If these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
–2 Peter 1:8
Spiritual transformation is a partnership–God provides the grace and the power; we supply the effort. Let me talk about this practically. In Philippians 1:25, Paul wrote, “I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.” That word “progress” refers to the removal of trees or boulders that would prohibit an advancing army from going farther. Paul was saying, “My desire for you is that you remove anything in your path that is holding you back in your Christian walk so that you can move forward.”
God wants you and me to move forward in our Christian faith. Are you doing that? Are you progressing? Or are you regressing? It is one or the other–you are not standing still in your relationship with God.
As we near the end of this year, let me suggest some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you are making progress in your Christian life:
- Do you find it easier to forgive people today than you did five years ago?
- Are you more obedient to Christ’s commands than you were this time last year?
- Are you less likely to panic when you receive bad news than you were several years ago?
- Are you more or less satisfied with your income, possessions, relationships, and accomplishments than you were this time last year?
- Can you cite two or three examples this past year when you sacrificed something significant for the benefit of another person?
- Do you talk with God more or less regularly than you did this time a year ago?
We are either moving forward or moving backward in our relationship with Christ. Which is it for you?
You see, the natural tendency of everything in nature, including our own nature, is to regress, not to progress. If you leave a piece of land all by itself, weeds will grow up. The same thing happens with our hearts. We do not automatically become more like Christ in our lives; we have to have an intentional plan to transform our attitudes.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Simple Truths About A Transformed Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org