I know a guy who works as an I.T. analyst. Heís pretty dedicated, and has a very strong work ethic.
If it aint finished, he donít leave. Itís as simple as that. And it has to be done properly - no
This philosophy takes its toll on his home life though. Although he is supposed to work a forty-hour
week, it isnít unusual for him to be working sixty or even seventy hours a week. Some people call it
dedication - others call it obsession. He just calls it full-time employment.
Now this all gets me thinking. How dedicated are we? Not to our job, important as that may be, but
to our lifeís work - to the work of God. How dedicated are we as Christians?
The man I talked about before worked full-time - about sixty hours a week.
But, as Christians, God calls us to work 24 by 7. Thatís one hundred and sixty-eight hours per week,
every week - fifty-two weeks a year. Anything else is part-time, not full-time. And full-time
Christians is our calling.
Ah, but I hear your cries already - cries of "unreasonable" and "impossible". How can we íeat,
drink and sleep" our faith while still fitting in the more mundane but necessary activities such
as work, TV and sport? Am I really serious? Am I just obsessive?
Well, before you dismiss this idea (and your responsibilities) lets look at what being a twenty-four
hour a day Christian really means. What being a Christian really means.
If you asked most people this question - What does it mean to be a Christian? - you might receive
answers not unlike the following.
- You love God
- You forgive one another
- You love one another
- You ído goodí
- You take refuge in Jesus
- You spread the Good News
- You have faith in Jesus
- You go to Church
- You wear a cross
While Christians might do some or all of these things, these things in themselves do not make us
Christians. In fact, being a Christian is very simple.
You accept Christ into your heart, and manifest Him in your life
The truth is that, to be a Christian, less than this is insufficient, while more than this is not
So what are some down-to-earth, positive ways that we can put this into practise, not just for a
couple of hours a week at Church, but twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? What is the key?
What is the answer?
Ok, I admit it; I donít have all the answers. Try praying. (Really!) What we are talking about is
100% integration of the faith with your everyday life. As everyoneís lives are different, it
would be impossible for me to provide a general solution for everyone. Only God could do that. So,
But I will put forward some ideas that might help.
Donít be content with prayer night and morning. Muslims have formal prayer sessions five times a
day. Do not be satisfied with this, and do not limit yourself to formal prayer. Turn every thought
into a prayer. When you wish someone a good morning, pray that their hearts will be opened to
Christ. When someone cuts you off in the car, pray for their safety in the future. When someone
calls you in the office with a problem, pray for the Lordís help in solving it. If the foreman asks
you to dig a hole, for those whose are living life in a hole. Make a habit of talking to God.
(Relax, it doesnít have to be out loud, nor on your knees, nor with your eyes closed. You donít
even have to use words!)
Donít do it for the money, nor for peace and quiet; donít do it because you have to, or because it
is expected; donít do it because youíre paid to or because everybody else does. Do it for Jesus.
If you have to sweep the floor, sweep it for Jesus. If you have to study late, do it for Jesus.
If you are cooking a meal, washing your face, eating, sleeping, dreaming, whatever - do it for
Jesus. Your number one motivation in life should be Jesus. Everything you do should be done for
(Can I really dedicate the dishwashing to Jesus? Well, yes, I can. To live healthily and happily
you need to wash dishes to remove soiled food and the breeding ground for germs. If we live for
Jesus then we keep ourselves healthy for Jesus. See?)
While the value and power of prayer cannot be valued too highly, it is important to be reminded
that Jesus did not challenge the disciples to sit in prayer for the rest of their lives. He
demanded action from them. And so he does from us. Which means being active in our faith. Donít
stop at the Sunday visit to the Church - get involved with itís extra curricula activities. And
get involved with the community - thereís plenty to do and some of it can be quite fun. And at the
end of the day itís a great opportunity to shine the Lordís light.
(Interact with friends and colleagues as a Christian. You can express your faith without offending
someone elseís. Itís just a matter of having respect for others which showing them what Jesus means
Who needs your forgiveness more - the person who deserves it or the person who does not? And who
are you to judge? And when do you forgive? When you are least inconvenienced? Or when you are most
inconvenienced? Someone abuses you on the phone - do they go to the bottom of your list? A car
pulls out in front of you on the freeway - do you curse them? Or wish them a safe journey? Do you
mistake forgiveness for weakness? Or do you confuse forgiveness with endorsement. Try repeating
the Lord Prayer a few times when you start to lose control.
(By forgiving people you are not saying that what they did was justified, just forgiven. And you
donít always have to tell people they are forgiven, just show them.)
5. Give Thanks
Remember when you used to say grace before a meal? You have a lot more to be thankful for than
that. And you have plenty of opportunities to say it. If you get to work and have a car space, then
give thanks. If you donít have a car space, then give thanks for arriving safely. If you didnít
arrive safely, then give thanks for having a job to go to. The possibilities are endless, because
the Lordís Grace is endless. See a tree, thank God. Taste your coffee, thank God. For every thing
in your life, thank God. Even when things donít turn out the way you want, take time out to thank
God. Because your every breathe is His gift. Every sight you see, you see through His grace. Every
sound you hear, you hear through His grace. Every taste, every touch, every smell is resonant with
the grace of the Lord.
(What have you got that isnít down to God? Where can you go that isnít down to Jesus? How can you
get anywhere without the Spirit?)
How many ministers does your church have? One? None? Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It has as many ministers
as people in the congregation. Jesus calls you to ministry - and not just for one hour a week but
for every hour. In the workplace, in the shop, on the road, in the train station - everywhere.
Does this mean throwing bible verses about, singing hymns while you work or punctuating every
sentence with Halleluiah or Amen? Not really. But by living your faith, and being prepared to talk
about it - to witness it - you are performing ministry.
(You donít have to force Jesus down peopleís throats - if Jesus is shining in your life, youíll be
surprised at the effect it has on them!)
A commonly used three-letter abbreviation meaning íRead The Manualí. In this case the manual is,
of course, the Bible. So read it. You might start by finding out which íreadingsí are to be used
in your church this week, and concentrating on these. But donít be limited by that! Thereís plenty
to read and you donít have to read it all from beginning to end - try reading chapters randomly.
Look at the footnotes, read the book introductions. Immerse yourself.
(Like a romance, or a good murder? Are you more into wars, or the supernatural? Perhaps you like
human drama. Well itís all there, in the one Bible. )
I guess that all this is a big ask. But then, Heís a big God. And He doesnít expect us to perform
miracles, or to always succeed. Rest assured that you wonít always get it right, you wonít always
remember to live your faith. But then, thatís one of the best things about being a Christian -
even when we fail He loves us just as much.
Which is even more reason to try. Twenty-four hours a day.
Whatís that? I left something out? Well, Iíve left lots out actually, but you had something special
in mind. What did you say? Sleep? Oh yes, of course, what can you do in your sleep?
8. Rest In Jesus
When you are about to go to sleep, turn your mind and your heart to Jesus. Imagine he is standing
there before you. Because he is. Let his light fill your very being. Love Him, as He loves you.
Wish and pray with all your heart that you will even dream of Jesus. Pray that as you rest in Him,
your body and mind will be renewed, ready for another day in His service. Trust your sleep, as you
trust your waking, in Jesus.
(If we spend a third of our life sleeping then how great it would be to spend that íextraí third
These are just some ideas. There are lots more. Pray on it.