Saturday, June 27, 2015

7 Christian Principles to Grow Your Faith:

Building a Stronger Trust Series

Part 1 Virtue:

Faith is more than a simple belief in God. It’s a conviction so powerful it changes one’s heart. Nothing matches the experience of God’s presence. The Lord made it one of a kind, bringing the greatest impact to a believer’s life.

But faith without works is dead. See (James 2:14-26)

There are many scriptures bringing truth to the Apostle James message. This series will focus on the Disciple Peter Second Epistle (1:5-7 NKJV). Peter’s wisdom of adding virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love with faith is essential to salvation. Each of them when practice by themselves brought good results, but interwoven together an unshakable trust in God emerges. Those seven crucial spiritual actions are the backbone of a life centered in Christ.

Today we will focus on virtue. The Random House Webster’s Dictionary defines virtue as conformity of one’s life and conducts to moral and ethical principles. The Old and New Testaments support this definition and the entire Bible concern itself with conforming the mind, body and soul to the absolute truth of God.  

Virtue begins with humility. Pride is our biggest obstacle robbing us of God’s grace. The enemy tells us self-will is the answer, but hides the troubles associated with a prideful lifestyle. When we humble ourselves before God, then Christ uses our surrender against the evil one. Satan can’t penetrate Jesus’s armor.

When Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation, their conduct toward God changed. They discarded God’s perfect rules and became afraid of the Lord. Their disobedience cost them the Garden of Eden. This had a ripple effect throughout the centuries and is felt today. That is one reason we need to continue seeking Christ.

The Lord has given us a way out, and it’s His son Jesus Christ. Through our commitment with our Messiah, we find the real meaning of virtue. Christ holds the key to a life filled with holiness, righteousness, and godliness. Those Christian traits take effort on our part to sprout and grow.

The principles Christ makes available are both moral and ethical. Our Daily Bread starts with devotion. Worship is where Christ opens our hearts to God and cleanses our sins. The glorification of God places us in the best position in receiving His mercy and praising Christ brings forth grace.

Adherence to Christ’s commands is not an overnight matter. It’s a lifetime of dedication and acted upon one day at a time. Sometimes an hour by hour reliance is needed for the many hidden tribulations rise throughout a day. Sin is more constant and powerful than us, but acting upon Christ’s teaching takes them away. Living one day at a time makes it easier to follow God because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Christ opens the door to His values, but it’s a two-way street. God expects us to do our part. In the eyes of Christ our actions count. It begins with offering our lives to God without reservations. Then we discover surrender pays big dividends.

Humility paves the way so Christ can change our mindset, purify the heart and cleanse the soul. Our need for an eternal place in God’s kingdom outweighs the short-lived promises of the world. With God as our number one priority, we welcome opportunities for change and virtue attaches its self to faith.

I’m amazed the way God intervenes. In the midst of my misconduct, unethical behavior, and defiance Christ haven’t given up on me. The moment God shows me the disobedience, and I take corrective action then His mercy emerges. Christ has made eternal life so wonderful that I want to draw closer to Him. So virtue keeps me grounded in God’s word, and I understand the need for continual change.

Maybe your experience with virtue is different, or it doesn’t fit into your faith. We can agree our future is bleak without Christ. Another truth, we know is by God’s grace through faith we are saved (Ephesians 2:8) and receive the gift of Christ. God’s anointment of the Holy Spirit is an uplifting experience with everlasting results.  It’s our responsibility to grow our faith and virtue is there to aid us.