I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Building a Foundation of Hope: Part 2

The next few posts will be uncomfortable. 

I want us to have a clean foundation to build upon and that means stripping off the old and ugly truths we’ve allowed ourselves to believe. It means exposing the things we would rather not acknowledge... even to ourselves.
We're doing this because we don’t want to “gloss over” the cracks we’ve created in our foundation. This would cause our framework to be weak. We want to firmly fix our framework upon the solid foundation Christ so generously gave us at Calvary.

So let’s dig in and get dirty!

First, let’s begin with assessing where we are RIGHT now in our walk with Christ. 

Not where we want to be.

Not where we were five years ago…or even yesterday.

Where are you RIGHT now?

Is your faith strong or wavering?

Are your doubts holding you back from God or pushing you toward Him?

Do you dread going to church, reading your Bible and praying or are you exciting to spend more time with God?

Would others classify you as a mature Christian or does your lifestyle make people wonder if you’re even a follower of Christ?

How would God classify your relationship with Him? Would He be happy with the amount of time you spend with Him or sad that He is far down on your list of priorities?

Do you struggle with “faith verses works”? Do you feel like you’re never enough and wonder how other Christians seem to have it all “figured out”? 

Or is pride a plank blocking your vision? Do you think you’re better than other Christians because you have more Scripture memorized, you attend church more, you volunteer, tithe, etc.?

Where are you RIGHT now in your maturity as a Christian?

Spiritual Growth is like Exercise. 

You have to start with where you are and move forward.

When I started Taekwondo I had to be honest with myself. I was “skinny”, but out of shape. 

It was hard seeing people who LOOKED less in shape be able to do more. 

But I had to start with where I was. Not where I wanted to be or even where I looked like I belonged.

When I began I could only do 5 “real” pushups (not the girlie ones), 8 months later I’m able to do 50 “real” pushups without stopping.

Getting to this point took pain. 

My muscles ached. They protested as I pushed beyond my limit. 

But I kept going. I persevered. And I will keep persevering until I reach my goal of 100.

This process taught me that I can’t jump ahead in my physical capabilities.  Likewise, I can’t jump ahead in my spiritual ones either.

To mature in Christ, I must do the work and I must start at with where I am RIGHT NOW.

You must do the same with where you are in your walk with Christ.

If you’re having trouble, ask God to help you be honest with yourself. 

Ask Him to show you areas you need improvement—because we ALL need improvement. None of us are there yet. 

So until next time, I challenge you to get honest with yourself.

Find out where you are RIGHT now.

Once that’s established we can move on to the next uncomfortable step: Evaluating our hearts desires.

“"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Monday, January 2, 2017

Building a Framework of Hope Part 1

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ
and be taken forward to maturity…” Heb 6:1 NIV

For Christians, deciding to follow Christ—AKA being “saved”—,is the FIRST STEP in a life-long process of maturing into the likeness of Christ.

But some treat salvation as the LAST STEP. They never grow past being a “babe in Christ”. 

Other Christians move forward only to stall out at some point along their journey. 

Neither is how God intended the Christian life to be.

He calls us to mature:  Just like an infant is to become a child, grow into a teenager and then mature into an adult.  

But growth and development don’t end with being an adult. 

Even adults continue to move forward and age. 

They go from young adulthood, to middle aged, and finally into their “golden years”. 

If at any point along this natural progression a person stops developing, there is a problem that must be addressed.

This same principle applies to our Spiritual growth.

God does not call us into Salvation simply for us to “get out of hell”.

He does not like a Luke Warm follower—one who is satisfied with the “status quo” or who treats Christianity as a “to-do” list.

God calls us into a LIFE LONG journey with Him. A relationship.

Sadly, many Christians don’t have a clue about how to mature in Christ. Some even think going to church makes them mature—and it is a good start.

But there is more. So much more.

So how do we build upon the foundation of our Salvation?

In the coming weeks I want to help you mature by building a framework of hope upon that foundation. It is my prayer that this series will inspire you to move beyond where you currently are in Christ and into a deeper, fuller experience with Him. One that will help you withstand the storms of life. 

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.
Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost
to see if you have enough money to complete it?
For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it,
everyone who sees it will ridicule you,Luke 14:28-29 NIV

You’re saved.

You have the foundation.

Will you join me in building upon it?

For further Bible Verses regarding Maturing in Christ click here.

If you’re not a Christian, or are uncertain, and want more information about becoming a follower of Christ please visit my blog post about Salvation.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.