As a new born again Christian it is imperative that you implement changes in your life to live in accordance to God as portrayed by Jesus. Remember, becoming a Christian isn’t an event, but a process. Consider this verse: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (John 17:17).” The word “Sanctify” literally means “to purify.” We must purify ourselves from the ways of the world by correcting our ways to be obedient to Jesus. Just as gold is heated in a crucible seven times before it’s pure, we too must undergo a process of constant sanctification. Here are some biblical and personal practices that will purify your way of living.
1. Read your bible every day.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
When we recognize God’s Word as Truth it gives the Word power in our lives. Think about it, God has designed us to live according to His Truth and His Truth is revealed in His Word, the bible. It’s exciting to know that when your heart follows biblical teachings you are living your life to the highest standard possible and it pleases God! How are we to know biblical teachings and God’s standard without first reading His word?
As a new Christian I recommend reading the New Testament first, starting with the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, then reading Acts, Romans, etc. to the end of the bible. In addition to reading the New Testament you might find it wise (and fun) to read Psalms and Proverbs throughout, the Wisdom Books. These are quick but powerful words of wisdom to be applied in your life. After reading the New Testament consider starting from Genesis and reading from cover to cover!
God’s Word is your spiritual food, it feeds your spirit. You wouldn’t go a day without feeding your flesh, so why would you go a day without feeding your spirit? You should start your day reading God’s Word every morning—even when I worked at four in the morning, I would set my alarm 30-45 minutes early and get up at the two o’clock hour to prioritize God in my life. When I missed a day, it was like missing food, it greatly affected me. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).” If you don’t first seek Him, don’t expect to see positive changes in your life and don’t expect to make the impact in other people’s lives either—you’re spiritually malnourished.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
2. Pray every day.
A lot of people have built a habit of immediately checking their phones to start the day. I used to do this to, but now I start my day praying to God before I read the bible. If you start your day serving your self and your desires you will likely continue that pattern throughout the day. If you start your day in prayer, speaking to God, you will likely continue the pattern by living in accordance to God. Look, if you start your day on Facebook or Instagram comparing your life to someone else or hearing someone complain your day will continue in the track your mind is on. By praying and asking for God to lead you not into worldly temptations but spiritual righteousness your day will continue in the way it started.
Have you ever spent the whole morning doing nothing? You probably didn’t get much done the rest of the day, huh? Consider waking up, going out for a jog, reading a book and eating breakfast before most people are awake—you are going to be pumped up and ready for an awesome day and get a lot done. By praying everyday and starting in the morning, you are going for a spiritual jog and are going to have a much better day, spiritually and it will manifest physically in your actions and emotions. By continuing in prayer and communion with God throughout the day your mindset will be fixed on God and in spiritual things rather than worldly things. “Be unceasing and persistent in prayer” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Prayer is direct communication with the Eternal Creator who has called you Son and Himself, Father. This is an amazing practice that we should be excited to be able to do whenever we want!
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
3. Love and serve others more than yourself.
Jesus’ ministry was based in Love and everyone He contacted was in a Loving way. Even when He rebuked the merchants in the temple and flipped the tables (Mat 21:12) or when He rebuked the Pharisees, calling them wicked and the children of the devil (Luke 11:19) it was done in Love. Jesus did not do that to make them feel bad or because He hated them, but because He Loved them enough to passionately show them their errors that will lead them to destruction. Sometimes love appears to hurt but when we speak the truth we speak in Love. The bible is full of example of Love from giving to the poor, washing feet, showing care for outcasts, preaching the Gospel, etc. Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another:” we are indebted to every man and women love. Just as I owe you Love; you owe me Love; everyone owes everyone Love. As Christ paid for our sins He has asked us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to keep the Law which is simplified by Loving your neighbor as you Love yourself (Galatians 5:14).
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem (to regard) other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
4. Memorize Bible verses as to write them on your heart
It is important to know the Word and have it written on your heart. Reading the bible is great to have biblical concepts seep into your heart but there is nothing like memorizing a bible verse and thinking about it throughout your day. This allows you to really focus and meditate on a single verse to get a deep and intimate understanding of the verse and how it can apply to your life and others. Before memorizing a verse I pray to God saying something along the lines, “Father, I pray that your Words are not just being memorized but written on my heart and change me from the inside out.” I will also pray for understanding and wisdom regarding the verse and how to apply it to my life—I know the power of God’s Word and want it to work in me and change me!
Memorizing and knowing verses allows you to speak God’s Word quickly and powerfully as it is intended. Jesus didn’t stop a conversation and look up a verse to speak to someone, He just spoke it because the Word dwells within Him. In Ephesians 6:17 Paul calls the Word of God “the sword of the Spirit” as it is used as a spiritual weapon. (An example of Jesus wielding this spiritual sWORD against the devil can be found in Luke 4:1-14). Jesus said in John 6:63, “The Words I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.” By speaking the righteous Words of God we are speaking Spirit, Life and Truth into the hearts of our hearers and these words have purpose and meaning (Isaiah 55:11).
Delight in the law of the LORD; and in his law meditate day and night (Psalms 1:2).