There are some very foundational habits that need to be created in every Christian if they wish to grow in Christ, and share the Good News. These habits are the foundation for boldness, because as you do these things you will progressively become sanctified, and with this sanctification, which never ends, you will become more and more bold in your faith. In fact, you may consider it more fact than faith, since the Truth will dwell within you like blood rushing through your veins.
The foundational habits are: Prayer, reminding yourself of who you really are, daily reading and meditating on the Word, weekly Bible groups, Sunday worship, mission work and ministry within your Church, and evangelizing or witnessing. Praying is the most important habit you can develop. The more you pray, the more you commune with God. The more you commune with God, the stronger your relationship will be with Him, with others, and yourself.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
To love God you must commune with God, and judging from that verse there is a lot of communing to be done. So speak to Him often. Be mindful of Jesus as much as possible. Prayer is not just for your morning prayers, before you eat, or before you go to bed. Praying should be as close to 24/7/365 as possible. Paul states in Philippians 4:6
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
While you pray, ask for divine appointments and promptings. The Holy Spirit will guide you, and the more you are in communion with God, the more clearly the promptings will be.
In just about every lesson on evangelizing I mention how important it is to understand who you are. John 1:3 states “God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” See Lesson 1 regarding our true identity. Make it a habit to meditate on this. We belong to Jesus first, then we belong to this world, which we serve through our roles as parents, spouses, friends, employers, employees, etc.
As a child of God you need to focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). Keep your spirits lifted, let nothing and no one rob you of your Joy. Thinking of the Gospel and how it affects you is something true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, so do this often.
There are two important reasons maintaining a good attitude. One is, life is designed to be Joyous, so be Joyous. The other reason is, no one wants to give their life to Jesus from an invitation of some sour-puss. People want to deal with people who have an authentic Joyous attitude, which is provided only by Jesus, through a restricted license He holds. Only He and His loved one have access to this Joy, and only they can give it away. Other cheap imitations do not last. You have to get genuine Joy from the original and only Joy maker – Jesus.
So, pick up a Bible and start to read it, but put no time restraints on it. Do not force yourself to finish a Gospel in one week. Sit with a pad of paper and a Bible commentary and take your time to dig into each verse you read. The pad of paper is for the notes and thoughts you will have on a verse, and the Bible commentary helps you see what Bible scholars have explained about the scripture. As well, a study bible is helpful in that it provides biographies, timelines, outlines of the book you are reading, and other information relevant to context of the authors purpose.
A great starting point for reading the Bible is the Gospel of Mark because it is short and filled with plenty of action. I also suggest getting an easy version to read. I use the New Living Translation because it captures the essence of the original scripture, but makes it very easy to understand. Another wonderful thing you will find when studying the Word, is how you can see many references to Jesus through the prophecies in the Old Testament. It can be at times very eerie reading words spoken through prophesy 100’s of years earlier. It is also so compelling to the Truth about Jesus Christ.
A critical part of exponential growth in Christ are weekly Bible studies, where you meet with Church members at Church or at someone home and study the Bible together. There are many studies that you can purchase, and when you study with a group, what you glean from one another will propel you in your understanding of scripture. I do not care how many times I can read a verse in the Bible, I know that someone will have a new or added insight to the verse that increase my depth of understanding. It is truly amazing and I am not sure how else to explain the importance of Bible studies. Without Bible study your spiritual growth will be stumped. Don’t let this happen. If you want to go from a flickering flame to a blazing fireball then you need to get into a Bible study… Now! If you had a winning lottery ticket, would you cash it in? Well, you have one in Bible studies, so cash in.
Sunday worship is also very important, because it is a time where we focus on the sole purpose of worshiping Jesus. This is time where we spend with our brothers and sisters in worship and thanks to Jesus. Yes, there is fellowship, and we make requests to Jesus for things in our lives, but we are there for one primary purpose, to give thanks and recognize Jesus as Lord.
Mission work and ministry will help us build up our boldness at a very fast pace. Doing work for Jesus and with His children creates new friendships in our lives, but also builds up a new purpose in our lives. It replaces the self-centered goals we established for ourselves, with Jesus’ will in our lives. Through our missions we will find that our personal goals can be used for His Glory, which is more important. Think about how your passions can be used for expanding His Kingdom.
So we have discussed prayer, dwelling on our true nature and all that is good and beautiful in this world, studying the Word, Bible studies, corporate worship on Sundays, and mission and ministry. You have heard of the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, well this is six habits of highly effective Christians. Be effective and be bold.