How can we show our love and appreciation for God?
For starters, we must spend time with Him daily by immersing ourselves in His Word. Reading the Bible daily has many benefits; one of which is to understand God’s instructions for our lives. If we don’t read it regularly, how can we understand what God expects of us?
We should pray often, and the main focus should be on benefits for others. If we spend most of our time praying for what we “want,” how is that loving our God?
Serve others. We must put our love into action. If we were to see someone in desperate need, and all we said to them was that we hope they receive help and that will be thinking of them, that is not acceptable. Words are cheap. “Faith without works is dead.” ~ James 2:17
Share our testimony. Who needs to hear our story? Look for opportunities to share your faith with those who need it… today.
According to theologian Charles W. Stanley, to become spiritually mature we must first acknowledge any detrimental thoughts, and then we must surrender this sin to the Lord. We must embrace God’s word. This is the path that leads to spiritual maturity.
Here are some steps we can take to gain spiritual maturity.
Read the Bible daily. How can we know what God wants for us in our life if we don’t read His Word daily? The book is our instructions for life. The Holy Bible is for following God and for avoiding pitfalls.
Put His Word into action. It’s one thing to gain knowledge. It’s another to actually put that knowledge into action. “Faith with action is lost.” ~ James 2:17
Commune with other believers. When we are around other believers, irons ends up sharpening iron.
Watch what we consume. That includes content on television, smart phones, etc. Garbage in, garbage out. If you wouldn’t watch the content with your grandmother, then think twice (or three times) about consuming it.
The Lord’s Prayer Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus’ model for prayer, comes from the Book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9-13. Charles Stanley broke down the pattern for prayer that Jesus set as an example for all of us. First, we call on the Lord’s name (an invocation) and acknowledge that He is all powerful. Let His will be done.
Secondly, we bring our petitions to the Lord. Give us this day everything we need (our daily bread). We ask for forgiveness. We ask for help in forgiving others, and we ask for protection against temptation. One day at a time.
The final section, according to Stanley, is a doxology. We acknowledge His power over all the earth and our personal lives. He is Lord and Master and no one else.
Author Marshall Goldsmith wrote an excellent book a few years ago named Triggers – Creating the Behavior That Lasts. The first part of the book was kind of a slow read, and honestly, I wasn’t sure I was getting much out of it. But that changed with the second half of the best-selling book.
Goldsmith dived into the power of ‘active’ questions. Instead of asking yourself passive questions about your day or your accomplishments, or lack thereof, he recommended the need for active questions as well as doing this with an accountability partner.
The author arrived at a list of 22 action questions that his accountability partner would ask him at the end of day. These included:
Did I do my best to set clear goals?
Did I do my best to make progress towards goal achievement?
Did I do my best to be happy?
Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
Did I do my best to learn something new?
Did I do my best to be grateful for what I have?
Did I do my best to avoid proving I’m right when it’s not worth it?
Did I do my best to say or do something nice for [insert name]?
Did I do my best to exercise?
So, start today. Come up with 10 items and evaluate your performance based on “Did I do my best?” It may be a sobering test but life changing.
“The Lord reached down from above and took me; he pulled me from the deep water.” ~ 2 Samuels 22:17
Sometimes we bring about our own troubles. Recently I made the ‘mistake’ of posting my opinion on social media. It was an opinion some people didn’t agree with, and some of them disagreed with me harshly. I took the brunt of their criticism.
This was painful as it came from some people in the same industry from which I work. Some of the criticism came from people that I didn’t expect. If I had kept my mouth shut from the beginning, none of this would have happened, however I felt I was speaking out against something that is wrong. Something that needs to be corrected. It didn’t matter to them. They didn’t see the issue the same way I saw it.
Jesus was attacked many times. He was called a fraud. A deceiver. A liar. A coward. He was called every name in the book. He was tempted by others to save himself, or to lash back at his accusers. He did neither. Jesus kept this eyes focused on the Father. He persevered and he accomplished his mission, and the world was changed forever.
HAVE YOU READ?
Diagnosis – Rare Disease by Denise Crompton. This amazing book tells the stories of 13 incredible families. Don’t miss it.
This is the gripping and moving story of a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder in which a person has a third copy of material from chromosome 18. “I Am Not a Syndrome – My Name is Simon” by Trisomy mom Sheryl Crosier details the struggle of her son Simon from the early stages of pregnancy to his life here on earth for 88 1/2 days… read on about Simon.
What are we collecting? What are we working for? What are our top priorities? A good gauge is figuring out what we spend the majority of our free time on. That can be a tough pill to swallow, especially for those of us who are well intended but often don’t execute.
“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” ~ Matthew 6:19-20
We know that we don’t get into heaven via good works. But as Christians, it is our duty to honor God and honor our faith and act accordingly. Every day we should strive to make a difference. If we are just living for ourselves, what kind of Christian are we?
But Jesus told him “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ~ Matthew 4:4
Are you reading the Holy Bible every day? If not, make a point to start on one book of the Holy Bible and read through it in one week’s time. A book like Romans is a good starting point as there are many vital lessons for life presented there by Paul.
Another idea is with Proverbs. That book of the Old Testament has 31 chapters. There are, of course, 31 days in most months. One chapter a day for one month.
Are the words from the “mouth of God” worth 5 to 10 minutes of your time each day? Start today.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God.” ~ Galatians 1:10
We all want to please God. As Christians we would certainly like to be considered servants of God. The hands and feet of Christ. But are we living that way? Are we more concerned about what others think or what God thinks?
I know that I’ve spent the majority of my life worrying way too much about what other people think of me and my actions. When our faith is strong and our vision is focused on the Eternal, we can more easily dismiss move past that flaw and live our lives without hindrances.
Whom do we want to please? The Maker of the universe or man?
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” ~ Luke 21:34 [NIV version]
In this verse the Lord is warning us to be careful how we live our lives. If we aren’t mindful about this, we may get worn down by the anxieties of life. It’s happened to all of us at some point.
What is it that you are doing, or not doing, that is leading to anxiety? Are you spending too much time surfing the internet, scrolling through social media sites, or conversing/arguing with strangers online?
Maybe it is time to replace that activity with more time spent with God’s word.
I saw a great meme on Facebook. Don’t say God is silent when your bible is closed. Open the bible today, every day, and hear what God has to say in your life.
Sharpen your faith. Be careful how you spend the hours of your day.
As Christians if we have a strong foundation built on Christ’s word, then we are much less likely to be deceived. In today’s culture it is very easy to be deceived and start thinking right is wrong and wrong is right.
To do this we have to start filling our mind each and every day with God’s Truth. What is His truth? It is found in the Holy Bible. The book of Romans, written by St. Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) is jam-packed with the principles of Christian faith. It is a great source for deciphering what is truth in today’s culture and what is blatantly against God’s Word.
“In Him lie hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” ~ Colossians 2:3
Doesn’t everyone want an abundance of wisdom and knowledge? Not really. Many people, by their actions, prove every day that they are not interested in those vital attributes. I’ve been certainly guilty of that. However, as Christians we should strive to learn more each day. We do that by spending time in God’s Word. We learn it and we start putting into action.