Making Spiritual Progress

We make spiritual progress only because God within us is doing the work:

…He who began a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. Phil. 1:6 AMP

God wraps His arms around you and never lets go. All the while, He’s working within you, bringing you to spiritual perfection – preparing you for your Christ-deliverance into eternity.

We help God maximize that work when we embrace His path to the best of our ability:

…that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and practical insight, so that you may surely learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]… Phil. 1:9, 10. AMP

It sounds like a monumental task, but it really isn’t. If you continue searching the word of God and live out His commandments, the Holy Spirit will constantly bring you greater revelation of God’s purposes, which, He wants to fulfill through you. As you do this, God occupies more of your heart, tweaking your perfection, and applying compassion: picking you up when you fall short, and setting your feet back upon His path. So, you see that the odds of completing your mission are really stacked in your favor.

And how does that mission look?

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake… Phil. 1:27 – 29. NASB

…having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:2 – 4. ESV

It always comes down to walking the walk. The more that we emulate Jesus, the more of God’s purpose will be revealed – where He immerses us in His love, so that we can radiate that love outwards.

When we pursue our spiritual progress, Christ brings us closer to Him and His Father, revealing yet more of God’s divine plan, and allowing us to play an ever-increasing part. In that part, we must stand in faith and unity for the gospel, even in the face of worldly opposition – tirelessly working through whatever suffering the world brings to bear, continuing to usher in more souls for salvation.

God calls us to be humble and live in peace – united in Christ, holding the needs of others above our own.

Jesus is the ultimate example of humility: He relinquished His divine nature and stature, in order to become a mere mortal. In so doing, He could feel our sufferings; and out of His limitless compassion, take our deserved divine punishment upon Himself, for the salvation of the mortals that He and His father love so much.

Likewise, it is to the glory of the Father and the Son, that we too put our personal concerns aside, and strive to bring the Key (Jesus) to the kingdom to everyone that we can touch in our lifetime:

…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life… Phil. 2:13 – 16. NKJV

We must be diligent in our continual pursuit of spiritual progress. We cannot forget the reverence that we must hold for God and His Son, nor the imperative that we must muster for completing the tasks that They set before us – especially in the face of opposition:

…I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phil. 3:7 – 11. NKJV

We don’t have to be perfect in our endeavor. Nevertheless, we remain a marvelous work in spiritual progress because of our sincere efforts:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Phil. 3:12 ESV

Why?

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Phil. 3:20, 21. NKJV

Transformed and transcendent.

We are content because we have faith. We have faith because Christ empowers us. We have abundance because our Father is a promise-keeper. (Phil. 4:11, 13 & 19.)

You are a marvelous work in progress…

Goodnight and God bless.

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God is Calling Us Home

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens [outsiders without rights of citizenship], but you are fellow citizens with the saints (God’s people), and are [members] of God’s household… Eph. 2:19 AMP

All these died in faith [guided and sustained by it]…having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. Heb. 11:13 AMP

Children of God are heavenly citizens, living on this earth; yet strangers and exiles to the ways of the world – at least, that is our continuing goal. We live in the faith that we have an upward calling when it’s our time to exit, a call to go home.

So, while we are here, we lean on Jesus for the strength to live godly lives; and when we slip and fall, we go to Him immediately in confession and repentance for the cleansing of our transgressions. We don’t want to get caught up in the ways of a wayward environment:

I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations…No one will strengthen himself who lives in iniquity…when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it. Ezek. 7:8 & 13; 14:13. NKJV

Let’s face it, our country’s present state of chaos and moral degradation is not something we want to associate ourselves with. It is in major danger of judgment. Thank our merciful God that He loves us so much:

“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.” Ezek. 18:21, 22. NKJV

“For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezek. 18:32 NKJV

God is a forgiving God, not wanting to lose a single soul. Obviously, we cannot of ourselves, keep every single statute. That’s where Christ stands in the gap for us and blankets us with His righteousness. That way, we get to go home – a promise foreshadowed by God’s promise to the repentant Israelites, to bring them back home after they were exiled to Babylon for their sinful ways:

But you, O mountains of Israel, will put out your branches and bear your fruit to My people Israel, for they will soon come [home]. Ezek. 36;8 AMP

I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Ezek. 36:11 NKJV

What God is doing, is lifting up the homeless. You can live in a physical home, but you’re still homeless if you don’t have a loving relationship with God. God offers you a home, but you must contribute a personal note to the restoration of your heart to help spread the glory of God to fill His kingdom:

“…the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.” Ezek. 36:23 NKJV

So, not only must you get right with God through Christ, you must radiate that relationship outwards to beckon those who are still lost. After all, every one of us is commissioned to gather others into the kingdom, are we not? No one can come home to know God’s love, joy, mercy and forgiveness unless they can first see it in the eyes of His children.

Just like Israel, all God’s children get to go home:

“Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.” Ezek. 37:25 NKJV

And that home will be a heavenly one:

“…and the name of the city from that day shall be THE LORD IS THERE.” Ezek. 48:35 NKJV

God is building a house for all of us to call ‘home.’ And if you are willing, your homeless days are over…

Good night and God bless.