So Simple | The Gym

So Simple | The Gym

How does someone strengthen their faith?  Are we just supposed to read the Bible, pray, and go to church until Jesus comes back? No. A vibrant faith is a daily, active, and practical faith. It moves, breathes, grows, and conquers.  With the faith of so many either on life support or missing in action, it is vital that we learn to build our faith.

Hebrews 2:3 (NLT) So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?

Don’t Lose Your Faith. Salvation is the most important thing in the world. If you are one of the lucky few that find it or are rather found by it, embrace it and let it embrace you. 

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT) By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

Suit Up 

God’s Glory. God’s existence is good, glorious, and magnificent. His actions are also good, moral, pure, and worthy. His glory and excellence are the things that call us to Him. Have you ever seen something so beautiful, so captivating that you just had to inspect it further? That is how God captures our attention.

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God’s Promises. His promises are very precious. He saves and He forgives. The Kingdom, blessing, righteousness, provision, answers to prayer, and every good thing are among His many promises to those who pursue Him.

What does this world promise you that is so great? Money, fame, lust, and possessions aren’t really that fulfilling. What if you learned to live by God’s promises rather than the promises of a fading world? Besides, the world’s promises you have to earn. God’s promises are paid for by Him.

God’s Nature. We should also take into account His nature. His nature reveals the KIND of God He is. He is a God who is beyond your wildest imagination. You will never overestimate HIM. You will never expect too much, ask too much, or understand too much. He is the most amazing God.

2 Peter 1:5-9 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

Toughen Up

Responding. “Make every effort” – think of gathering your gear for a hike, camping trip, school day, or even a gym session. Gather up the promises. Get familiar with them. They are your equipment. Then respond to God’s promises. Christianity is responsive, not initiative. We walk in response to God, ever aware of His location and direction. We don’t pop off after our own thing. That’s how we get lost.

Growing. Peter, in the scripture above, gives us the building blocks of faith it seems.  They include excellence/character, knowledge, self-control, endurance, compassion, and unconditional love. Simple ideas, but not easy in practice. Growth is hard, and that is why it is no longer popular. You toughen up your faith by entering into difficult things. You grow by walking into new and uncomfortable situations. Are you ready to grow? Are you willing to grow? It’s true that growth is hard – but stagnation is worse.

Caring. How can we care for others? It is difficult to care for those we don’t understand or that we don’t like. The answer is serving. That is God’s desire for those of His Kingdom on earth. We can serve people just like His son served people. Jesus always demonstrates the WAY! Serving is how we change the world.

2 Peter 1:10-11 (NLT) So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Execute 

Fast. The phrase “work hard to prove” is filled with urgency. This is important. It pictures a person who knows what needs doing and does it with competence. Your faith is important, and it’s worthy of your focus and investment. We don’t just wander into a powerful faith. It’s built one day at a time. Certainly, there are breakthroughs that accelerate things but not without pursuit, focus, intensity, and desire.

Is your faith important to you? Why? Or Why not? You do understand what’s at stake?

Faithful. Consistency is critical. Do these things and you will never fall away. This is a marathon, not a sprint. One day at a time we are building and growing our faith. Don’t occasionally read the Bible. Keep reading it. Spend daily time thinking about its words. Serve others and bless people and keep serving. Simple faithfulness makes a difference.

Finish. There is a finish to this race. We are not working for the sake of work. It is for the sake of God’s glory and own. 

Colossians 3:4 (NLT) And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

“Well done my good and faithful servant.” That is where we are headed. That is our promise.

How Strong Is Your Faith

Weak faith is a product of no pursuit or no investment in it. This means you don’t see very much value in your faith. Why is that? It can’t be because Jesus hasn’t put much into it. What more could He have done for you? How could He have said He loves you anymore loudly or convincingly? It can only be because you have decided something else is worth more than your faith.