How Can I Grow As A Christian?

The tagline for this site is “Seeking First the Kingdom of God.” Why is it important? Because when we don’t, our growth comes to a halt and other people will have a harder time seeing Jesus in us.

Why can’t they see him? What makes it harder?

Struggling because you don’t know where to start? Is that it? Without a mentor or small group to walk with us, we will struggle. Be involved in a church. It is important. Not just attending, but being active in it.

Life’s distractions hurt us, too. It’s hard to fit Jesus into it all. We try, or give up, it’s too difficult. We tell ourselves “I can’t do it.”

You’re right. You cannot. You don’t have to.

The Power Inside

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2nd Peter 1:3-4 NIV

The energy and ability is inside us. The Holy Spirit is working through us at this moment. Our evidence of this is the qualities the Bible calls the Fruits of the Spirit. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help, teach and remind us (John 14:17-23). The effectiveness and power we get from Jesus is how we glorify God.

Plants don’t grow from a force of will. They need nutrients from the soil. The Spirit grows the godliness in us, breaking us free.

What Can I Do

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 2nd Peter 1:5 NIV

Supplementing faith? Isn’t salvation based only on faith?

Yes. Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us it’s by faith alone, and that faith itself is given to us by God. It ends with “so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” The deeds are the result of salvation.

It’s saving faith we’re to add to. Continually pursue Jesus, making Him first in your life. By trusting he’ll grow you into the person you can be.

What Growth Looks Like

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. 2nd Peter 1:5-7

Moral excellence should be noticed in you. It’s not even a matter of keeping rules. The desire to sin is actually lessening. The iron grip it had is weakening. Learning about Christ increases our knowledge about Him, deepening our relationship with Him. For reference, go back to my post on the disciplines. These insights and understanding, teaming up with self-control, will add an enduring patience to your character.

You’ll notice that you don’t get worked up as easily anymore. For the curious, read Galatians 5:16-26. It’ll help you understand God’s work in you. That awe of the changes sparks the realization that God is at work everyday, not only Sundays.

Anger’s fading hold is replaced by a fondness of others. You can relate to them better, caring for them. You act for their good rather than your gain. That’s the agape love we learned about.  All flowing from your continuing relationship with Jesus.

Why Does It Matter

 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. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2nd Peter 1:8-9 NIV

We can live a godly life because of these virtues we gain from Christ (John 15:1-4), enabling us to impact other’s lives. Forgetting that connection, when Jesus cleansed us of sin, ending its power over us is dangerous. We think we can’t change and slip back into old patterns. Still making an impact, just the wrong one.

What’s The Result
Growth
Growth

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 1: 10-12

Rely on Jesus, follow him, he earned that trust when he saved you. In seeking first the Kingdom and His righteousness, you will be in the center of God’s will. Continuing in these virtues will keep you from stumbling, your life serving as a testimony to others. You won’t be sinless, but if you’re not sinning less, then you need to check if you’re truly following Christ.

This will keep us from skating into Heaven smelling like smoke (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). By showing the world who we follow, and loving others as He did, we’ll get to hear the Creator of everything tell us He’s proud of us.

All because we kept our focus on Him. Like a plant turning towards the Sun, we look to the Son and grow as Christ-Followers.

What are your thoughts about this?

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