In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Whenever you begin a new job, you have to start somewhere. Depending on your experience, you usually start by getting to know the basics of what you will be doing. Begin with the simple day-to-day responsibilities and work your way to more advanced things from there. If you have ever been in the military, you likely started with Basic Training, where you get shipped off to a training facility far from home and spend 10 weeks or so getting the basics of military life drilled into your head and body. You learn how to get in shape, get along with strangers, clean and fire your weapon, and most importantly learn the chain of command and to follow orders from your superiors. Granted, I have not been through the military basic training experience, but have heard much from my brother, wife, and other friends who have. You learn a lot in a short amount of time. Where would you struggle most with this today?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
If someone were to ask you what the basics of Christianity were, what would you say? You may relate God, the story of creation, the Fall, Sin and the need for redemption, Jesus and the Crucifixion, and maybe a few other highlights. You could go into detail on any number of these, but maybe when relating the big picture to someone who has never head it before, you have to start somewhere. When I was growing up, almost weekly we said aloud the words to the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed, which sums up what we believe, and is still a good representation. For centuries, small instructional books such as Luther’s Small Catechism or the Heidelberg Catechism have been used to help inform young believers of the basics of faith. There are children’s bibles, study guides, and thousands of sermons available online, so we are not lacking for resources, but may not know the best place to start. What else would you add to the basic Christian handbook?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
What are the basics to Christian living? Is there a summary of how we should live day to day as Christians? Love one another and always seek to do good? Are there things we should be doing every day as well? If you ever spend time with a Christian family, you notice a few things they may do and not do that stand out. I would propose 3 basic things each of us should be doing on a regular basis as Christians. First, going to God in prayer daily is most beneficial, both individually and with others. Second, we should be reading or listening to the Word as a constant reminder of how to live. Third, we should be meeting with other Christians regularly. Having a mentor, or mentoring others is a great way to keep your spiritual live in constant check and to have someone to get feedback. Having solid Christian friends or a pastor to go to with questions or concerns is a core part of developing community. If we do these things regularly, we continue to grow and help others to do the same. May you experience joy and blessings as you do!
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
Yours in Christ,