Monday, March 1, 2010

Chosen? (Cont.) - March 1, 2010

2 Peter 1:3,5-9 (New International Version)
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
...
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.


Okay, God chooses you and you can be certain that you will enjoy living in God's favor and grace, because you have taken action and placed your faith in Jesus. He alone saves you from the evil world around you, as the one who has reconciled you to God. What happens next?

Many times people listen to an inspirational and evangelistic message in church, on TV, or during a crusade. Countless numbers then take that step of faith and "give their lives" to Christ. In this simple act of placing their faith in Jesus, they are "born again" into the family of God. But research into church trends will tell you, that this type of "faith" experience will not have lasting effect on most people. In our society in this day and age, it does not translate into any significant change in lifestyle, or increase in church attendance. Why is that?

I would say that these same people have no idea of what needs to happen next. Thankfully the Bible always offers great guidance. The verses from 2 Peter above tells us what must be done after the step of faith has been taken. If we are truly changed, God the Holy Spirit comes to reside in you, and He enables you to have the strength and the power to add to your faith. The same text from The Message says what we are to do best:

5-9 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

If you have undergone this significant and lifechanging experience, get connected with other Christians or a good bible teaching church, and be sure that you grow in your new spiritual life. Jesus offers life change. It is up to us to accept it, take personal resposibility and build on it.

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