THIS WEEK: 7 Things to Add to Your Faith to Be an Effective Christian!
You wouldn’t ask a kindergartner to pilot a commercial aircraft. Every passenger would get off the plane if they saw a five year-old sitting in the captain’s seat. That five year old would be ineffective as a pilot. Why? That five year-old could grow up to be a very proficient pilot and also skilled enough to train other pilots…but there were a lot of steps of learning and growth along the way to be a skilled and effective pilot.
In a similar way, the life of a Christian is one of growth and development. To say that once God has worked faith in Jesus as my Savior, I have reached full maturity and am ready to be the most effective ambassador for Jesus would be as foolish as to say a five year-old could fly a commercial airliner.
Don’t get me wrong. Simple faith in Jesus as my Savior is the essence of saving faith. However, to be increasingly effective as a Christian, takes the ongoing work of the Spirit to mold and mature us. This week we will look at seven things God wants to add to this saving faith to keep us effective and productive as one of his children.
These seven are found in 2 Peter 1:5-8. Today, the first found in verse 5. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness;…”
Put another way, “Add to your trust in Jesus as Savior, a reality that he permeates your whole being.” The word translated “goodness” has its origin in the word “virtue” or the “character” of a person. Faith is deepened when it takes over the very being of who I am. It is what defines me when love for God takes over my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. It is not just an external good deed or kind act, it is the reality of the heart and goodness of God affecting your whole being.
How does this happen? The Apostle Paul helps us out in Ephesians 3:14-19:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Goodness is added to your faith as you spend time allowing the goodness of God to fill your heart. It is the work of God’s Spirit that is transforming you into the image of God that was lost at the fall into sin.
Ephesians 4: 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. … You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Apply: Think of a challenging situation you may face this week. Ask the Spirit to add to your faith, goodness. How will you face the situation differently with goodness added to your faith? Do you think you will be more or less effective for the Lord?
Prayer: Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in endless praise. AMEN