Reliance on God Equals Serenity

The book of Proverbs reminds us to rely on the Lord instead of ourselves (Proverbs 3:5). A point often overlooked is a dependence upon God brings us an inner serenity and an eternal future with our Savior. Given these points reliance on God calms the storms of life leading to a peaceful existence.

It’s difficult to abandon oneself to God. Everything inside ourselves wants to go it alone. This instinct to rely on our own limited power isn’t new. In fact, it started the moment sin entered humanity.

We understand this truth from Adam and Eve’s fall from God’s grace (Genesis 3). Even though, Satan persuaded them to disobey God (Genesis 3:4) it shows the consequences from relying on oneself.

But God’s mercy provides a way out (2 Peter 3:9).

My Experience With Self-reliance

I know the fruitless results from living life without leaning on Christ. When I use my understanding of how to live in a broken world, the outcome isn’t satisfying. This places me in a position where I collide with God’s word and live in disobedience.

In my experience living a self-searching lifestyle, the courage needed to overcome temptation stays elusive. I find myself unable to meet life’s terms without sin. My inability to live free from the bondage of sin coupled with my powerlessness over it leads me to resentment, fear, and ungodliness.

And I know without Christ’s strength it gets worse.

Every day we come up close with the dangers of separating ourselves from Christ. We live in a world riddled with examples of evil deeds with wicked intentions. These sinful global occurrences give evidence to a life anchored in action unacceptable with God.

Leaving Christ out of our decision making the door to more problems swings open. Even in our Christian walk, this unintentional approach can cause us to stumble.

On the positive side, our experience in trusting God leads us to refocus our efforts and seek Jesus divine wisdom. And once we shift our hearts over to His care a peace unlike any other enters our inner-being.

Glorifying God Comes From Christ-reliance

One of the most favorable actions God looks for is glorifying Him. It doesn’t take much of exertion to praise Christ. The Lord’s recipe for salvation includes the ingredients of humility, sincerity, and willingness to live in Christ. Those three spiritual actions lead to heaven.

On the other hand, self-sufficiency glorifies individuality an act of pride and distasteful to Christ.

The antidote for self-reliance is improving our relationship with Christ. Since God made Jesus His entry into salvation, then it becomes our responsibility to surrender our personal agendas and live in His purpose. It’s important to realize the more we rely on Jesus the greater our ability to live acceptable in God’s eyes.

What are your experiences with reliance on Christ?

 

God’s Astonishing Fairness

God is fair and throughout the Old Testament, many examples attest to this truth. One of the finest is in the Book of Exodus.

When God chose Moses to free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, He shows us fairness. Here the Lord gave Pharaoh ten chances. Those ten plagues bear witness to God’s righteousness. Every time Pharaoh refused to listen the severity of God’s wrath increased. And the Lord’s final action brought the king of Egypt to utter submission!

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I have firsthand experienced with the way God shows unbiased judgment.  In the spring of 1985 and for the first time I noticed God’s voice. The will to live became lost, and I wanted to die, but God had other plans. Christ made His presence known, and an undeniable connectedness with the Father emerged. The Lord left no doubt for His Living Spirit overtook everything in my life.

God delivered me from prideful ambitions, alcoholism, sexual immorality and blasphemy. My sinful ways caused harm to others, and I reacted to life in unpredictable ways. Selfishness ruled my actions, and I always wanted something in return for my services. I became a phony, and this caused people to turn away. Every day the loneliness of living in spiritual darkness became unbearable.

Even though God showed me His Spirit, He knew I wasn’t ready to conform to His will. I fell from His grace and returned to a life anchored in sin. It took years of troubling circumstances before I became willing to surrender my life to Him. But when He called on me again, giving me a second chance it changed my life forever. I’m grateful for Christ and God’s astonishing fairness.

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Today, living for Christ is my number one priority. I don’t take God’s justice for granted. Every day I give my best to live for His glory. I’m not perfect, and sin creeps in, but with Christ as my spiritual guide, a great decrease in unrighteous behavior results from God’s Living Spirit.

Sin is no longer my nemesis. Christ awakened me to God’s light and cleansed my soul from too many transgressions. Eternal life is serious and without an active faith in Christ my afterlife is destined for damnation. I can’t afford to live apart from God.

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Regardless of humanity’s reaction to God, He never changes the way He judges a person. Every man, woman, and child know of God since He shows everyone His existence. No matter if you are a new believer or a seasoned veteran our faith allows us to understand God is righteous in His judgment.

Do you believe in God’s fairness?

The Art of Selflessness

The art of selflessness is letting go of expectations (Luke 6:35). Expecting something in return for doing a good deed is a set up for disappointment. Nothing spiritual comes from self-searching motives. The purity of selflessness is anonymity. And it pleases God when we do something for someone without personal recognition.

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Our best teacher of selflessness is God. Our Father’s undeniable love and unselfish sacrifice of Christ proves His selflessness. God wants to save everyone and His altruistic plan defines His love for humanity. It’s sad to realize not everyone hears God’s call, and this makes helping others crucial in our Christian journey.

It isn’t hard being unselfish to those we love, but when a stranger asks this becomes a tougher challenge. A major stumbling block in reaching out to a unfamiliar person is self-centered fear. Fearfulness in uncertainty isn’t the Christian’s way because Christ has given us eternal security and the courage to do God’s will. With Christ’s armor, we are not afraid because our strength comes from God. Remember we are no longer apart from God’s kingdom and need to live in His purpose. Don’t be troubled over the reasons people ask for your help because it’s better to give than disobey.

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In the Gospel of Matthew, we find God’s commands of selflessness. Christ said when He comes in the day of judgement; He will separate the righteous nations from the selfish ones (Matthew 25:32-33).

To the righteous Christ said; Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34). God never forgets those who love Him and rewards them with eternal grace.

Christ said this concerning selflessness. “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me,” (Matthew 25:35-36). Here, Christ is conveying God’s approval for doing right. Those actions radiate the compassion God’s Spirit places inside the hearts of the faithful.

Those human problems are a call for action from Christ to help others. Here Christ shows the responses a Spirit-filled life takes when confronted with those needing comfort. The essence of selflessness is staying aware of one’s environment, noticing other’s struggles and providing help. And Christ has left us no doubt salvation includes putting aside personal interests and working for the welfare of others.

Jesus identified hunger, thirst, strangers, nakedness, sickness and incarceration as examples of needy things. And Christ shows us the actions necessary in providing those needs. Selflessness is the core of kindness. Every time we give of ourselves with a pure heart, it pleases God.

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Christ identified the eternal outcome of the unrighteous. “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). God’s displeasure with evil doers is harsh, and the Bible is full of scriptures addressing His disappointment with disbelievers. We can’t escape God’s rules and if we don’t repent our eternal resting place won’t be with Him.

Our Messiah’s message is telling us when we help others we are extending God’s provisions. And by following God’s will our knowledge of eternity becomes reality. Jesus didn’t leave out the penalty for disobeying this truth. He pointed this out to the selfish. “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me” (Matthew 25:45).

Christ finishes His message with a warning. “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). God’s truth on helping others is obvious. Repentance is the key, and the good deed of selflessness is an act of repentance.

Another place to practice altruism is in adjusting our personal agenda to help aid others. Sometimes our lives become busy and when someone asks for help we say no. Yes, we have times when we can’t stop the task at hand and help. God understands, but if we do this every time we need to examine ourselves and take an honest look at our motives. Often our greatest spiritual growth comes from stopping what we are doing and help others.

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God never stops reaching out His hand to give us help. Christ doesn’t say “I’m too busy find someone else.” Our holy purpose is to glorify God, and when we make ourselves unavailable to others, we have fallen off the narrow way. Each of us and often unintentional is selfish.  Salvation doesn’t make us perfect, but it’s not an excuse to discard God’s will.

When I was a drunkard selfishness fueled my heart. I made myself the center of attention and focused on my plans. I had no room to be selfless because self-gratification ruled my motives. Sin had overtaken my spirit and enslaved to a life of darkness. I’m grateful for God because Christ has broken the chains of my evil ways.

It brings me great joy to share with you Christ’s Good News. Today He has opened my eyes and given me many opportunities to help others. And when I act on those God’s grace emerges and inspires me to become a better servant. I struggle with selflessness and experience the pains of selfishness but the more I pick up my cross those times are becoming less. I love Christ and want to learn from His wisdom and one way I can show Him my love is helping others.

One of the most gratifying Christian experience is doing something for someone without them knowing. Selfless giving is rewarding, uplifting and full of God’s love. God makes no mistakes and rejoices when one of His children acts out of the kindness of the heart and stays unnoticed. And the result selflessness brings is experiencing a stronger bond with Christ.

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7 Christian Principles to Grow Your Faith:

Building a Stronger Trust Series

Part 8 The Fruits of a Stronger Faith:

Our journey through Disciple Peter’s message of faith (2 Peter 1: 5-7 NKJV) enhances our bond with God. This proven set of Christian actions embraces God with vigorous faith. Those principles have worked for centuries and at our disposal. The result of our labor is a maturing faith and an unwavering trust in God.

So, what can you expect from following Peter’s lesson?

Peter extended his message by saying this:

“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 1:8).


Every one of those spiritual attributes embraces Christ’s wisdom. The essence of salvation is understanding the truth of Jesus. Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension promise us eternal life.


To be neither barren nor unfruitful means Christ will deliver us God’s values. Alone we don’t have the mindset, heart or spirit to live according to God’s will. By walking with Christ our lives align with His guidance, and we prosper in spiritual matters. Reliance on God’s wisdom provides a strength beyond our own, and we stay faithful.

Peter warns us the penalty of not growing our faith.

He explains it this way:

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins,” (2 Peter 1:9).

Here a perfect picture emerges of a barren and unfruitful life. The lack of virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love spells disaster. Never-ceasing sin is a persistent spiritual suffering filled with damaging results. And we see this happening around us daily.

I have personal experience living outside the kingdom. My life uses to be full of deception. Skepticism and coincidences were my outlooks on life events. Resentments, sexual immorality, and pride dominated my actions. I always expected something in return for my services since I was a self-seeker. My suffering from an unsaved soul was relentless. I wasn’t holy.

Blasphemy, terrorism, adultery, greed and other sins occur in the secular world. They are bonded to pride and blinded from God’s word. Their darkness blocks the truth of the Lord, and they indulge in the flesh. Self-deception prevents the Light of Christ from entering their hearts. They lack the foresight of eternal life because their focus is shallow and worldly.

Old sin brings the same results our ancient ancestors encountered. They continued losing favor with God’s mercy and grace. The Old Testament attests to God’s patience with His people on sin. Captivity and wise prophets weren’t enough to convince them to repent.

So, the Lord implemented a New Covenant through His Son Christ Jesus. It’s the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Salvation comes from Jesus and growing our faith through Peter’s inspiration leads to a faith strong enough to overcome temptations. Without this, we are doomed.


Peter’s testimony to God’s faithfulness is incredible. His next two verses promises God’s grace.

He shared this:

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (2 Peter 1:10).

Faith without works can’t sustain trials and tribulations. It takes persistent Christian actions to withstand the hidden problems life doles out. God has called us to partake in salvation. And Peter encourages us to stand firm on the Lord’s truth. Christ makes salvation desirable and faith holds us accountable to live holy.

Applying those 7 Christian principles to faith anchors an unshakable spiritual foundation. They give a solid footing on the eternal road. They complement each other and keep us balanced in our walk with Christ. We don’t stumble since we find Jesus’s courage to live according to God’s commandments. This doesn’t mean we won’t struggle for staying on the narrow way isn’t easy. Steadfast devotion is the key to spiritual discipline.

God used Peter to sum it up by leaving us this Scripture:

for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 1:11).

The Lord is faithful and follows through with His promises. God loves us unconditionally and provides a way to be with Him forever. Here our Father rewards our efforts with an endless partnership with His Son Jesus Christ.

God’s selfless giving is undeniable, and this scripture points it out. Our willingness to follow Peter’s message shows our faith in God, and He opens the door of eternity. Wow! Isn’t the Lord amazing? Now if this doesn’t excite you, then I’m sadden because I know you can have what I’ve found.

Well, this series ends, but growing our faith through Peter’s message is ongoing. Together we can radiate God’s truth to the world by living those 7 Christian principles.