November 22, 2019

Growing More Like Jesus

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 22, 2019

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.      2 Peter 1:8

The Christian life is not designed for maintenance or meant for maintaining. The Christian who is vibrant and alive is a maturing disciple. As a growing believer in Christ, you are in the process of adding to and developing your character. Your faith is not static; rather, it is dynamic and nimble. You are building a life of character that can stand against the winds of adversity and enjoy the blessings of prosperity. As a conscientious character builder, you are to possess these qualities of Christ in an ever-increasing measure.

So, your process of character development is a conscious effort. It starts with faith and ends with love. These are the bookends of God’s expectations for your character. He may start with faith because it is the doorway to Him. Faith is how you approach God and how you appropriate His virtue into your life. Faith allows you to find your heavenly Father and learn from Him. Faith gives you ears to hear and a heart for change. Love, on the other hand, deals with motive. Everything you do needs to be inspired by love for God and people. The greatest from the trilogy of faith, hope, and love, is love! 

 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

So start by asking God to increase your faith. An expanded capacity for faith and trust opens the door to other opportunities for life transformation. Faith is first base; so do not run past it. Faith taken for granted is not faith; so do not disguise shallow or flippant religious-speak as faith. Faith is focused on God, and there is a relentless resolve to understand Him and His word. The Bible is a treasure trove of truth that leads to understanding the character of God; faith is bolstered through the Bible. The Scripture ignites your faith. That faith becomes radically robust as you feast and learn of God through his Holy Writ. Do not underestimate the potential of increasing your measure of faith by knowing and applying God’s Word. 

Lastly, use love as warm oil to massage truth into your life and into the life of others. Like a sore muscle, life needs the soothing effect of love. Love understands honoring a relationship over being right. Love motivates faith and is motivated by faith. Your love gives you permission into the life of a person—to influence their life. If they know they are loved, then your influence is trusted. Let love lace your life like garlic immersed in a delicious Italian meal. You can smell its appetizing aroma that precedes its amazing taste. With an ever-increasing measure the aromatic effect of your love will precede your presence. 

People want what you have when they are unconditionally loved. So, make sure what you are offering them is authentic. Be a love doctor, who graciously administers the love of God. Do not settle for the maturation of your past character. Seek Him even more humbly and aggressively now to increase your measure of character. Keep adding His character to yours; this is effective and productive. Keep your life book between the bookends of God’s character. Your life then becomes an attractive read.

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18, KJV).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, transform me through the power of your Spirit and the truth of your word, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Application

How can I grow in my love for others?


Related Reading

2 Corinthians 10:15; Colossians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 3:12

Today’s reading is taken from Boyd’s most popular book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, a 365 day devotional.


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