The Apostle Paul wrote, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
If the apostle could say these things, why are so many today not successful in living the Christian life? Why do some feel they can’t live as they ought? The answer lies in the attitude we have in living for Christ. Notice some things that will help us be successful in our Christian walk.
First, feel good about being a Christian. Just notice how the early Christians felt about their walk. Luke tells us, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:46, 47).
They rejoiced in being the children of God. Their attitude was not one of gloom, but of brightness. Some today seem to think being a Christian stops you from being happy and able to enjoy life. This is far from the truth. Luke also recorded for us the feeling of the Ethiopian nobleman, who after obeying the gospel "went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:39). Later in the book of Acts, we are told there was rejoicing at the house of the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:34).
Today, one must realize just how great it is to be a Christian. God wants Christians to enjoy themselves, not as the world enjoys the evils of the world, but as a dedicated worker for the Lord can enjoy life.
Second, if one desires to be successful as a Christian, he must get involved in the Lord’s work. Too many times, those who feel they are failing as a Christian have removed themselves from the work of the church. Jesus taught, "Therefore said he unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).
Later, as Paul was writing to the Corinthians, he said, "For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building" (1 Corinthians 3:9).
Christians must follow the example left by the Lord. His life on Earth was not one of seeking out riches and ease, but was one of helping others, seeking out the lost, and doing the work of the Father. "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:34,35).
It is the case that many who feel unsuccessful as Christians have placed their wants and desires above the Lord’s. They are like those to whom God had Haggai write. God told them he would have taken pleasure in their work for him, but they had been more interested in their things. They had worked on their houses and had failed to build the Lord’s house. To be successful as a Christian, one must be involved in the work of the Lord.
Third, to be successful in living the Christian life, a person must be enthusiastic, positive and happy in the Lord. In most every place, there are a few who realize this attitude for its great worth. They are eager to do the Lord’s work, looking for things to do, not using blinders to shield their eyes from viewing what needs to be done.
If any Christian could have ever cried gloom and doom, it was the Apostle Paul. He suffered many things both physically and mentally for the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). He was beaten and left for dead, suffered shipwreck, his life was threatened more than once. Yet he wrote, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13, 14).
All Christians today need to have this kind of enthusiasm. Too many times, Christians are heard telling about all the troubles and trials they have in their lives; therefore, they cannot help in the Lord’s work. This attitude will keep one from being successful in being a faithful Christian.
To be effective in the kingdom of God today, one must apply these principles. There are so many lost souls in the world. Successful Christians can help the lost see the way to God.