GROWING IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Hello there,

Lately I have been especially blessed by several opportunities for Bible Study and growth in knowing our savior, Jesus.  I’m realizing it is essential to continue this growth right up until we meet Him face to face.  Hear the word of our Lord in 2 Peter 3:17 – 18:

…be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

 In this scripture, I think we see Peter showing us why we must study and grow in Jesus by warning us of the dangers of not having a secure and accurate knowledge of our faith.  Without realizing it, we can be influenced by false teachers, but if we have a deepening knowledge of the Lord, we will be stable in Him and not be led astray!  I don’t think I’m usually around “false teachers,” but I do know of folks who bend the Biblical truths, take ideas out of context and try to make the Bible teachings convenient for their lives.  We need to be strong in sharing the pure truth of the gospel with such people.

The more we study the word of God, the more knowledge we gain and the more mature we grow in the faith.  I have found Bible Studies to be an integral part of my faith journey.  There are large groups and small groups, weekend conferences, video lessons, online studies and many, many more ways for us to grow in Jesus.  Devotional readings each day give a fresh start and Christian outlook to us as individuals and can lead us into self-studies.  Whatever works for you, you need to do it.  Whatever fits your schedule and comfort level must be part of your Christian journey.  (Let’s talk about growing in “grace” next time!)

The purpose of our growing and maturing?  “To Him be glory both now and forever!”  ALL the glory!!  The more we learn and grow, the more we are bathed in His amazing Love and our lives are filled with less of ourselves and so, so much more of Him.  To God be the glory, indeed!  For all that He has and continues to do for you and for me.  Amen.

May Our God Bless You Abundantly,

Barbara

 

 

BUILDING UP THE FAMILY OF GOD

Greetings on this lovely Fall afternoon!

Hear the Word of Our Lord for our life today:

“Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another.”                         ( 1Thessalonians 5:11 )

We’re all familiar with the concept of “encouragement” as part of our Christian caring for each other.  Somehow it seems that our society has become singular, more self-centered, glued to a screen instead of conversing and of course, drawing to each other through social media.  These “non-personal” forms of communication can be encouraging or … not.  Does this replace the quiet, gentle hug…no words spoken, just love shown and felt?

Our Faith Family is the group of folks who have accepted Christ as their savior with whom we gather to worship Him!  This time together is so NOT about us, but all about God and loving one another in His name.  Sitting in church together should really not be a passive time, but rather a very active hour listening for His word, listening for what it is HE is calling us to do, listening to one another.  This is the time to be encouragers!  One of my most favorite parts of our worship service is called “Greeting and Moment of Friendship!”  I have the privilege of seeing our family hugging, laughing, waving, crying!  I am comforted, hugged, bathed in kindness!  For something that lasts only a few minutes, this is the bond of Christ – the ties that bind.

It’s often hard to build someone up, but God will give you the words and the touch when you are open to Him, empowering you to encourage others.  Sometimes it’s very hard to understand another’s pain, but God totally understands it so praying for Him to enter in and work His healing powers is encouragement.  Encouragement never judges, but always loves.  Eye contact, smile, “God Bless You,” can be the greatest medicine for one who is suffering.

I know when I am discouraged, someone simply reminding me of How Much God Loves Me, can change my attitude to one of the joy of Eternity.  Encouragement is love from God!

Encouraging you today with love!

Barbara