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Every day that we live, we make hundreds of choices. From the little things to the big ones, we are constantly making decisions, choosing to do one thing and not others. On what basis do we make these choices? Whether we consciously think about it or not, every decision is made by reference to some standard. There is always some criterion by which we judge what we’ll do. Together, the standards by which a person decides his conduct constitute his “value system.” That being true, a person’s choice of value system is one of the most important choices in his life.
One way to look at Christianity is to look at it as a very special value system. The Christian decides his conduct — every single bit of it — by a unique standard, one that sets him apart from every person who is not a Christian. And that standard, of course, is Christ Himself. Everything the Christian does is done “as to the Lord.” Christ is the criterion by which the Christian makes every decision in his or her life.
Speaking to Christians in the first century, many of whom who were servants or slaves, Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23,24 NKJV). The fact that the Christian always serves Christ means that he will seek to do the honorable thing in every situation. And not only will he do the right thing, he’ll do it with the right attitude and in the right manner. His work will be of the highest quality that he is capable of producing — because it is to Jesus Christ that he is offering that work.
Do you wish to wear the name “Christian” (Ac. 11:26)? If so, Christ must be the standard by which you make every decision. His purpose is to reign in love and wisdom over every aspect of your life, not only on Sunday but on Monday through Saturday as well. Paul said it this way: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17 NKJV). If Jesus Christ is our “Lord,” that means He has the authority to govern our conduct. And what He desires is not simply some of our time and some of our actions. He desires our hearts — our whole hearts.
Monday: Acts 11:19-26
Key Idea: Christ’s importance to His followers is indicated by their wearing the name “Christian.”
Questions for Family Growth: In v.21, to whom had some in Antioch “turned”? In v.24, to whom were they “added”? What are some reasons why the term “Christian” (v.26) is such an appropriate name for the disciples of Jesus?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:15,16.
Tuesday: Galatians 2:20
Key Idea: The life which the Christian lives is lived by faith in Jesus Christ.
Questions for Family Growth: If we are not executed or put to death physically for being a Christian, what does it mean to be “crucified with Christ”? How does Christ live “in” us? How does the Christian “live by faith”? What does it mean to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:17,18.
Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
Key Idea: The Christian brings every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Questions for Family Growth: What would you say are some ways that “carnal” warfare and “spiritual” warfare are different? What does it mean to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (NKJV)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:19,20.
Thursday: Colossians 3:17
Key Idea: Whatever we do, we do it all “in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Questions for Family Growth: How much of the Christian’s life should be governed by the principle in Col. 3:17: just our “religious” behavior or all that we do? In practical terms, how can we determine whether or not a thing can be done “in the name of the Lord”?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:21,22.
Friday: Colossians 3:23,24
Key Idea: Whatever we do, we do it “as to the Lord and not to men.”
Questions for Family Growth: What would it mean for a person to do what he does “as to the Lord” (NKJV)? Would we do a better job if we knew we were doing things to the Lord Himself? What did the Lord teach in Mt. 25:31-46.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:23-25.