And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18)
All who have given their lives to Jesus Christ are on a spiritual journey. Daily we walk with our Lord. We read the Bible in which Jesus tells us and shows us the way to live life that is pleasing to Him. We pray. We worship. Hopefully, we increasingly obey God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s promptings in our lives. When we faithfully do these important things, we grow spiritually in the faith that began in our hearts when we were reborn.
However, we are not all at the same place. Some are new believers. Some are just tasting the ‘milk’ of God’s Word and digesting it. Still others are feasting on the ‘solid food’ of God’s Word and applying it to daily living (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). We share a common faith yet, we are at various locations on the journey. God’s perfect will for us is to grow in the faith.
On this page and from this page, we offer many resources that, we pray, will help you grow. First, we invite you to consider a few suggestions toward that end, followed by links to a substantial repository of resources designed to inform, challenge, and promote spiritual growth. Here are some specific suggestions of things you can do to grow in the faith. We urge you to work on these over the course of time. It may take a while, maybe a lifetime, but these will bear fruit in your spiritual life. Regardless of your level of maturity, please invest a few minutes in the following . . .
Read the Bible Every Day
Scripture is God’s Will revealed in the words and life of Jesus (the Living Word), as well as the inspired writings of people of faith across time (the written Word). The Apostle Paul defined scripture as follows, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). You simply cannot grow without consistently reading the Bible, meditating on what it says, and applying it to your life. Do this through devotional reading, intentional reading and study of books of the Bible, sitting under the teaching of those versed in God’s Word, and various other ways that take you deeper and help you grow stronger.
Develop a Meaningful Prayer Life
Prayer is your communication vehicle with God. We are encouraged to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). You talk with God; God talks with you. It is an ongoing conversation that does not necessarily occupy every second of every minute, but it is desired by God consistently. In prayer, you share your – praise and worship for God; confession of sin; thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings; and your requests of God. The things you ask for will be small and simple at first. As you grow in faith and realize that answers come according to the perfect Will of God, your requests should become bigger and bolder. James put it this way, “you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3). Pray any time, all the time.
Eliminate Sin and Wrong Behavior
Sin was the habit of our lives before Jesus was invited in. After we are born again of God’s Spirit, sin still rears its ugly head, but it should not have mastery over you. James 4:7-10 provides strong advice about humbly drawing close to God to find forgiveness and be lifted up. Paul said it this way, “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). And once you put it on, do not take it off. Do not go back to your old style of dress. “Let us live up to what we have already attained” (Philippians 3:16).
Forgive Others and be Forgiven
For some believers, this is very challenging. The fallen nature of humanity inflicts cruel speech and behavior that can stir bitterness and resentment within us. In that woundedness, forgiveness is difficult. Maybe that’s why Jesus taught us this principle in the Lord’s Prayer (parenthetical remarks inserted for emphasis), “Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who sin against us) . . . for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15). Those who apply and live out the words of Jesus will find God’s forgiveness and blessings. Those who cannot do this will not receive forgiveness and they will find their spiritual walks challenging to say the least. Be forgiving. Extend grace to others as God has extended it to you.
Be Thankful and Grateful
The world would be a better place if people, especially believers, complained less and extended gratitude more. Paul said to the believers at Thessalonica, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Some believers are not aware of this gift from God, just like the new believers in Ephesus, as recorded in the book of Acts, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So, Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. . . when Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:2-4, 6-7). The subject of being baptized in the Holy Spirit requires more explanation than we share here. You are encouraged to read Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Let the Fruit of the Spirit Show In Your Life
When you are filled with the Spirit of God, the nature of God will flow from you. The Apostle Paul shared this with the churches in the Roman province of Galatia, “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control . . . since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 25). These nine Fruit of the Spirit should define who you are and how you are perceived by the world. If they are present in your life, keep practicing them. If not, ask God to help you bring them to fruition in your life.
Be Good Stewards of All God Has Given You
God has showered us with many blessings, the best one being eternal life in Jesus Christ. And there are so many more – time, talents, money, gifts, and all the other spiritual and material resources that we regularly take for granted. We need to be prudent stewards of all these resources – using our time and talents effectively for the Lord; sharing our financial resources with our church family and other worthy causes (giving); and utilizing the giftedness God has given us, e.g., prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8). Let us be doers of God’s Word and not just hearers (James 1:22).
Share Your Story; Be a Witness for Jesus
Once you have experienced the presence of the Lord in your life, you must share it. That is how the Good News or Gospel message comes alive for others. The shepherds shared it after they visited Jesus in the manger at the invitation of angels (Luke 2:16-18). The Samaritan woman at the well who encountered Jesus shared it with her townspeople (John 4:28-30, 39-41). The blind man who had been healed by Jesus shared it with the Pharisees (John 9:13-33). Jesus called every one of us to be his witnesses all over the world (Acts 1:8). You do not have to be a preacher or evangelist. You do not have to be a gifted orator. When asked or given the opportunity, just share in your own words what Jesus did for you and how he changed your life. Those who hear your witness will have a seed planted in their hearts. They will have been drawn one step closer to salvation.
Have Ongoing Fellowship With Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Fellowship with other believers is essential. You are not stranded alone on a spiritual island. Our faith is to be shared and enjoyed with others in worship, prayer, study, conversation, meals, and many other ways. Much of this will happen in a church family of your choosing, a reality that the writer to the Hebrew Christians said was vital, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). At other times it will be with brothers and sisters in Christ in many other settings wherever we meet them.
Christians are called to show their love for God by sharing that love with others when needed. This was best illustrated by Jesus in the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). When you encounter others, crossing paths with persons God will lead your way, you will find a new love inside you giving you a desire to help others. The Holy Spirit living within you will guide you. Possibilities of helping others include serving the poor in your community, assisting a neighbor with yard work, or visiting a sick friend in the hospital. The Holy Spirit will clearly move you to show God’s love (1 John 3:17-18).
Redeem the Time
Time is a gift from God. It delineates your days on earth and has no end in eternal life in Jesus Christ. You only have so much time on this earth and there are so many people that have not heard the Good News. That is why Paul encouraged believers in the church at Ephesus to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15-16, KJV). Make the best use of the time you have to bring glory to God.
Be Watchful and Alert
It is probably not a surprise to you that not everyone supports the Good News of Jesus Christ. To the contrary, many oppose anything spiritual. This includes false teachers who come into the midst of Christian gatherings and share lies. They target Christians in an attempt to weaken their faith. Before Jesus sent his disciples into the world to share the Good News, He said, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Jesus was saying ‘be careful.’ Later, before Paul departed from the Ephesian church for the last time, he said this, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert. . .” (Acts 20:29-31).
Ask God for More Faith
Finally, you are encouraged to simply ask God for more faith, especially on days when you do not feel spiritually strong. Throughout the Bible, countless people asked God or Jesus for the need they faced at the moment – food, shelter, wisdom, etc. Some even asked for faith. One of those was a father whose son needed healing. After much uncertainty and doubt, the father finally asked Jesus, “. . . help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:21-24). The epistle writer James said, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). When you face situations like the father of the boy who needed healing, ask God for more faith to help you overcome your unbelief.
As you employ some or all of these suggestions for growing in the faith, you will better understand God’s Will for your life, you will hear the voice of God in your spirit more often, God’s presence will become more defined and real, and you will have more joy. God’s blessings to you as you grow in the faith.
To help you grow further, other Resources are available. We invite you to check them out.
We also invite you to Contact us with a testimony, question, or comment. We would love to hear from you. God bless you!