Freitag, 28. September 2018

Elijah: A godly man

Elijah is one of the most well known prophets of the old testament. Yet he reached a point in his life, where he wanted to kill himself. He even asked God to let him die.
The causes for his depression are numerous. First of all the long time he spent in isolation didn‘t helped his mental sanity, neither his unrealistic expectations and emotional exhaustion. But there is also a case to be made, that he was suicidal because of his relationship with God. His relationship seemed to be founded more on power and performance, than on love and intimacy.
God personally restored Elijah. He began with a small wisper. He wanted to bring back Eljah to his place in his kingdom a initate an healthier relationship with him. Would his plan have worked, if he had demonstrated Elijah all his power? Many people have had a similar reaction as Elijah, when he heard God’s whispering voice. He hid his face and cried. Your wildest dream is happening at a time, where you expected it the least. You can feel the presence of Christ like a force right besides you. You plead to him: “Help me, Jesus” and a feeling of peace and holiness rushes through your body. It seems so unreal. Many Christians, even if they go to church every Sunday, have still a doubt if God is real. They say to themselves: “I believe in God,” but in fact there is still a doubt. They are not 100% sure that after death, there is an afterlife. That Jesus even listens to them, when they whisper prayers deep at night. However there are these moments, where you cry out of joy, that Jesus is listening and caring for you. In these moments I hide my a face, ashamed of my doubt. Once we experience God’s love, he indicates our place in his kingdom. In the same way that he asked Elijah, he asks us: “What are you doing, Elijah?” Obviously God knows what we are doing. The question is more of “Who are you? What kind of person are you?” God asks us these questions, because he wants that we face the truth in ourselves.
Often Christian raised kind become agnostic or atheist at the course of their life. The once so obvious holiness of God in the eyes of a child “disappears” because of education and a change of social influences. In fact, nothing disappeared. The facts remain the same, the conclusion is different. It’s a kind of perception that brings us away from God and his salvation. The moments of enlighten gives us freedom. Freedom from the prison of lies and deception. To bond with God is to destroy all superficial relationships and live the truth. Truth means to see ourselves as God sees us. Elijah is able to confront his deepest feelings when in presence of God. Until now he had hidden them, because they were not conform of a prophet. God gave him the power to analyze his feelings, by giving him a slighty whisper of his acknoledgments.

Mittwoch, 26. September 2018

The importance of journaling

Journaling at first glance doesn’t seem like your typical Christian duty or exercise. However, it is a very important tool for every aspiring Christian man.
 Even for non-Christians, writing a journal can be beneficial. When facing difficult challenges, a journal can function as a spiritual windshield wiper. Imagine that you are driving a car and someone throws mud onto your windscreen. Even if you are still on the right road, you still must pay attention to not lose control of your car. Your car offers a way to deal with mud on your windshield window: wipers. A similar function has a journal.
Every day you face different challenges that try to impede you of reaching your goal of holiness. Searching ways to deal with these challenges is on one hand your job, on the other also the job of God. He gives you the tools, but you must use them. God speaks to us through prayer and through scripture.  However, God’s word needs time and thought to grow in us. They grow when we actively think about a solution. And here journaling joins the game.
Writing your problems down helps you seeing your own struggles through a subjective lens. It creates a distance which you can exploit to look to your problem from another point of view. I myself like to write things down to create a certain formality, that would miss if I would simply think or say it. Start journaling 5 minutes every day. Reflect on your struggles and on how to overcome them. Think about your role in God ‘s creation. What messages did God communicate to you along the day? Write it down and think about it.

Montag, 24. September 2018

The importance of prayer

Praying is like breathing, but for the soul. It restores on one hand our spiritual lives, on the other hand it reshapes us in the way God wants us to be. It enlarges our vision and fields God in our lives. There are different kinds of prayer. There is devotional prayer, but also intercessory prayer. In this post I want to focus only on devotional prayer. Its function is to eliminate all the obstacles that interfere with us following the way of Christ. Devotional prayer works in the depths of our spirit. Devotional prayer is analyzing our heart and helping ourselves, to become the kind of men God ought us to be. For achieving that, we must analyze our relationships with God. It is important, that a man knows what makes him feel a certain way or what makes him sin. Men sin for the obvious reasons like lust, materialism and greed. But as farther a man gets in his mission of becoming the kind of men God ought him to be, the causes for his sinning seem to shift. No longer are primitive feelings responsible for the distance between him and God, but his heart. It is our duty to find the error. Our tool is devotional praying.  Reserve a certain amount of time you feel comfortable with to speak to God. Go through your day and look especially at how you felt at certain occasions and try to find out why you felt that way. Let your memories flow. Ask yourself what you did wrong and try to find a solution. Don’t panic if you don’t find immediately a solution. God will help. Pair the devotional prayer with a gratitude prayer. The latter helps fighting arrogance, especially when you know that you have these tendencies. Devotional prayer is practiced also in other sciences, not only in Religion. Isn’t Sigmund Freud’s famous psychoanalysis basically the same?

Freitag, 21. September 2018

The importance of courage

Courage and bravery are amongst the most characteristic male virtues. World history is like a big gallery of fearless man. Even if thousands of years haves pasted since their death, we still admire them. They even became archetypes in our entertainment industry. Take any war movie. The protagonist is very likely to be brave. Yet, courage in a Christian sense is of a different kind. This courage doesn’t mean opposing a gigantic force of enemies and to fight till your death. God wants from us a more difficult kind of courage. Because it requires that we give up control of our lives.

“A world-famous acrobat secured a cable across the Niagara River Gorge. This gorge is very wide and deep. A rough river rushes through the canyon several hundred feet below. A large crowd gathered to see this famous tightrope walker cross the Niagara Gorge by walking on this cable. First, the acrobat stood on the cable, facing the crowd, and shouted, “Who believes that I can walk across this gorge on this cable and return?” The crowd knew that he was a famous tightrope walker, and they called back that they believed he could. When the acrobat returned, he threw down his balance rod, had a wheelbarrow lifted up onto the cable and called to the crowd, “Who believes that I can walk across this cable and back pushing this wheelbarrow?” The crowd again expressed their belief in him. When he returned, the acrobat said, “Who believes that I can walk across this cable pushing my wheelbarrow with a person in it?” Many waved their hands and shouted that they “believed.” “Okay,” said the acrobat to a “believing” man in the front, “you…into the wheelbarrow!” The man stood motionless in shocked silence. He then refused to step into the wheelbarrow.”(Beeke, Bible doctrine for older children, p.134)

True believing isn’t about praying daily. Indeed, true faith is about trusting Christ and trusting his forgiveness of your sins. It’s easy to say that you believe, but a completely different thing to do it. This is the base of our relationship with God. He wants us to climb into his wheelbarrow, without any sign of hesitation. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) This the kind of courage God demands from us. When we do the most Christian thing in any situation, we can expect the help of God. Even if we no longer live in arm-length of death, we still experience fear. Fear, that disturbs us from accomplishing true faith. What do we fear? Humans can fear many things, but most fears are rather harmless. Do you fear ridiculing yourself in front of people? In which way this fear can disturb our relationship with God? When I was a teenager, I refused to wear a cross. I feared the looks from my friends and even teachers. Like Peter I neglected in a way Jesus Christ. I realized that I don’t have a reason to be afraid. I learned an important technique, that I still use to end my useless fears. It’s called “framing” and many professional athletes use it to drop stress. When a professional sprinter is nervous before an important race he asks himself: “What is the worst thing that could happen now?” The answer is “Losing a race.” He then would conclude, that this is a very weak reason to be nervous and he can concentrate on the important thing: winning the race. Knowing this strategy, I began to answer myself: “My friends could laugh at me.” Is that bad? Isn’t the recognition from God a far higher price? Likewise, when you experience fear, don’t overreact. Instead ask yourself, how you could act in God’s will.

I know that this isn’t a simple task, because often fear isn’t the only factor that is in our way to the heavenly kingdom. In most cases, you are your biggest obstacle. That’s why you must give up control. Don’t rely on yourself. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33) Complete trust is difficult, that’s why you must surrender completely to the LORD. Pray when bad things happen, pray when good things happen. Both are important. We give God the keys to our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to be completely passive. In fact, God gave us the Ten Commandments as a form of concession from us and building a fundamental relationship with God. “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) Fleeing evil, trusting God, these are the virtues of a Christian man. You have the choice. Making the right choice is responding to your call of a godly man.

Mittwoch, 19. September 2018

The importance of loyalty

Every man has a multitude of loyalties. In an ideal scenario these are all complimentary. However, this is rarely the case. As men, we should learn to prioritize, learning to build a hierarchy of loyalties. Take a minute or two and draw a hierarchy pyramid and sort in order of importance all the loyalties in your life. Done? What is on top of your hierarchy?

The scriptures teach us, that it must be God. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deuteronomy 6:5) This doesn't mean that you should neglect your other allegiances like family, church, country and employee.

In the movie Quo Vadis, Vincius follows his chrisitan lover into a secret speech of Peter. The roman begins to understand the teaching of Christ. But he also noticed something: "He felt that, if he wished to follow that teaching, he would have to place on a burning pile all his thoughts, habits and character, his whole nature up to that moment, burn them to ashes and then fill himself with a life altogether different and an entirely new soul." Vincius, even if newly converted, is right. To truly be a Chrisitan means to burn your past. This is what Jesus meant in Luke 9:57-62: 

And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

"If anyone would come after me," Jesus says, "he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) Even if most of us live in a country where they can express freely their beliefs, where you don't have to fear for your life because of your faith, you are still required to lay down your way of life. Many times during the day you will be required to make a decision between the way of the world and the way of heaven. Pledge your highest allegiance to God and stay faithful and the smallest decision will take care of herself That's how many prophets got rid of their problems. "At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him.  But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)" (Genesis 4:24-26) At first this seems to make very little sense. But this is often the case when you read the bible. It was not God who tried to kill Moses. It was his internal Turmoil created by the desire to please God and his wife at the same time. God wanted that Moses circumcises his son, but Zipporah forbid it. It was a dilemma. Jesus may have had a similar experience in Gethsemane. "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me." (Matthew 26:36-46) The choice nearly pushed him to his death. He even sweat big drops of sweat. When he finally was able to pray "(...) not my will but yours be done" (Luke 22.42) he received strength to fulfill his destiny. Moses was cured in another way, when Zipporah finally gave in. She deliberated Moses from his deadly dilemma by circumcising her son herself and give the foreskin to Moses as a sign of submission. "No one can ever serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24) Internal piece comes from obedience to God and our absolute loyalty to him.
Now I want to look at the whole Moses passage from a different point of view: God tried to purposely kill Moses. God tried to kill Moses’ old self, his carnal nature. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Romans 6:6) Our old self is the source of all sin. Yet we fear his change and the transformation that would take place. There is no need for fear. Obedience to Christ means the death of own self-destructiveness. The old man is a killer, he is selfish, blindly ambitious, critical and cruel. Our best actions are destroyed by our own pride, gluttony and greed. Moses was not different. He was a murderer and a short tempered man and even his tries to please God where only half minded. Only after God had liberated him from his old self, he became one of the greatest prophets that ever lived.

Being torn between two loyalties is very hard. Jesus said: 

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but war... a man's ennemies will be the ennemes of his own household. From now on they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother -in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." 

Jesus didn't come really to bring this kind of chaos. His words describe the struggle that a family must face, where not everyone follows Christ. By becoming the best Christian man, you can possibly be, you can't really resolve the problem of a unfaithful wife. We still must follow Christ and hope to receive salvation not only for ourselves, but also for our families.

Montag, 17. September 2018

On corporal punishment

One of your tasks as a man is to start a family and raise your children as good Christians. This includes teaching the kids discipline. When I grew up, my mother took care of some of the neighbor’s kids while their parents were at work. She was a housewife, so she had some time to work as a babysitter. One of the kids who she took care of was a mess. He would curse his parents, would bite them, scream in public, for the only purpose of embarrassing them. He was 8 or 9 years old.

When I saw one of his riots I thought:  I would be the same, had my parents not taught me discipline. Reasonable and modest corporal punishment is, according to the Bible, a good thing. It contributes to the well-being of the child and is part of good parenting. However, it shouldn’t be overdone. A child should never take any physical harm from corporal punishment.

 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”(Proverbs 23:13-14) 

How could someone who has no respect for his parents, have respect for God?  I received some taps on my butt when I was a child. It taught me respect in front of authority. I consider “tapping” a child as a reasonable way of punishment. Some parents need to overcome themselves to hit their loved child, but the contrary is also true. You should never hit a child out of aggression, but only for the purpose of teaching them discipline.

Dienstag, 11. September 2018

On adultery

The way to a man ‘s heart is not trough his stomach, like common belief suggests. It’s through his ego. 

When a woman inflates the ego of a men, he will follow her anywhere, even to death. 

Persuasive words led a man to astray. Seduced by smooth talk, he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter. 

Little that he knows that it would cost him his life. Adulterous relationships are almost impossible to solve. 

The excitement of illicit sex confuses humans into believing it is love. Married sex can never satisfy the unfaithful heart’s desire for illicit excitement. 

The end of an adulterous relationships is also the end of a relationship with God. His sin drives a wedge between him and the adulterer. The same faith as Adam awaits him, after he ate the forbidden fruit. The adulterer ends up dreading. He will seek for God. 

He may try to retain a façade, but it fools only his friends and family. God can see directly through that in the heart of the adulterer. He sees  that where once burned a fire, are now ashes. 

Even if the adulterer can remain the affair secret from his wife, it will rob the intimacy of the marriage. The trust is no longer there.

Adultery is a loss of self-respect. An adulterer has betrayed his own values. Even if nobody finds out, he still knows it. He knows that he isn’t the father that everyone thinks he is. He knows that his friend’s assumption about him are not true. He is not the kind of man, everyone thinks he is, and he knows it. Imagine living with this burden. 

Yet the grace of God is far greater than he thinks. 

“All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” (2 Samuel 14:14) 

Jesus died for all sins, even those of the adulterer. 

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Through your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Montag, 10. September 2018

Porn is bad

Most sexual misbehaviors nowadays are connected to pornography. Never in the history of mankind was it so easy to access pornographic content whenever you want. Pornography is a step stone to fornication and adultery. Do you struggle with the temptation of pornography?

You are not alone. Famous actors, pastors and even your family members have a problem with porn. Some may not even know it. Christian man started with a quick peek in their adolescence and never stopped since. It became a habit. An addiction, even if you watch it only once a week. Many try to excuse the addiction to themselves: when I get a girlfriend, I will stop. When I get married, I will stop. When I get children, I will. This addiction doesn´t stop at a divorce and when you fail to get the parental rights for your child.

Stop now. Imagine your ideal self in 10 years. You are more wise, humble and successful. How does porn fit in this picture? Can you imagine your ideal self jerking of to porn? If you don’t stop today, you will never become the man you want to be.

The power of porn comes from its secrecy. You can do it in your room at night, without anyone ever noticing. You don’t have to held yourself accountable to anyone but yourself. Yet after you masturbate, you feel bad. Your conscious is telling you: it is wrong. This feeling lasts only for some minutes. The next day you find yourself with the same feeling in front of your incognito tabs.

Many Christians fail to stop watching porn because they are afraid of seeking help. They don’t confess their sinful temptations. They fear loosing their image and disappointing people. This fear isn’t real. Your image is only the façade of a Christian man, but nobody notices the secret life behind the scenes. You tried to pray, only to fall to your temptation seconds after. Even if you think it’s impossible, God can help you. The battle against any addiction is only a matter of divine deliverance and daily discipline.

“Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16) Here is a detailed step-by-step program to eliminate pornography and masturbation all together from your life.

  • Tell someone about your addiction. This is the most important step. You must held yourself accountable towards others. Tell them you will stop and that they must held you accountable.
  •  Remove all pornography from your reach. Use Cold Turkey Blocker. They have a feature that blocks nearly every pornographic site from your computer. Do not peek, even if the urge is big.
  • Avoid situation in which you normally would watch porn. Instead engage in social activities, do sport or go volunteering.
  •     Fast at least once a week. This is on one side a very powerful spiritual practice and on the other side strengthens your discipline.

Pray everyday: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” (Psalm 51: 1-4)

Porn is bad for you and is in your way. Eliminate this unnecessary obstacle.

The integrity of success

If you really want to know, what a man is made of, put him either under adversity or under prosperity (success). If one had to chose between these two, most would choose success, realizing that it is far harder to handle as they expected. Thomas Carlyle said: “for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred who will stand adversity.” Adversity tests a man’s character. When things get tough, a man must demonstrate his abilities to give everything when needed. Success instead tests the integrity of a man. Even with plenty of success, will he remain loyal to his personal code of ethics? When adversity strikes, things get rather simple. You can rely on your principles and know what to do to survive. Prosperity however makes your life more complicated. With our numerous needs with other needs coming from prosperity putting to test, one needs to demonstrate his integrity.

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.” (Psalm 27:21)

Success is challenging because it produces pride. “The success has got to their head” saying doesn’t come from nowhere. Success tends to make men believe that their achievements are only their merit, forgetting all the people that helped them along the way and often their humble beginnings. Everything came and will return to God. Success is always temporary. As it came, it will inevitably fade away. In the scripture it says: “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. “(Ps. 75:6–7) That’s why success is one of the biggest challenges a man can face. He suddenly has to face temptations, that he never had to deal with. He has more disposable income, has more social prestige and gets consulted by many people for his advice. How should the success not go to his head? 

The only way is to be a man of integrity. Oxford dictionary describes “integrity” as follows:  “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” When you take the success away from a man, he remains with his principles. Success isn’t a merit, but a responsibility. In the harsh world of business, it is a relief to rely on Christian principles.  God wants everyone to be successful. However, waiting for success to fall in your lab is against the will of God. A man of Christ takes his work ethic from the scriptures: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lod, not the men.”(Colossians 3:23-24)

The integrity that is needed for success, is also needed for failure. Facing failure hurts. Our self-worth declines, we feel humiliated and feel doubt in our own abilities. Don’t do that. Rely on your faith. Failure is often a step stone for greatness. Take Nathaniel Hawthorne for example. He lost his job as a surveyor in the Salem Custom House. Around the same time his mother died and described it as the "the darkest hour I ever lived." Nevertheless he used the new free time for his writing and created his best work, The Scarlet Letter.

Failure isn’t final. Plenty of great men in the bible were first confronted with failure before rising to greatness. Moses was a murder and fugitive. Peter denied Jesus. Saul of Tarsus prosecuted Christians. It is all a matter of your principles. Work on your integrity, because failure doesn’t break a man, but how he responds to it.

Sonntag, 9. September 2018

The christian lifestyle

What comes to your mind, when you hear the word “Christianity?” Is it an image of Jesus? A Christian family? Or even the sexual abuse scandals recently in the news? I remember when I was kid, I didn’t really understand the meaning of Christianity. In Sunday school I learnt a lot about the different saints and in my childish eyes, our goal as Christians was to reach this saint-status. Many years later, I still haven’t reached it and I sincerely don’t know anybody personally who has. Today I know that this isn’t important. It took me many years to realize, that being Christian neither means to go to church every sunday, nor to pray every day. Being Christian is a choice of a lifestyle, pursuing a life following the principles of Christ.
True godly masculinity isn’t about following the stereotypes shown in the media. You don’t have to look like Chris Hemsworth to be a Christian man. You surely can, but you don’t have to. Godly masculinity isn’t about following rules, but principles.  Oxford dictionary gives the following definition for “rule”:
·         “A principle that operates within a particular sphere of knowledge, describing or prescribing what is possible or allowable.
And the following definition for “principle”:
·          A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.”
A rule comes from the outside and forces you to behave a certain way. That’s why people say: “Rules are meant to be broken.” The motivation to follow rules is often not your own. Principles however come from the inside. When someone doesn’t follow his principles, he gets sick. Being a man of godly nature means to develop Christian principles and to follow them. This is by no means easy. You will never reach fully your goal. The way is the aim and what means being a man.
Take William Wilberforce for instance. In a time where slavery was widely accepted, he chose to not follow the rules but to follow his own principles. He was a truly Christian man and thus I want to end this post by a quote by him on how to live as a Chrisitan:

“Let him then, who would be indeed a Christian, watch over his ways and over his heart with unceasing circumspection. Let him endeavour to learn, both from men and books, particularly from the lives of eminent Christians, what methods have been actually found most effectual for the conquest of every particular vice, and for improvement in every branch of holiness. Thus studying his own character, and observing the most secret workings of his own mind, and of our common nature; the knowledge which he will acquire of the human heart in general, and especially of his own, will be of the highest utility, in enabling him to avoid or to guard against the occasions of evil: and it will also tend, above all things, to the growth of humility, and to the maintenance of that sobriety of spirit and tenderness of conscience, which are eminently characteristic of the true Christian.” 

The Sermon on the Mount challenge

New Christians often struggle to find a deep connection to Christ. That’s why I recommend them to integrate the Word of Christ into their daily lives as best as they can by reading the Bible and meditating on how to live a more holy life. Yet the Bible, with its incredible dimensions, can be intimidating. Where should you start?
The Sermon on the Mount is the longest oral record from Jesus himself. It summarizes how Jesus wants us to live our lives, especially the way we treat our other fellow humans. I therefore challenge you to read the Sermon on the Mount every single day for 30 days. It is a perfect exercise to prove your determination and keep your mind occupied with Christian ideas and a first step towards learning your first Bible verses by heart. The challenge doesn’t seem too difficult, but it takes discipline to read the same pages every day. When facing difficult situations, specific advice from the BIble wil spring into your mind. Trust me, your life is going to change for the better.
Now on how you should read the sermon. There are some possibilities. Right away I wouldn’t hear the sermon only on audiobook. You should only do that if you really, and don’t lie to yourself, have not the time to do it otherwise. When you hear the Bible while doing some other stuff, you will not grasp a full understanding of the Bible. Instead, grab a physical copy of the Bible, sit down and read. This should become a ritual. Again, I would recommend to start reading either in the morning before work or directly when you come home. Right before going to bed is a bad time. You are tired and fail to concentrate on what you are reading. To increase your focus, you can use an audiobook of the Bible, which you follow along while reading. If you feel modern, you can download a pdf or an app for your phone, where you can read It on your breaks at work.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your Bible and start reading. I expect to see you here in 30 days, grasping a bit more than at the beginning of the challenge, what Jesus really expects from us.