You love God, and you are saved, so why do you struggle to be kind, nice, and give grace to people? Even though you profess to follow Jesus Christ, your words and actions are destructive, like the world’s. The extremes between your profession to be a “Christian” and the destructive or abusive words and actions you do are not Christ’s design.
Beginning of Your Faith Journey
Once we believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, repent of our sins, and ask him to reign in every area of our lives, Jesus comes to dwell in us. Our surrender to Jesus is our salvation. It is Christ’s gift to us from his grace and sacrificial love. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8, NIV)
I grew up going to church for years, but I was never taught that I am responsible in my salvation to grow a deep personal progressive relationship with Jesus every day. Jesus will never force his ways on us; we have to pursue him and obey him. Jesus tells us. “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29, NIV)
If we are not taught what it means to follow Jesus, we often assume that Jesus will instantly tell us what to say and do to love like him. However, our assumptions are what leads to confusion, frustration, doubts about our faith, and even our salvation. In other words, we want to be a “good Christian,” but we are still acting like the selfish sin-focused world. Our wanting and wishing doesn’t change what we say and how we act. Only working with Jesus Christ every day transforms our hearts, minds, words, and actions into his likeness.
The Stories, Words, and Life of Jesus Reveal Our Responsibility
Jesus used stories and parables to help people see themselves through everyday things or events. His stories show us how we can learn from him. Jesus calls us his sheep, and he is our Shepard. (Psalms 23:1, NIV) We are to listen to him, watch him, and obey his commands if we are in his flock.
Jesus is our vine, and we are a branch of him (John 15:1-8, NIV). All that flows through Christ is accessible to us as we grow in him. Therefore, we must know his characteristics, heart, and words and let him transform us as we grow in him.
We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20, NIV). We are his diplomat and representative, who is kind and respectful, on this broken planet. All that we say and do directly represents him. We are responsible, and we will be held accountable for how we represent Jesus on earth one day when we stand before him.
Jesus is our example. He tells us, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15, TLB). Just as he loved, taught, served, and prayed for the disciples, we are to follow his example.
Putting Our Faith Into Action
Jesus has shown us his path for us to work with him to become like him. To know Jesus and God, you must commit to studying God’s Word, praying, praising him in praise music, and walking hand in hand with him every day. These commitments grow your relationship one step and day at a time.
Our transformation faith journey is a life-long process. We must be intentional and committed if we are going to grow in our faith. Our faith growth and maturity is gauged by the fruits of the Spirit we display in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23, NIV)
The abundance of love is the fruit the disciples of Jesus Christ bear when we abide in his Gospel and walk hand in hand with him. Without being directly connected to Christ, like a branch on a vine, we cannot bear his love. God’s word tells us how to focus our minds, hearts, wills, words, and actions on Christ. The scriptures below are a few of my favorites. I pray they will also help you understand how to commit to being Christ’s disciple.
- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2, NIV)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6, NIV)
- Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-9, NIV)
- “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15, NIV)
- “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9, NIV)
What Will You Choose?
Now that you know that you are responsible within your salvation to learn to be Christ’s disciple, what will you choose? Will you continue to be a frustrated surface Christian who is not living in the abundance of Jesus? Will you choose to commit to growing in a progressive personal relationship with him every day?
You can’t follow Jesus halfway. You are either in or out. These facts are not what people want to hear, but they are the truth. Jesus gave everything to give you the opportunity of Salvation and to live in his abundance now and into eternity. However, you must choose.
Jesus said. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46, NIV) When we live in obedience to Christ, we live in the saving, loving, hope, and grace of his Gospel. The only way to change your life is to learn and implement God’s truth in your life through a personal relationship with him.
If you’re ready to work on building a stronger foundation in Christ, you can begin by finding out Who You Are in Christ. Follow this link and begin your journey now!
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