In my opinion, many who claim the Christian faith seem to lack commitment to what God’s Word presents to the Christian Church. This world needs more men and women to demonstrate an enduring transforming faith.
Instead, what this world unfortunately sees is an extremely shallow belief system that neither transforms nor endures. Most Christians seem quite comfortable with an easy-going lifestyle. They are fine with floating down the river of life with hardly a care in the world.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that many are working diligently to make a decent living, provide for your family and put money away for your future.
Certainly, we have an obligation to work toward such endeavors, but there should be so much more to the Christian life. Perhaps our present socio-economic struggles are just the prescription necessary to awaken all believers to God’s purpose for their lives.
An enduring transforming faith warrants a deeper discussion. In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul instructs all followers of Christ: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
That should be the creed of all who wish to obey the desires of their Heavenly Father.
If we are truly in God’s will, we will certainly have to endure hardships.
Listen to these words of Paul found in Romans 15:4-6: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There’s an added element in our transformation available to all followers of Christ. That element ignites transformation in others who witness the change that becomes apparent in those who have decided to follow the ways of Jesus.
As we demonstrate the love of Christ through our words and actions with compassionate hearts, some will certainly want to know more about the faith that dramatically changes the lives of so many. In time, they, too, may become satisfied customers of the Risen Lord!
In the first-century church, we read Paul’s words to the Church at Colossae. He writes in Colossians 1:9-12, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of lights.”
We cannot improve on these salient words of the Apostle Paul. Consider his prayer as we all strive to follow the will of our Heavenly Father for our lives during these present circumstances in which we have been placed.
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.