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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kicking It Up a Notch

“But grow in grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 3:11 NIV

As we begin a new year we also begin to contemplate change. Striving to improve our self is always a good thing. Today I am thinking that in our marriage, in our friendships, and in our jobs we are never to become too satisfied, because if we do become contented it will affect spontaneity, maturity, excellence, and personal growth. I have learned from personal experience that when I become satisfied with where I am in life I soon find myself in a rut of dull monotony.

In education we know that there is always more to learn. If you are a person who works out regularly you always want to take your workout to a new level. Even in our recreation and travel it is fun to go to a place where we have never been before. The same is true in our spiritual life; we must always be seeking to know God in a fresh and new way. The Bible admonishes us to “grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

If you are a brand new believer, there is so much that God wants to teach you about himself and his ways. It is important for you to make an effort to learn more about God every day, because new knowledge will strengthen your faith.

If you are a working mom, a single parent, or a stay at home mom, your day is full. Likewise if you are a working man trying to get ahead at work and balance your job with being a wonderful husband and a fantastic father, you too have more than enough on your plate! Most of the time, all of us think there isn’t enough hours in the day. Making time to grow in your faith is always a challenge.

If you are a long time believer, you may have become complacent and find that you are satisfied to be “a sponge” on Sunday morning as you soak up the sermon and then leave church and go about doing business as usual on Monday. Maybe Satan has lied to you by saying, “you will never get it right – so why try?” Satan often tries to convince us that we will never get it right until we get to heaven, so we believe that lie and tell ourselves that it is hopeless to try to be better. As a result, our personal quest for growing in our faith suffers and so do we.

Real maturity in our faith comes when we decide it’s not OK to remain in “sameness” when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ. It really is not an issue of time; it is an issue of desire. If you have even a tiny spark of desire ask God to help you find a place to get alone with him. God will help you set the pace and help you manage your time. Your personal time alone with God has a definite effect on your godly influence in this world and on your outlook on life.

Never forget that Satan cannot take away your salvation, but he will try on a regular basis to distract you from God in any way he can. It is his goal to orchestrate hectic schedules, busy work, interruptions, depression, discouragement, and stress in your life as a means of taking your focus off of God. His goal is to make you an ineffective Christian and a discontented individual. Often Satan uses the subtle tool of dull monotony to suffocate our spiritual growth. When I began to realize that fact, I had to purposely choose to “kick it up a notch” so that I could become a better influence for Jesus and a joyous and victorious believer.

In the last few years I have made a conscious effort to choose to move forward in my relationship with God.
I don’t want to be in the same place in my faith today that I was yesterday. I don’t want to ever become satisfied with just professing that I am a Christian. Spiritual growth comes from biblical knowledge. I have found that I must seek God, privately and also seek him as I worship corporately with other believers.

I refuse to allow Satan to make the amount of time that I spend with God, (or fail to spend) into a defeating guilt trip. Rather, I want to allow God to show me how to order my life so it will include more time to sit in his presence and learn about him. However, it is my responsibility to make the choice to obey the promptings of his Holy Spirit, so that I can experience the joy of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This year it is my deep desire to “kick it up a notch!”


Are you satisfied with your relationship with Jesus?

What keeps you from becoming more focused in your spiritual life?

Do you lack time, desire or both?

Do you believe that God is able to help you discover a plan for spending consistent time with him?


Dear Lord,

I love you and I need you. I am surrounded by so many distractions. I know that you understand what it is like to have people and their needs pressing upon you. This year help me to desire to “kick my spiritual life up a notch.” Please show me a time and a place for prayer and reading your Word. Lead me to a time and a place that will work most of the time in my busy schedule. Lord, help me to choose to respond to your plan for me as I move toward forming a quiet time that is to be found only in the garden of my heart. Lord, I pray that I will always desire to increase the amount of time that I spend seeking to know you and your ways. Protect me from those times and when I fail, help me to not make perfection the goal but rather give me a seeking heart and a burning desire to keep on trying.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.