The Lord has given us this message to encourage and remind us of our duties as Christians. Being our Master and Lord, the Lord Jesus requires all Christians to OBEY and submit to Him (John 14:23; James 4:7). Please don’t be tired if we keep repeating or emphasizing some points; this is for your benefit (Philippians 3:1). The duties we will consider here are by no means exhaustive as revealed in the Scriptures. For practical purposes, we will consider the most basic Christian duties, especially in the light of what the Lord has repeatedly revealed to us as a family and ministry. As born-again Christians, we must live to care about the things the Lord cares about, thus doing good deeds in obedience to God (James 2:14-17).
Being Born Again to Worship the Lord
From what we read in the Scriptures, the Lord expects every one of us who are truly born-again Christian to serve and follow Him faithfully every second of our existence (Matthew 25:4, 10). After we become born again and accept the gift of salvation, in God’s eyes we became a new creation and we are told to “take off the old man corrupted by evil desires” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-25). The ‘old man’, referring to our former way of living, was corrupted by worldliness and the desires onto which our carnal nature fed (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:17-26). The first step towards reunification with God is to confess our sins and pledge obedience to Christ Jesus (Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9). In doing this, we simply confess our faith in His redemptive work, acknowledging that we cannot be saved by any other means except through the Cross. In our allegiance to obedience, we declare that we will follow Him faithfully through the teachings of His word, no matter what obstacles we may face. In other words, we declare unity and co-existence with Him, like in a marital vow (1 Corinthians 6:17), whereby a husband and wife promised before God to remain together no matter what! We confess our sins to one another, forgive, and ask for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).
As challenging as it is to maintain a solid marriage, we learn to grow in patience for the benefit of the other person; considering that when we do good, it is for our encouragement (Philippians 2:3). So then, when we allow our love for the other person in the marriage to control us, this experience will change us to the benefit of our spouse. In similar fashion, our love for Christ must compel us to obey and honor Him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). We surrendered the “old self” and put on the ‘new self’, which is being created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22, 24; Colossians 3:10).
The Bible also encourages to worship the Lord (Exodus 23:25; John 4:24). Whether we meet as a group to fellowship together or when we do so alone, we are expected to worship our God and adore Him for the great and wondrous things He has done and for Who He Is (Psalm 66:1-20). Like David, our lifestyle must be one of worship and giving glory to our Heavenly Father (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Obedience to Christ
The Bible warns us against sinning deliberately (Hebrews 10:26). We learned this first hand when the Lord, in a gesture of love, punished a sister in our ministry who was willfully sinning by smoking cigarettes in private and engaging in immorality. The Lord barred her from praying with the ministry intercessory team for five weeks and from witnessing with the team. She could attend normal services but was not allowed to do ministry work. People need to realize that the Lord does not allow people guilty of sexual sins to pray for others in the assembly of intercessors. The Lord is Holy! Another sister who committed a serious sexual sin was denied blessings. She was unrepentant after sinning and employment opportunities were closed for her. She lost her job and is still unemployed.
Please don’t get me wrong: the Lord forgives us when we have done wrong. However, He is not pleased when we sin willfully; this is being disobedient (Hebrews 12:6). Love does not cause harm to others (Romans 13:10), so if we say that we love the Lord, we must act in obedience; this is our Christian duty (Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 14:15, 23).
Daily Bible Reading and Witnessing are Christian Duties
When we go to our various places of work every day, don’t we show commitment and love for our work? Similarly, we show our commitment and love to God by obeying His commands, witnessing, Bible reading, praying, doing good to others, and abstaining from conforming to worldly standards (Mark 16:15; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 55:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:10; 12:1-2). During the Lord’s first visitation to us, the first thing He commanded us to do was to read our Bibles every day and “not to take a holiday away from the WORD OF GOD.” We were not in the habit of reading the Bible consistently, but read every other day or as we felt. Truly this kind of behavior does not reflect obedience to Scriptural command, nor does it show commitment to what is supposed to be our passion. I can tell you, the many people who got messages from the Lord through this ministry, almost all of them were commanded to build their relationship with God through reading their Bibles every day. In my experience, and having observed the behavior of my own family, our daily Bible reading did not just increase our knowledge about God and His works; we have also experienced a change in our attitudes and behaviors. This has also resulted in our faith increasing in the Lord, and our relationship with Him has grown closer (Romans 10:17). Consequently, this has led us to trust in Him completely, knowing that He hears and meets our various prayer requests (John 15:7). Furthermore, in addition to the above, another benefit of seeking God through prayer and Bible reading is that our fear for Him increases. This fear is one of appreciating His Authority as our Heavenly Father, and with this comes His many blessings, including the outpouring of His Spirit upon us. When we receive His Spirit, we also receive some Fruit of the Holy Spirit and gifts for ministry work (John 15:4-8).
Even though being corrected by others may embarrass us or cause us to become defensive, when we read the Word of God the precious Holy Spirit convicts us and creates a humble submission and appreciation of God’s love for us. This ensures we have a peaceful relationship with Him based on love. To achieve this, the Lord encourages us to be wise men and women of God by not just being hearers only but also being doers of the Word (James 1:22; Matthew 7:24-27). Let us keep seeking the Lord so that like King David we may have a heart full of joy and appreciation to delight ourselves in the transforming power of the Holy Word of God (Psalm 19:7-11). To God alone through Christ Jesus be the Glory forever, Amen!
Our Duty to Pray Daily Expresses God’s Sovereignty
While we briefly discussed the topic of prayer above, it is necessary to discuss further. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “…pray without ceasing…” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Brethren, let me be straight forward with you here: a Christian who does not pray is lukewarm, spiritually dead, and lazy; this is essentially expressing an attitude of “I don’t need God”. As it is, if we don’t pray, we show no care about our own salvation, that of others, and neither do we operate in obedience to Christ (Philippians 2:21). Indeed, such an attitude clearly shows that we don’t gather with Him, so neither do we intercede with Him to save and deliver others (Luke 11:23; Ezekiel 22:30).
In a further warning, the Lord warned His disciples to pray and be watchful (Luke 21:36). The Lord, having being in the world, knew the afflictions and sufferings that Satan can bring upon us (Isaiah 53:3-5), and the curse that God pronounced on the earth which does not work or our good (Genesis 3:17). He, therefore, encourages us to pray and set an example for us (Hebrews 5:7-10). When praying, we literally take stock of the conditions around us and in us and surrender these stressful situations to God to resolve so that it may go well with us (1 Timothy 2:2). Only God holds the answers to all the problems we have in this troubled world, and He has called us, as Christians, to stand before Him on behalf of others. In prayer, especially doing so by faith, we express our limitations, problems and our desire for God’s intervention. In acknowledging our helplessness, God intervenes. Our duty as Christians is to pray by faith, and without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Sharing the Gospel is our Christian Duty
In the words of the Lord, a true born-again, Christ-loving, and God-fearing person will seek to share the Word of God with others (2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Corinthians 9:16). The Lord says that all born-again Christian must be witnesses to the gospel and their lives testify of the working of God’s power (Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15-18). The Bible further reminds us that we all received the gift of the Holy Spirit when we first came to Him, even though many people doubt this. The evidence is when the Holy Spirit convicts us, leading to repentance and doing works of obedience (John 6:44; 16:8; Colossians 1:10).
We have heard how some churches teach that the evidence of speaking in tongues is the only sign of one having been filled with the Holy Spirit. Such a teaching is contrary to what the Bible actually says (1 Corinthians 12:30). What we read in the Bible is that speaking in tongues is a visible manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6; 1 Corinthians 14:22). However, the Bible does not say that speaking in tongues is the only proof that a person has the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, there are many examples of people believing in Jesus without mention of them speaking in tongues (Acts 2:41, 8:5-25, 16:31-34, 21:20). As we read in the Bible, the Holy Spirit was given for empowering witnessing activities (Acts 1:8), for fruit bearing (Galatians 5:22-23), and for enabling and supporting the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Through careful study of the Bible, and given my own experiences, any gift from the Spirit requires us to have faith to receive, whether its tongues or the gift of prophecy. As it is, we receive gifts from the Lord as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), not as we will. There are some Christians who cannot speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) but they have received the Holy Spirit. We even had some people who were part of this ministry who couldn’t speak in tongues, and yet the Lord sent them out to share Gospel with us. They were part of our witnessing team, meaning they have received power to preach the word (Acts 1:8).
As a final encouragement on this subject, if we don’t witness to others, how do we explain to them the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15)? Do we hide the lamp under the bed and not light it up for those in darkness (Matthew 5:15)?If you, as a Christian, do not witness to others, you are either afraid or ashamed of Christ. From my experience, I know such people are full of excuses and they normally struggle with their own faith. In witnessing, you are required to exercise your faith and obedience to Christ. Therefore, sharing the Gospel is faith in action! (2 Timothy 1:7). My brother and sister, in Christ Jesus, I encourage you: come out and be seen and heard and don’t let fear of man hinder you from your heavenly reward (Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 5:29).
Brethren, we do not commit to a date of Jesus’ return, but be warned and fulfill your duties to God (Matthew 24:36; 2 Timothy 4:5).
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.
Blessed grace in Christ’s service,