As we meet the basic requirements of walking by faith; confessing Christ (Romans 10:9), being planted in a church (Acts 2:47), choosing to make a firm commitment to Christ (baptism) Acts 19:4 and finding our role within ministry(2 Peter 1:10); we must still daily make an effort to grow in grace and the knowledge of God (Isaiah 58:2a). We must give all diligence to our faith according to 2 Peter 1:5-8; we need to do this by adding the characteristics found there. Virtue must be added to our faith. Knowledge must be added to our faith. Self-control (temperance) must be added to our faith. Patience must be added to our faith. Godliness must be added to our faith. Brotherly kindness must be added to our faith. Love must be added to our faith. We will never achieve the productivity and usefulness to the Kingdom of God and service to our Lord Jesus Christ without these characteristics. Our walk with Jesus continues to go uphill and if we are not diligent, prayerful, repentant and obedient to the Word of God, we will fall away from our blameless walk (I Thessalonians 5:23).
This instruction goes to everyone, whomever you are, who desires to consistently grow in grace and the knowledge of God. You who know you have decided to follow Jesus and not look back. You who have invested time and energy into a relationship with Jesus Christ and are committed to HIM beyond the usual commitments of going to church, reading the bible, having devotions and partaking of church roles, for example an usher, choir member, nurse, church mother, etc. Those who have decided that the Word of God is true, and that it is meant to make a difference in their lives. Those who want to know what God says regarding a matter so they can do what HE says, not what they feel they should be able to do. This instruction is not for those who say, “I just want to go to heaven.”
Search your heart and see if you are the person I am writing to now. If you wonder and have uncertainty, but you want to be someone who desires to consistently grow in grace and the knowledge of God. Maybe you aren’t sure you have decided to follow Jesus and not look back. Maybe you are unsure of your investment of time and energy into a relationship with Jesus Christ and your commitment to HIM. You can pray right now and ask for Our Father to give you the heart to desire HIM above all else. Thank HIM for doing it by faith and believe it is done in Jesus’ name! I agree with your prayer, so be it! Now you are the person to whom I am writing. You are now ready to receive the instruction of one who is committed to HIM beyond the usual commitments of going to church, but you are seeking a relationship with Our Lord and Savior. Jesus, Christ. You need to know this!
The four ways to grow in your walk with Jesus Christ might be familiar to you, they might not be familiar to you. I just want to tell you what they are and briefly discuss them. The first one is to realize that each day with Jesus is an adventure – it will vary and Jesus has permission to lead you, guide you, help you, use you for HIS Glory and to HIS praise. Each day is filled with new things; mercies and faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22 – 23). New supplies (Ezra 6:4). New wine- symbolic of the Holy Spirit. (Nehemiah 13: 5 & 12). New songs and new music (Psalm 33:3 & 40:3). There are new things that Our Father will do. (Isaiah 42:9; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 48:6). The Lord will give us a new name. (Isaiah 62:2) There is even a new heaven and a new earth. (Isaiah 65:17 and Isaiah 66:22) There are more new things that God will do. HE is God, HE doesn’t change, but our situations and circumstances change often. Walking with Jesus is an adventure due to the new places, the new situations, the new circumstances, the new ideas and new understanding we gain from HIM. This is what makes walking with Jesus an adventure. HE will take us where HE chooses (the best place) to go, the best view of our life situation and circumstances. HE will go with us into every place and HE tells us to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify the Father. (Matthew 5:16). Are we there yet?
We must realize that we are not our own, we have been bought with a price. (I Corinthians 6:20) Our body and our spirit belong to Jesus. We need to learn to incorporate HIS Word into every area of our lives. We need to pray to do this. We need to seek HIM to see our lives begin to transform into what HE said they should be. We need HIS instruction (Proverbs 1:2-3), HIS direction (Proverbs 3:6 and 11:5), HIS leadership (Psalm 25:5 and 61:2), HIS guidance (Psalm 32:8 and Isaiah 58:11) It is HIS Word that contains all of these and so many other components of HIS will for us. HE tells us in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. We need to incorporate HIS Word into our thoughts, our judgments, our financial dealings and the paying of tithes and the giving of offerings. We need to do the things we do the way HE says do them. We need faith to see HIS Will be done on earth as it is in heaven and to obey the instruction found in Matthew 5:16, …”Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” When we realize that we need to incorporate Jesus’ Word into our lives and experiences so that we are no longer choosing to do what we think is best but are seeking to do what is best for the performance of HIS good pleasure and to see HIS Kingdom come and for us to see HIS will done. HIS will is what is best for all of HIS people and the people in the world will see God’s people and give God glory. How are we doing?
Our experience with Our Father as we submit ourselves to HIM must be a daily occurrence. As we encounter HIM, surrender to HIS Word, we will seek HIM every day. (Exodus 13:22). HE set the example of HIS daily Presence. HE set the example of HIS daily Provision. (Exodus 16:35; (Psalm 78:14). He instructs us in HIS Word to meditate on HIS Word Day and night. (Joshua 1:8). HIS Word makes us prosperous. It makes us successful, and it reminds us of HIS Promises, HIS commands to meditate in the Word day and night are for our benefit and they are given to bless us as we walk with HIM.
We must also realize that our new creature still has memories of the past. We must put things in the proper perspective and let go of what was. (Philippians 3:13-15). We are still becoming all that the New creature in Christ has to develop into for maturity. Our choice to focus daily on our Walk with Jesus will give us strength to obtain all that HE has determined that we will do for the day as we walk with HIM. (II Corinthians 5:17 – 18).
God provides all we need to walk with Jesus. We are not perfect. We are always loved and always HIS. When we don’t live up to the standard HE set, if we confess our sins we are forgiven and cleansed of them. (I John 1:9) We can repent of (turn from sin to God) any time we need to do so. We have each other to lean on and be helped and strengthened by. We can walk with Jesus in community and alone. HE decides what we need. Provides what we need and gives us what we need to obey HIM.