The thing that makes for greatness is determination, persisting in the same direction over the long haul. Success is the result of a long, painful, arduous, sometimes sacrificial process. In our world of instant everything these are not popular traits, but they lead to excellence.
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
There’s nothing wrong with dividing up your life into pieces and sometimes emotions need to be dealt with at a later time, once you’ve gained perspective or gone for help. But know that God wants to be a part of your everyday life.
When we’re reproved our egos are threatened and we become defensive. What if instead of protecting ourselves we committed to becoming more like Christ? When we desire to be like Him we welcome reproof.
Who else could He be? There is no one else qualified to grant forgiveness but Jesus. There is no one other than Christ who will stay closer to you when everyone or everything is stripped from you.
It’s difficult to make sacrifices and give others our time, possessions, and money. But it’s in the giving we learn to rely on God instead of ourselves and it’s in the process we learn faith.
If you want to be a person of integrity, think about the consequences of sin rather than its pleasures and focus on Christ each and every day.
May your time with God include us more than ever in your prayers. One of these days in the not-too-distant future, we will know the Father’s perfect will for us, which, by the way, will also be His perfect will for this church we love and serve.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? How do you perceive yourself? Someone has said, “Perceptions are reality.” Someone else said, “Whatever you think you are—you are!”
Here is a bold statement: If you see yourself as a sinner, saved by grace, you will sin and your Christian life will be mediocre at best. You will be riddled with guilt and open to Satan’s attack along that line. In other words, what we believe about ourselves determines our behaviour. One of Satan’s most successful schemes is that of keeping Christians ignorant of their true identity in Christ.
How do you know when you’ve grown up? One sure sign is your ability to control your tongue.