Sunday, October 22, 2023
God promised us His power to help us become more like Him in righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful lovingkindness.  For this promise to come to life in us, however, is our part in this divine partnership. We must be "making every effort" to supplement our faith with a crescendoing passion for growing in godly character — "moral excellence... knowledge... self-control... patient endurance... godliness... brotherly affection with love for everyone." In other words, God is calling us to "make every effort" to grow spiritually. As Paul said, "set your sights on the realities of heaven... Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth."  The writer of Hebrews challenged early Jewish Christian using similar language:
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. 
In other words, dear Christian friend, God has promised to do great things in us. He also wants us to invite Jesus to join us in our journey of faith  and to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in our life of transformation as week seek to become like Jesus.  Maturity in Christ doesn't happen without our partnership with God as we seek to grow in godliness, depend upon God for spiritual power, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead our transformation to full maturity into Christ. The Holy Spirit can lead us in this dance of maturity, but we must choose to have the Spirit lead us.  The Spirit produces this fruit of spiritual maturity in us  as we "make every effort" to grow in Christ. Our commitment to spiritual growth is vital in the relationship required for real spiritual maturity! Peter summarizes his call for robust efforts to grow in Christ with these words:
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Or as Peter says it, "the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires" — 2 Peter 1:4.
 Colossians 3:1-2.
 Hebrews 12:1–2.
. Revelation 3:20.
 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:28-29.
 Galatians 5:25.
 Galatians 5:22-23.
 2 Pe 1:10–11.
Almighty God, I confess that I want my spiritual maturity to be an easier process. If I were to choose what is easiest for me, there would be no huge effort required on my part, no need to endure suffering or trial, and certainly no need for persistent endurance required for authentic growth. However, loving Father, I know You are at work in my life for Your purposes, so I commit to the necessary efforts needed to grow. I choose to be led by Your Scriptures and the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit. I want to be a partner with You, O God, in my spiritual growth. I ask for Your help, guidance, correction, and power, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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