I got this outline from a Charles Stanley sermon. These biblical principles can help all of us who want to grow in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we work hard to instill these practices in our daily lives, we can live powerfully and effectively for the Lord.
#1—Prayer—Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” If Jesus felt the need to pray, how much more so should we? Prayer keeps us in tune with the Father and helps us stay on the path that he has chosen for us. We need to develop the habit of daily prayer.
#2—Faith—2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” Our faith is not only what saves us, it is what sustains us and helps us to keep on advancing confidently in a world filled with much uncertainty. Trusting that God is ultimately in control dispels anxiety and allows us to live confidently in the presence of the Lord.
#3—Meditate on God’s Word—In Psalm 119:15 we read, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” Of course, in order to meditate on God’s word, we first must have read it, studied it and committed it to memory. Our days quickly fill up with every kind of activity imaginable. How important it is that we carve out precious time every day to think deeply on some portion of the Bible! When we focus on God and his ways, the pressures of the world drift away and we are drawn closer to the mind of God.
#4—Obey God—Meditation on Scripture will be useless if we have no intention to do what it says! Deuteronomy 27:9 reminds us, “The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.” Nothing prevents us from obeying the Lord. It is our choice. Sometimes obedience is costly, but it always benefits us in the end. Let’s resolve to do what the Lord says and leave all the consequences to him.
#5—Depend on the Holy Spirit—Jesus promised that his followers would receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). We cannot possibly succeed in life if we trust solely on our own strength. But if we trust in the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in every believer, we can say along with the apostle Paul, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13).
#6—Give to God and Others—Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38). You can’t out-give God! If you are willing to give him your tithes and offerings and also to help those who are in need, God will provide for you. Let us not be content to give as little as possible. Let us always strive to be generous.
#7—Forgive others—Ephesians 4:32 urges us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” The reason we are to forgive those who sin against us is that God offers forgiveness to those (and this includes everyone!) who sin against him. Withholding forgiveness is damaging to the soul. We are never more like Jesus than when we forgive those who have done us wrong.
Let’s all work diligently to develop these habits in our lives as we strive to live for Jesus!