Would You Like to Know More About Jesus?  #007  Growing with Jesus

Has this ever happened to you?  You buy something that needs assembly, and you spend an hour or so putting it together, only to discover some extra parts at the end that didn’t get put where they belong.  When you look carefully at the instructions, you discover you need to back up and essentially start over in order to get those parts where they need to go.  If you had only read the instructions completely beforehand you could have saved yourself some major frustration.  I think we all have a tendency to sometimes be a little bit lazy when it comes to managing the details. Of course, occasionally we can get away with taking shortcuts, but in most cases a more thoughtful approach is usually a much better way to go.

Trusting Jesus

Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is a good example of a process that can deliver great value when you carefully manage the details.  Trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is like planting a seed from which your Christian life will grow.  Your proclamation of faith has proven that your roots are planted in good soil.  With a good amount of sunshine and water, you should begin growing, but it’s important to consider the instructions found in the Bible so that you don’t leave anything out.  The Bible offers a list of things that should be added to your basic proclamation of faith in Jesus, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For 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.”  (2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV)

Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love are the seven things listed in the Bible that should be added to your faith in Jesus.  These are fairly broad terms, so let’s look closer at how they could be implemented in your life.

Goodness is simply the careful consideration of right from wrong – of good vs. evil.  Every day we have choices to make and we are moving in the right direction when we to do the right thing.
Knowledge is your dedication to understanding the instructions found in the Bible.
Self-control is your ability to avoid the temptation of the devil – your control over selfish desire, lustful desire, and greedy desire.
Perseverance is your ability to develop peaceful patience that willingly waits for the promises of God to materialize.
Godliness is your sincere effort to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by following his teaching.
Mutual affection is your willingness to serve God by serving others.
And finally, Love is the element that needs to be included in every step.  Nothing in the Christian life can grow to maturity without love.

Growing as a Christian

Your growth as a Christian is totally dependent on you.  Your roots will sink deep into the soil, your branches will reach toward the sun, and you will produce good fruit when you diligently pursue the seven traits described here.  There’s nothing easy about being a follower of Jesus Christ.  Our walk with the Lord is a lifetime journey full of difficult moments.  Every day we are challenged to live up to our commitment to focus our life on growing in the Lord.  When we pay careful attention to these instructions, we can be certain that God’s blessings will flow in our direction.

I hope I’ve sparked your interest further and you’ll be looking forward to my next message.
There is much more to this story…
Don’t keep this to yourself.  Share it with a friend.
Here’s some great music that celebrates God’s love.
Love Changes Everything” – Red Rocks Worship

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Pulling Weeds with Jesus