Growing In The Word

New Growth

James 1: 22.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

I wonder if we’re familiar with those who go on about their faith, yet leave us confused by their actions? Somehow, what they say and what they do contradict each other. I wonder too, about ourselves? What about it?  Does our life cause confusion for another member of the family or within the body of Christ? Could we be a stumbling block for some, or have some caused us to stumble along the way?

To be doers of the word is to actively make changes in our lives according to the truth we hear. If we hear the truth that God is our gracious, heavenly Father who alone gives us our worth and if we truly believe it, then we must live like it, not just say it. The Psalmist in Psalm 119: 7 says,….”As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will “thank” You by living as I should.”

Alright then…How do we live it? Of course, it’s an ongoing process of growing into maturity with Christ. Daily, we have to allow our habits, thoughts, words, and actions to be changed, renewed, or transformed. We must do an about-face, turning from greed, envy, grumbling, criticism, revenge, and “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness” as James 1:21 reveals. The way we think about ourselves, the way we treat others, what we do with our time, our money, our lifestyle and our overall outlook and attitude towards life need to be measured against God’s goodness and grace. If we hang on to sinful ways and refuse to let them fall away from us we are not believing that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. We live in compromise with a divided mind. We say we trust but we do not. We merely lie to ourselves and deceive others as well.

If we have asked Jesus to forgive us and if we truly repent, for sure we are Christians and covered by His blood. That’s His promise of salvation to us. He doesn’t go back on His Word, and He doesn’t fail us. But if a baby is just born into this world and isn’t fed or talked to, growth won’t happen and death will occur. It’s the same for a Christian. Just to be born into God’s family is only the first step! Growth is an ongoing process and yes, it’s a lifetime of leaning on God and actively hearing and doing as we learn from Him. We will never reach perfection because we are just so human but In God’s infinite wisdom He knows that and that’s why He covers us with His vast and lavish grace, ready to forgive and set us back on track when we fall.

#Safeinahardplace

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An Effective Testimony?

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2 Peter 1:5-8

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and …to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Peter stresses growth and spiritual maturity in the believer’s life!! It’s a fact that new life requires growth to follow, or death is sure. If a newborn baby fails to grow, it fails to thrive and develop and such failure immediately sends out the warning signals and the message that there is cause for concern and we need to get to the bottom of it. New life in Christ is no different. Spiritual life requires a visible, ongoing process and progress of growth and such growth will be evident in the way we live our lives and in the way we behave. If a believer fails to show signs of change, it is cause for concern and as Christ’s disciples we need to come alongside to love, support, nurture and pray for their spiritual well being!

What about personally? Are we happy with our own spiritual progress? If we ourselves are lacking in the qualities of excellence in behavior, self-control, perseverance, or love for others it should send out warning signals as to our spiritual state. Perhaps our spiritual growth has slowed, or come to a standstill because of distractions and sin in our lives, cutting off sweet fellowship with our Lord. Let’s be challenged today to make every effort to grow in Christ through the power of His word and the power of prayer.

Let His grace embrace you, saturate you and fill you to overflowing so that you will be an effective testimony to the saving knowledge and grace of God.