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We must not believe in God as our only act of faith; rather, we must take our faith even further than the belief itself.
Warren Wiersbe notes in his Bible Exposition Commentary, “To have the mind enlightened and the heart stirred but not act in obedience to the message is not faith, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). The mind, heart, and will are all involved in true biblical faith.”
As well, Jesus tells us if we love Him we will obey His commandments (John 14:15).
How can we do that if we do nothing in our lives that represents our faith in Christ and His promise to us?
In 2 Peter 1:5-8 Peter urges readers as follows,
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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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.
What are we missing when we do not seek to increase in these qualities? Do we think we are creating room for our faith to falter, to possibly someday be abandoned altogether? We must consider this. As well, how much of the living God are we not experiencing? How will we truly know God’s faithfulness if we do not seek to grow in our knowledge of Him? How will we know God at all?
In Charles Ryrie’s Basic Theology he explains, “The Bible is not to be put in a museum to be admired; rather, it is to be used in our lives.”.
The Bible is God’s Word breathed out for us. Did he breathe it out to be sat on a shelf or a nightstand to never be touched or read or contemplated? Did He speak to all those men and make a record of their trials and their triumphs through their faith in Him for us to merely acknowledge they exist but to speak nothing more of it?
God sacrificed for us, knowing we would be full of sin even after He paid such a high price (Romans 5:8). Knowing our sinful nature He still shed that blood! Should we do nothing with this knowledge? Or should we live out our thankfulness in seeking to grow in our relationship with Him?
We must also remember Christ commissioned us to share His message with all of the world (Matthew 28:16-20). What good could we be doing with this command if we find ourselves ineffective and unproductive due to our lack of maturing in our faith?
How many lives are we choosing to leave behind, to push under the rug, to completely disregard by not doing our part in growing in Christ? Not only does our own walk depend on our increasing in these qualities, but others’ walks may rest in that as well. If we are the ones others know to confesses a belief in Christ yet they look at us and see no true faith lived out, where does that leave them? The world is watching us but we are equipped already by God to live out a faithful life for them to see. All the work does not rest upon God’s shoulders alone. He has not equipped us for us to sit idly; rather, He has equipped us to do His will (Hebrews 13:20-21).
My prayer for you as well as myself is to soak in and meditate on the instruction Peter left in the verses above and to think about what Christ’s sacrifice truly means to you. May we all seek to gain in our knowledge of God’s will in our lives.