Next week the holidays begin! This gives us time with family and friends to be thankful, make memories, and worship Jesus for all He’s done.
But through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s good to remember how to grow with God. When we know how to grow, we’re empowered to do it.
So, here are four ways to grow with God.
First, the presence of God is connected with thanksgiving.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.”Psalms 100:4
The more thankful we are, the healthier we’ll be with God, ourselves, our family, and more. Thanksgiving leads us into the presence of God, and this is where God is revealed to us.
We all need the presence of God. We’re better, and we’re changed when we’re in the presence of God.
I encourage you to choose Thanksgiving daily! Let God be BIG by giving him thanks.
Second, faith works through love.
“For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.”Galatians 5:6
God is love, and our faith works through love. So, we must protect our love for God, ourselves, and others. This is a constant battle because we’re tempted daily to NOT walk in love and to withhold it.
This shows up through not forgiving people, holding grudges, lying, being bitter, having hate in our hearts, and more. These things short-circuit the flow of God’s love and ultimately hinder our faith.
However, when we walk in the love of God, our faith thrives and produces fruit. This fruit shows itself in forgiving others and ourselves, overcoming offense, telling the truth, removing hate, and giving mercy and grace to others.
To have faith that has fruit, we must have the love of God at work within us.
I encourage you to choose the love of God as defined in his word as how you operate. See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 for the definition. This is how our faith produces fruit, and this is how our faith grows.
Third, our victory comes by serving.
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”1 Peter 4:10
Jesus calls us to serve him and to serve others. We have gifts given by God, and our job is to serve others with them. The greatest in the kingdom of God are those that serve others. In man’s kingdom, it’s the opposite, but this is not God’s way.
When we serve, we win. When we choose humility, honor can come. When we choose to defer to others, God defers to us. This is the principle of the Kingdom, and it’s what he’s wanting from us as a lifestyle.
Many times, we want victory to spite our enemies, to prove we’re right, and to be over them. This is our natural way, but it’s not God’s way.
We are elevated to new places in Jesus when we choose his ways and thoughts. Our victory will validate us and vindicate us, and we will give God the glory.
Don’t get me wrong. God will cause us to have victory over our enemies. But our attitude in it is important, and that needs to come through serving others.
This is a big deal because our default is pride in wanting to be served. But there’s a better way that leads to more than victory, it leads to a life of fulfillment and joy.
Choose humility and freely serve. God is in it, and he will give you victory through it.
Fourth, wisdom is received by humility.
“True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”Proverbs 22:4
The wisdom of God comes through humility. When we’re humble, we can receive the wisdom that God gives. Pride repels God away from us; humility draws God close to us.
It’s through this humility that we can receive his wisdom. Notice in our verse that God will give the desires of our hearts when we’re humble and acquiring his knowledge.
God wants to give us insight and strategies for our lives. He has a plan for every detail and issue we face. He also has the solution, and it comes through wisdom.
Which is why it’s so important to choose humility!
This lifestyle posture daily puts God in charge and makes him the center of our lives. This way of living is rooted in humility because it speaks to who God is and what we don’t have. It’s acknowledging that without Jesus, we’re lost, but with him, we’re found.
We have this definition of humility at City Church.
“Pride makes excuses, humility makes adjustments.”
What areas in your life are you making excuses?
What areas in your life is Jesus asking you to make adjustments?
Remember this: his ways are higher than ours, and his thoughts are higher than ours. So, when we choose humility and receive his wisdom, we receive his thoughts and ways that are better than ours.
This is where we can triumph personally and have victory in the things we are endeavoring to do.
I encourage you to take these four things to heart and put it into practice. God is moving and he wants you to grow close to him. He’s ready, now it’s our part to pursue him.
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”James 4:8
We love you, and God is with you.
May this be the best holidays ever for you and your family!
The best is yet to come,