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Growth in Christian Virtue

Growth in Christian Virtue Post

If there is ever a time when I could say that I have grown in Christ, I would hope that it was now. But as I read these word better yet instructions today, the words seemed to come alive from the screen and renewed my mind in what I know to be faith, wisdom, revelation and understanding. God’s word truly is a mirror and will cause you to see yourself for who and what you really are. (I am talking to myself right now) It will reveal all of the truth in finding out you are not all that you think you are. But you need more work done on the inward parts. Your heart need more fixing, more mending, molding and still yet a complete transformation into the things of Christ.

As I read this passage of scripture this morning, I felt chastised by the word of God for doing far less than what it calls for me to be. I realized I have not been doing all that I know to do. We can be well but can always do better. I am guilty of knowing I should do better. As I sat down and asked God for a word of encouragement for His people today, I was convicted because I should have done more than I have done over the last week. I should have read more, prayed more and loved others more than I did. I repented because I realized that I cannot say that I love God and not do all and then some more of what He has called me to do. I may not be out intentionally sinning but I fall short daily.

Then I ran across a journal note to myself on this one verse, “For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:4 I got excited, so I opened the entire chapter and began reading. And as I read the mirror started to reveal my reflection. And oh boy it is not as beautiful as I’d like it to be. But it is the truth about me. I can admit to God when I don’t like what I see or who I am. Why? Because I want to be more like Him and less like myself. I know what His word says about us as people but also what it says about His saving grace and His everlasting love that transforms us into righteousness. It causes us to be joint heirs, sons and daughters of a King, blessed and highly favored.

Jesus left us some amazing instructions on how to live the best life possible on this earth. He did not say we would not have hard times. But he showed us how to get through even the storms of life and still have joy knowing that trouble doesn’t last always. I for one intent from this point on to follow more closely these instructions so that I may live the a life of dynamic spirituality and godliness, and share in all of the promises that He has promised to us.

Those instructions I spoke about, they’re below:

2 Peter 1:1-12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; 11 for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.

12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth which is held firmly in your grasp. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this earthly tent, to inspire you by reminding you, 14 knowing that the laying aside of this earthly tent of mine is imminent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that even after my departure you will be able, at all times, to call these things to mind.

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Satan Tempts Jesus

Satan tempts Jesus

Matthew 4:1-11 (KJV)

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

I can’t even began to image what that was like for Jesus to be tempted by the devil. But I do know what it is like for me to be tempted. I personally like to see the stories of the bible brought to life in so way so that I get a better understanding of it. So off my imagination goes and I’m trying to insert myself into this visual world of what was taking place at that particular time. Then there are pictures of the wondrous creation that is earth God has given us, and they remind me of certain events or experiences. Be those personal events of my life or ones that I have read.

This image brought to mind the story of when satan tempted Jesus and took Him on the highest mountain and offered him all the kingdoms of the world. It came to live right before my eyes! And it gave me a new experience with this passage of scripture. So I thought I’d share it with you in hopes that it will bring this passage of word to life for you as well. God’s word is true and there are so many ways that He can and will speak to us concerning Him. Even a simply beautiful image can speak volumes to our hearts. I say He pricked my heart today concerning His son and my saviour. He helped me to understand just a bit more just what He has done for me, you, us.

I may never get to have a real physical encounter of standing on a mountaintop and watching the view from on high. But God brought that view to me and caused me to experience it in a way only He can. I pray that you too get to experience it. Oh and if you actually experience it in this life, please share the experience with us here at Hidden In God.

Stay prayerful! Here is the full view.

View from a mountaintop

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The First and Great Commandment

Love is quote by Dorlita Blakely

Matthew 22:36-38 (KJV)

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

The great commandment IS the greatest and best commandment given to live a full life in Christ. If we can follow this commandment it would make most all of our lives fall in line with the will of God. Why? Because if we love Him above all things we would obey Him in all things. We would be intimate with Him even more than we are with others in our various relationships.

Love – is an intense feeling, and expression or deep affection as defined by some dictionaries. But above all of those, deep in our hearts we know that love is an action. Love is what we do and when we love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul it becomes who we are.

There is no greater teacher or example of what love is than God who gave is Son for us. And then shows us grace and mercy everyday, even when we won’t acknowledge Him, we turn our backs on Him or we fail Him. He still loves us and calls us to Him to be joint heirs of an inheritance of which the likes we have never seen. And all we have to do to receive the abundance of life an riches in glory is to believe in Him who gave His life to save us. To believe in the absence of evidence that HE IS. To trust and be absolutely confident in who He is.

Hebrews 11:1-3 (Children’s Bible) – Now faith is the confidence that we shall receive the things for which we hope, the proof of the reality of things we do not see. It was because of their faith that the men of old were approved by God. Through faith we know that the universe was made perfect by God’s command and that what is seen was made out of what is not seen.

There is security and hope in Christ. There is protection and promises fulfilled in Christ. There is compassion and love in Christ. We may not see it all of the time, but we believe it. I will leave you with this:

1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.