Thursday, March 14, 2013

List for Christian Growth

2 Peter 1:5-11

What a list of things we need to be working on.  And, I believe we need to be working on them simultaneously.  It's not a matter of "oh, faith, I've got that one down.  No need to work on it anymore."  I don't think we can ever feel completely satisfied with where we are this side of Heaven.  Perfection is coming, but not until we get to Heaven.  That doesn't mean we beat ourselves up, but it does mean we keep working and striving to be what God calls us to be.  When we are saved by grace, it doesn't mean we get to sit back, live however we want, and coast through the rest of our lives here on Earth.  Salvation is a free gift of God's grace, that's true.  We can't do anything to earn it.  However, receiving the gift of salvation makes us want to follow God and obey His commands.

The Life Application Study Bible says:  "Faith must be more than belief in certain facts: it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline, or it will die away (James 2:14-17)  Peter lists several of faith's actions: learning to know God better, developing perseverance, doing God's will, loving others.  These actions do not come automatically; they require hard work.  They are not optional; all of them must be a continual part of Christian life. We don't finish one and start on the next, but we work on them all together.  God empowers and enables us, but He also gives us the responsibility to learn and to grow.  We should not be suprised at or resentful of the process."

Here is the list from the VOICE Bible:
Affection for others as sisters and brothers

It's important to be continually working on all of these.  But, if you don't have at least a grasp on the first ones in the list, can you successfully practice those at the bottom of the list like love?  Maybe we have trouble having affection for each other or showing love because we haven't begun to work on the ones above.  What do you think?  Which causes you the most trouble?  Any great ideas on how to continually work on all of these?

This happened to be my verse of the day from Bible Gateway.  I'm convinced there are no coincidences and that God must want me to focus on this right now.  It was yet another great reminder that "We are not passive observers of God's saving actions.  We must receive His grace, grow in knowledge, and join Him in this work of redemption."

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Thanksgiving for today
616.  Sunshine
617.  Great walking weather
618.  Slowing us down long enough we didn't get to the intersection at the exact time as the car
619.  Empty lunch dishes
620.  Less shedding
621.  Time alone
622.  Feeling prepared

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