August 30, 2022
“But you, dear friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus...”
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“But you, dear friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Messiah for eternal life. Have mercy on some who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; on others have mercy in fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude v.20-23
How do we build ourselves up in the faith? It’s much the same way bodybuilders increase muscle mass: little by little. Let’s say a fitness trainer wants you to lift 300lbs. Maybe that’s easy for some of you, but for most of us, it’s downright impossible! So, how do we reach our goal?
The fitness trainer assesses your strength and pushes your limits a little. Whenever you reach that goal, the trainer increases the limit…eventually challenging you to lift all 300lbs. If you can’t meet your goal, the trainer is right there to “spot” you, literally lifting the weight off you.
Seldom does God demand a new believer to perform at the highest possible faith level. We mostly start with simple beliefs. Maybe, we walk an aisle or pray a prayer, but it’s hardly a Herculean leap of faith in the beginning. We do the basics: prayer, Bible study, and Godly community. Pretty soon, God calls us to do something we don’t think we can accomplish…but through His power, we meet the challenge.
Our faith doesn’t grow until the object of our faith is reached. Once we’ve reached our goal, perhaps we get to rest a bit. At the very least, we say, “Thank you, Lord!” Eventually (and sometimes immediately), He steps-up the challenge…and off we go again. That’s how faith grows. God doesn’t just “Poof!” bestow faith. We build faith upon faith. Of course, He’s always there to “spot” us.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
We should grow stronger and wise enough to become trainers ourselves. Because Jesus has mercifully “spotted” us when we doubted, we have learned to show mercy to others who doubt. Because He has valiantly “Saved” us from God’s wrath (and continues to rescue us from various scenarios), we accept the call to “snatch others from the fire.” Some challenges will seem impossible, but we must trust God because He always chooses rightly. Our faith to move forward is emboldened when we remember His past faithfulness.
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