How to grow our faith

8.7.15 Let's see what the Bible says about growing your faith

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23

Love: Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and love one another (Mark 12:30-31). When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves, we show the world we belong to Jesus. Until you know God loves you, it will be difficult to love God and love others. Our culture uses the word “love” so casually (“I love your dress!” “I love cheeseburgers!”), it can be hard to identify the kind of love Jesus spoke about in the Bible. What does it look like to love God with all we have? Like any relationship, love means setting aside time. Take time to talk with God and get to know Him through the Bible. Once we love God, we can love others. But love isn’t just something to talk about; Jesus taught us to show our love through actions. Find ways to love people through acts of service. Even a simple phone call can make a difference.

Joy: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). It’s easy to rejoice when things are going our way. It’s a different story when life is hard. But followers of Jesus are called to have joy all the time—not just when life is good. One of the keys to being joyful is knowing why we rejoice. We don’t rejoice in our money, jobs, vacations or even our relationships. We must rejoice in the Lord. One of the keys to being joyful is knowing why we rejoice. We don’t rejoice in our money, jobs, vacations or even our relationships. We must rejoice in the Lord. Like the word “love,” “peace” is a word that has become casual and hard to define. But true peace comes from God, and there’s nothing like it. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). We should pray for peace throughout the world, but we also can’t forget about our own backyard. Is there strife within your own family or workplace? Be a peacemaker there.

Patience: Living in this fast-paced world can give you a short fuse. Still, impatience isn’t something you want to brush off as a minor personality flaw. If you find yourself getting annoyed, worried or intolerant while waiting on people, imagine how much more those negative emotions can escalate while you’re waiting on the Lord. In some translations, the word “long-suffering” is used in place of “peace” in Galatians 5:22. Both patience and long-suffering deal with endurance—a necessary companion for your faith walk. No matter how much we mess up God never loses patience with us.

Kindness: Philippians 2:3-4 says, “count others more significant than yourselves” and “look to the interests of others.” Kindness is about more than being cordial. It’s an intentional act that requires effort and genuine concern. When you totally give your life to Christ, your old ways no longer matter. With the help of God, you can embody the attributes of a kind person.

Goodness: God calls us to love everyone, including our enemies. “The Bible declares that we who follow Jesus Christ should be just as much in love with each other as God was in love with us when He sent His Son to die on the cross.” God calls us to do the right thing for the right reasons.

Faithfulness: Do you have someone to turn to with the most important things in life? Someone who sticks close by through the ups and downs? A loyal friend isn’t to be taken for granted. You can be that kind of person, too. God is faithful. Are you faithful back? He wants us to be good stewards with what He’s given us—time, talents, money, relationships. Can He trust you to treat or use these things wisely? 
Being faithful to God also means not putting other things above Him. The Bible calls these idols—anything you worship or give “god-like” status to. An idol isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself—it could be work, social position, entertainment, looks—but can be a distraction when God doesn’t come first. Is He at the center of all you do?

Gentleness: Harsh. Abrasive. Overly critical. Angry. That doesn’t exactly describe the kind of person you want to be around, does it? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Build others up, don’t tear them down. Believe the best, don’t assume the worst. Distance yourself from harmful gossip.

Self-control: With so many day-to-day temptations and frustrations, it can be hard to maintain self-control. We’re all tempted, but we don’t have to give in. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from whatever is tempting us. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “…(God) will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Maybe you lack self-control when it comes to food. Maybe it’s hard to keep your cool when the kids are crying. Or maybe the issue is lust. Whatever it is, try taking a break. Count to 10 and refocus. Call a friend for encouragement. Willpower alone might not be enough. Ask God for His power to maintain discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

We all need to practice these traits so we can grow our faith.

 

God please be with us that we may practice the above traits and grow our faith the way we need to. We were put on this earth to worship you and share that love with others so that they may come to know you as their Lord and Savior. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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