September 30, 2015

Your Faith Box: SoYou Have Been Saved, NOW WHAT?

Huh? You mean there is more? Believe it or not, being saved is the easy part. Now you are a Christian, a child of God and the real work begins!

Paul wrote to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 13:11 HCSB) “…Become mature…” They were encouraged to grow in their faith and their understanding of the new relationship they had in Christ. While Paul encouraged the Corinthians to grow in their faith, he knew it would not be easy. He knew they would be affected by the world around them. He knew they would have cause to question this new faith. He knew they would not understand everything. Knowing these these things he wrote to encourage them. He wrote to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13:9-12 HCBS)

We come into the spiritual family of God much like we come into the physical world; fresh, full of wonder and curiosity, a blank sheet. That blank sheet begs to be written filled and so we grow.
Little children grow and develop as they learn new exciting aspects of the mature life. We continue to learn as we age and as we age we naturally grow into maturity. And like children, new Christians grow as we learn more about what it means to be a member of the family of God.

But growing in the faith is not like growing physically except in one very real aspect. Just as something might interrupt physical growth such as disease, accidents, even death, our spiritual growth can be interrupted as well. As a new Christian, we turn from our old life to a new life. But we still have our old habits to overcome. These old habits can be as strong as any addiction; our old habits still exert a strong pull on us; pulling us away from our new life in Christ. The old relationships, the old language, the old places, the old thoughts and attitudes, the old objectives may, if we are not careful, chip away at our new life in Christ. Discussions with non Christians who delight in questioning our faith, can cause doubt to grow and slowly put a wedge between us and God. Preachers call this “the ways of the World” and admonish you “be in the World, but not of the World”.

Jesus understood this perfectly. He knew it was not easy to grow. A lot depends on the soil into which we have been planted and the careful attending we have received. In Luke 8:8-15 (HCBS),
Jesus told the people a parable about sowing seeds, something to which they could relate.
I encourage you to read all of this parable, especially Jesus’ meaning of the story beginning in verse 12.

“…The seed is the Word of God. The seed along the path are those who have heard and then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts,
so they may not believe and be saved.

And the seed on the rock are those who, when they hear, welcome the Word with joy. Having no root, they believe for a while
and depart in a time of testing.

As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life.And produce no mature fruit.

But the seed in the good ground – these are the ones who, having heard the Word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.”

It is my prayer, you will be the ones who hear the Word and accept it and hold on to it tightly and mature s you bear abundant fruit. My next few posts will discuss holding on to the Word.

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