Greetings: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! It is 2021.
Our opportunities in 2021 are tremendous. It is all about working together. That begins when we give ourselves to the Lord. Join with me and let God have His way.
Remember what Proverbs 3:5-6 says? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
In Max Lucado’s book, Gentle Thunder, He wrote, “For all its peculiarities and unevenness, the Bible has a simple story. God made man. Man rejected God. God won’t give up until He wins him back. From Moses in Moab to John on Patmos, the voice can be heard: ‘I am the pilot. You are the passenger. My job is to get you home. Your job is to do what I say.’ God will whisper. He will shout. He will touch and tug. He will take away our burdens; He will even take away our blessings. If there are a thousand steps between us and him, he will take all but one. But he will leave the final one for us. The choice is ours. Please understand. His goal is not to make you happy. His goal is to make you His.” 1
What am I saying? Think about it. Have you made your choice? How are you doing? This phrase is usually one of our first statements as we meet individuals. But what does it mean? Primarily, we are asking about their general being: health, family, and relationships. But for today, I want to know how you are doing spiritually. How is your “spiritual transformation”? Are you progressing toward spiritual maturity? Most people who are faithful Christians would probably answer, “Well, I think I am.” But how do you know? How do you measure this transformation in a person’s life? Well, I’m glad you asked.
There are eight factors at work in the lives of believers who are progressing in spiritual maturity. You can refer to them as the attributes of discipleship.
- Bible engagement
Transformation can be recognized in people when their minds are sharpened by the Bible, their perspectives are shaped by the Bible and their actions are directed by the Bible.
- Obeying God and denying self
Discipleship is the process of obedience to God. People progressing in their faith prioritize God’s desires over self-will. Transformation can be seen because they progressively set aside earthly delights for Kingdom priorities.
- Serving God and others
Just as Jesus said He had come to serve and not be served, so must believers. Transformation is evident when personal needs, and even life goals, are set aside for the needs we see in others.
- Sharing Christ
Inherent in being a disciple of Christ is the making of other disciple makers for Christ. Even with the need to live out the effects of the gospel, maturing believers know speaking about the message is a necessity.
- Exercising faith
Maturing believers know the importance of living by faith as opposed to living by personal faith. Transformation is seen when risk aversion is set aside, and lives are characterized by faithful obedience to God’s will.
- Seeking God
People become disciples of Christ because they intend to follow Him and become like Him. A continuous hunger should arise from this life. Transformation is seen when our desire is to know God more deeply and experience His work more fully.
- Building relationships
Our faith is personal, but it is not intended to be private. Jesus established the church for collective good and our collective growth. As believers, our horizontal relationships with others should develop just as our vertical relationship with God does.
Transformation is evident when a believer is unashamed in presenting his own life as being aligned with Christ.
So, how are you doing? The adage is “if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
Standing on His Promises,