A disclaimer about the final two blogs in this series:
I am a Biblical based Christian which means I'm about those scriptures, but not about stuff people make up. Which can make me wildly unpopular both inside AND outside the church.
In order to set a fair expectations and stave off the offended let me preface. The final two traits in this Maturity series are Faith in God's Word and Trust in the Holy Spirit. These two traits apply specifically to those who are seeking spiritual maturity within the Christian faith. I am a Jesus follower. If you are not, but are spiritual you may find encouragement in these posts. If not, no big deal.
If you DO NOT ascribe to or believe in the teachings of the Bible, and/or are made uncomfortable by them then maybe just skip these blogs.
If you DO ascribe to the teachings of the Bible, but you don't agree with things I say that's cool, too. You don't have to read them or believe in them. Or you can take the info pray, research, and ask the Holy Spirit what's up, and then form your own opinions NOT guided by other people, but by your own sought after knowledge and wisdom from God.
If you DO ascribe to the teachings of the Bible, AND you agree with what I'm saying then sweet! Take it and apply it! No excuses!
Let's proceed, shall we?
You have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Have Faith in God's Word! This is *THE* thing for humans who claim to know and follow God. Why? It's two-fold. Faith is how we ensure eternal near-ness to God, and followers of God are promised a crap-ton of good stuff. It goes beyond a one-time "I BELIEVE" and becomes an ever growing discipline in our lives.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Wait. What promises? Summary: God made a deal with humans that if they are obedient to what he asks then they never have to be separated from him, AND they get amazing blessing. (Deuteronomy 28:1-15) When that deal was first made the list of things that the humans had to do to qualify for all this was super complicated, and animal sacrifice was involved, and every teeny aspect of life was super regimented. It was a real pain.
However, it was totally worth it to the humans to do all that in order to avoid separation from God and get these promises. Summary of promises: blessing (a.k.a. empowerment to thrive) on literally everything you are, you do, you have, you love, you want, and you brush up against.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law... (Galatians 3:13)
Which is why it's a huge relief that when Jesus came he was like, "WHAT UP! I'm here to ONCE AND FOR ALL qualify humans to be near God for eternity and get all the blessings but without having to do a bunch of work. From now on it's just believe in me (Jesus/Word), love God, love all the humans, and go tell them about the new deal."
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
If you have FAITH that the promises of God are YOURS then you will SEE those promises come to fruition in your life. How do you have faith? By believing that Jesus is God and came to take the fall for humans. How do you INCREASE faith? Through the Word, a.k.a. Jesus. Increase the Jesus/Word; increase the faith.
In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
And the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Let's be practical. I know from experience that just hoping really hard to have more faith does not work. I can tell you all about it, but that's a different blog. How do you get more Word/Jesus in your life in order to increase your faith?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word (Jesus) of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
God doesn't make things complicated. If another human ever tells you that you need to do something complicated in order to have faith then you need to find a new teacher. Literally this is the formula:
Faith in Word (Jesus) + Obedience = Blessing
I have this little voice in my head saying, "I CALL BULL SHIT." Because there have been YEARS of my life where I was like, WHERE ARE THE BLESSINGS?! Ok, let's talk about that, Tabitha. Why was I not blessed even though I believed? Current Tabitha is going to be REAL with Past Tabitha right now.
There we have it. A fantastically un-mini blog about the impactful importance of FAITH in God's Word (Jesus). Does this cover all the questions that this blog brought up? No, and that's not my jam, but I CAN tell you that if you follow the trail of questions you WILL get amazing answers.
Next post: Trusting God and the Holy Spirit. Which will also be an un-mini blog.
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