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Faith & Faithfulness | Hebrews 11 | Counterfeit Faith | Righteous live by Faith | God's Faithfulness | Words of Faith | Cultivating Faith | God's Extreme Faithfulness | Faithfulness in Temptation | Testimonies on Faithfulness
Our faith develops faithfulness.
Our belief shapes our actions and attitudes.
We do not accidently grow into faithfulness. Consistency, reliability and loyalty should be words that characterize our lives. They are derived from the fruit of the Spirit such as love, faithfulness and self control. But how do we aggressively grow in these areas? Let's use the phrase from Philippians 2:3, "let each of you regard one another as more important than himself," as an example.
We see quite quickly that these verses are challenging us to improve our attitudes. This is how it works. The scripture becomes for us a focal point of our minds. We might sense resistance to the words. If so, we more than likely have trouble doing this. Still proceed. Don't let your pride get in the way. Instead, accept the truth as precious and good. Desire it to be part of your life despite all that you have experienced and done in the past. We ask the Spirit to teach us. You might tell Him that you are in great need for the Word to shape your life. Ask Him to help you because otherwise it will not work.
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Let us meditate on this one line, "Let each of you regard one another as more important than himself." Our thoughts might go like this.
Lord you want each of us to do this; that includes me. You want me to change. You want me to be more like Christ (5). Your expectations are high. How can you want me to face life the same way Jesus did? But this is what you are saying. You are trying to lift me up to be just like Jesus. Lord I have so far to go. Please help me.
I realize that the step you want me to take today is to 'regard one another as more important than himself.' This is very challenging. I can think of three people right now that I despise. I don't honor them. I look down on them. I am rather haughty in the way that I act toward them. O Lord, please forgive through Christ. I can see now how unloving I have been toward them.
I need to get out the door soon, but I know there is one more thought that you want to impress on my mind. You don't want me just to treat everyone as okay. Sometimes I do this to my family members. I just treat them as okay. I don't go out of the way for them; they don't go out of the way for me, usually that is. There are exceptions. But I see now that you want me to think of them as more important than myself.
That means you want me to start looking out how I can help them. When they are lonely, you want me to take the time to spend time with them. You want me to start thinking of them as special. Lord, I have a long way to go. I seem to think a lot about my time, my money, my space, my clothes, etc. I see you really want me to give up all my rights and be a servant like Jesus. Please forgive me for the years I have sinned against each of my family members. But I do want to change. I want to be more like Jesus. Do it for your glory, O Lord!
As we renew our minds with the scripture, the word of God shapes our thoughts and then our actions. The more we meditate, the more our faith will grow. Real engaging meditation like above with the Spirit of God breeds faith. The faith chops away at our skepticism, doubts, and pride and brings trust, desire and want for His way.
This is where faithfulness comes in. When we begin to see and desire a new way of life, then we commit ourselves to the new way of behaving. This not only shapes our outward actions but also our very attitudes which are even more basic. Faithfulness comes about by living consistently in love. The more we are shaped by God's Word, the less our lives will suffer influence from our selfishness.