Living as a Christian

Jesus summed up the most important things in life as this:

' Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, love your neighbour as yourself.' (Luke 10 verse 27)

Loving God comes more naturally as we get to know more about Him. This involves many different things, but especially praying, studying the Bible, and belonging to a local church. You can find out more about prayer here.

Taking time with the Bible is like exploring a library full of all sorts of remarkable books! Some parts of the Bible are easy to understand - the story of the life of Jesus in Luke' s Gospel is a good place to start. Other parts are more challenging, but the more we read and become familiar with the Bible, the more we will find it starts to change the way we live, the way we view life and the way we respond to other people.

Living as a Christian was never something Jesus expected people to do all alone. From the very start, Jesus called a group of followers and friends to be with him and to be with one another. God designed us, and human beings need other people around them, to encourage and support them. Christians need other Christians around them, and that' s what the local church is for. It' s a collection of varied, different, wonderful and sometimes infuriating people, all with gifts and personalities that God wants to bring together to live for Him in this world.

But the church is not just about the people who join in - it' s also about Jesus joining with us. As they meet to worship, and especially sharing bread and wine in the Holy Communion, so Christians discover Jesus there with them, encouraging and inspiring.

Most churches meet on a Sunday morning, but that' s just part of what they do. There are all sorts of other things, like study groups, prayer together, and action together to show God' s love to other people around. You can find details of your local parish church at a church near you website.

As we discover how much God loves us, we are almost certainly going to start to view those around us differently - God loves them too. Living as a Christian involves loving other people around us, close by and also further afield. Jesus made it clear that our neighbour is not just the person living next door. You may already know the story he told about somebody who discovered who his neighbour was, but it' s always worth reading again, in Luke 10 verses 30-37. Christians are active in nearly all charities and relief organisations, and Christian faith comes alive as we put it into action.

If we' ve found something exciting, the last thing we should do is keep it to ourselves! Faith grows as we share it with others. It's great to let them in on the good news of what God has been doing in our lives. Living as a Christian means being a witness, ready to let others know what we have discovered about Jesus and the church, and encouraging them to find out more too.