord God and even your fellow human beings and animals and so on. This can give you the opportunity to either groom or correct your emotions. A few verses to ponder and work upon:
1. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
2. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
3. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
4. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. The Physical life
There are people who are very good in their spiritual and emotional life but are lacking in their physical life. Then you hear that such people are finding difficulty in walking or running or climbing and so on. I wish they work on their physical frame as well. So what is the physical life I speak of? It’s basically the physical well-being of the body in terms of nutrition and exercise. While I do agree that it’s given to man to die once and then comes the resurrection of the just (and the unjust for those who die in their sin) it does not mean we neglect our physical bodies in the mean time. The Bible never tells us to neglect our body once we get saved, in fact we are told that we who believe in Christ Jesus are nothing less than the temple of the Holy Spirit. Read the following Bible verses and use them to your benefit:
1. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19)
2. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)
3. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might (Proverbs 24:5)
4. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong (Proverbs 31:17)
4. The Financial life
The area of finance is something that people give way too much importance to. However the areas of spirit, emotions and physical life should not be neglected while working on the area of finance. Some get into debt because they sleep or laze around instead of working when it’s the time to work. There are others who awake enough to earn their living but asleep enough to not check their overspending or even getting into debts that they can easily avoid. As a result there is a lot of strain in terms of money in their life which affects their families too. So don’t love money at all but instead be diligent in earning it and saving it and only spend it wisely. A few verses in this area that you can act upon:
1. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5)
2. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)
3. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
4. But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30)
Those who believe in Christ and are facing situations that overwhelm them should turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. They should never resort to sinful pleasures to get a so called relief from pain of the heart and spirit. Why should one ruin one’s afterlife just to get some immoral pleasure? Obviously the answer is deception; self-deception for some and deception from the Evil One for others. Whichever be the reason, one thing is sure, that those who trust the Lord God must turn to him whenever their hearts are overwhelmed.
Once you call upon the Lord don’t stop at that. Rather listen to God. Hear him out in the Spirit and in the Holy Scriptures. Ask the Lord to guide you by his Spirit as you pay attention to his Word.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55: 1-3)
When people get into sorrow,
Some act like there’s no tomorrow.
These get it wrong and get into vice,
They act like sin pleasure will suffice.
They are wrong all abundant,
Sin makes one spiritually redundant.
Instead cry out to the Lord and be pure,
The grace of God will help you overcome and endure.
Bible verses to live by:
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever; I will trust in the refuge of Thy wings. Selah. For Thou, O God, hast heard my vows; Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear Thy name. (Psalm 61:1-5)
“Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God’s mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”
—St. John Chrysostom