The free gift of God is eternal life, through the blood of Jesus.
In His blood we have forgiveness. In His resurrection we have victory
over death. It is by faith in God, in this gift of salvation, and
through God's grace that we can have access to Heaven. "For it is by grace
you have been saved-through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
This faith in God's fulfilled promises of the past, such as when
He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, gives us a certainty, a reason
to know and to believe that God will be faithful to keep His promises,
even when we fall short. "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart
in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us
from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water"
A big part of the Christian walk is learning to trust God.
This is done through prayer, studying the Bible, fellowship with other
Christians, and taking steps of faith. Going out into daily life with
seeds of God's word and His active presence in your mind, and being around
other Christians can help a person's walk in faith. Please note that these
are not necessarily leaps, but often steps. Saying a prayer of dedication
in the morning can help. "Very early in the morning, while it was still
dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where
he prayed" (Mark 1:36).
In and through prayer, ask God to strengthen your faith,
believing that He will. These steps of faith, feeling at times like
growing pains, will be evident in moments of testing, where God
helps you, one step at a time, toward a stronger faith and knowing Him
Sometimes God lets "accidents" happen to show us that we are
relying too much on other people, ourselves, or things of this evil,
temporary world and not enough on the One True God. When things we
depended on don't work anymore, it is a time of discovery and strengthening
of one's own personal faith in God. See what God showed the apostle Paul:
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the
surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I
have lost all things. I consider them rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of
my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ
--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith"
Wow! For him everything was just trash next to knowing God!
Having faith in Christ and thus attaining righteousness is what he longs
for. He continues, "not that I have already obtained all this, or have
already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Philippians 3:12).
Pressing on, persevering, Paul keeps at it, trying to have faith.
Its such a hard thing to do, and sometimes that old rubbish looks pretty good. But listen to his motivation. "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).
The past is a big distraction a lot of the time. A big hindrance of
progressing in faith can be in worrying about what happend long ago with
certain people or in remembering your failures. But right there it says
to forget that and move on ahead. "Set your minds on things above, not
on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2).
It is hard to look to heaven while this earth is so real to us
right now, "but our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a
Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables
him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies
so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand
firm in the Lord, dear friends!" (Philippians 3:20-4:1)
"For in Christ Jesus...the only thing that counts is faith expressing
itself through love."
My name is Brian, I am the author of this page.