Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Steady Progression

   One of the things that disturbed about my Christian life was my failure to maintain steady progress in becoming like our Lord. I have read the Scriptures, done some preaching, and heard from brethren about progress being essential in our walk in the light. I believe that’s the truth. Paul tells Timothy to allow the brothers to see his progress (1 Timothy 4:15), and he expresses to others that his fellowship with them is for their progress (Philippians 1:25). Passages like Ephesians 4:14-16, Galatians 4:19 and Hebrews 5:14-16 reveal that one purpose of our Christianity is for us to mature in Christ and  fill roles of greater responsibility. Passages like Colossians 3 and 2 Peter 1:5-8 seem to indicate that we can with decisiveness and finality put sin to death in our lives and by force of will steadily add wonderful qualities to our faith.

   If we ignore other Biblical truths, we may begin to expect of our lives an unbroken, upwards   progression  that rises all the way to heaven. I think we are to read such passages as those listed above and see in them the truth about the direction we are to be heading. I think they are to represent for us a serious challenge to present ourselves for God to make of us all we can be. I don’t want us to expect less of ourselves than God does. However, while progress is definitely intended, there is too much Biblical evidence to the contrary for us to imagine that we will always, only progress. We have setbacks. Read 1 John to see that this is so. The disciples continued some three and a half years, day and night with our Lord. During that time, Peter’s life did not follow an unbroken, upwards climb. In fact, it appeared he would graduate “magna cum coward” from Jesus’ school of discipleship, as did the others who all deserted Christ in the garden and fled. This, I would remind you, was after they had lived day and night with Him…after they had heard His teaching…His tone…His prayers…after they had witnessed His compassion and tireless, selfless service to others. Even after Peter preached on Pentecost, he was capable of grievous sin (GaIatians 2:11ff).

   Paul, who wrote many of the above passages on our need to progress, said of himself (though he was then imprisoned for Christ’s sake) that he had not yet obtained the prize, and that he was the “worst” of sinners. So, I urge you, fellow Christ followers, don’t give up because of setbacks. If you didn’t progress today…if you went the wrong direction…or even backwards today…don’t let that keep you from progressing tomorrow. Remember, “…He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). And don’t you quit…don’t grow weary in well-doing…don’t let failure become fatal by causing you to end your efforts for Jesus. I need you to hang in there and so do others. It is an honor to your Lord to keep on even when it gets so tough. Let your progress, though it may, at times, even often, be frustratingly slow and unsteady, be seen by all in the “day of Jesus Christ.”

   I love you with the affection of Jesus Christ. But HeHe outdoes me in loving you by leaps and bounds. Feel His pleasure in you today!

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3 thoughts on “Steady Progression

  1. Thank you Doug…I needed to hear that! I have been frustrated lately because of weaknesses in myself. Some days I feel as if today is the day that God is just going to give up on me. That He has surely had enough of my failures and selfish, prideful behavior. I know better than that…but that feeling hangs over me like a storm cloud. Some days I feel loved and strong and “able”…then others I feel pathetic and worthless and ashamed.

    I love to watch Peter (his story gives me some hope for my pitiful self!) Despite all the “down” times he never stops loving Jesus. Peter perseveres. He may zig-zag around, with several backwards steps and stumbles, but he never quits. I quit on Jesus once. God help me to never, ever do that again!!

    • oakesclan on said:

      God bless you today, Sherry. I certainly know the same feeling. May God enable us to hang on, even through the times when we really can think of no reason why even He would want us to hang on. But, by this time, we know better than to trust our own understanding…or our own view of ourselves. Our Father God surpasses all that. He won’t let go His grip…His hopes…His dreams for us. So let’s not do it either. I hope that storm cloud passes soon. And when it comes again, I hope it doesn’t stay as long. May we always look to the rainbow of promise…that He will never leave us or forsake us, even when we feel He ought to! He is great and greatly to be praised.

      Have a beautiful weekend, sis!

  2. I know God doesn’t want us to stay the same in our growth for Him. I understand that
    and hope I can grow better in Him everyday that I have on this earth. He wants me to grow so others around me can see that I am different and “Like the Light on the Hill”, all mankind will see it and Give God the Glory for it. I know there should be progress and not just say “oh well that is just the way I am”. No, No, that is not how we should think. I know we fail as humans but I know God still gives us chances to get up and keep on trying. I don’t mean we have to be so worried that we get down (depressed) because we are not what we should be. I think I am doing better in discerning things about Him than I did a few years ago. I love him more for what HE did and planned for us years ago (Jesus having to die for us). I understand it better as I get older and my loved ones have passed. God has given us hope of not staying in the grave with what Jesus so willingly did and obeyed His God. The Perfect Sacrifice of Sin Offerings. (The Lamb).

    I know we grow better by being in his Word. God said to study to show yourself Approved before God. Mankind will see God if we study and look like him with the things we know. I know this. Sometimes I do this better than at other times. But there should be a progression in putting sin to death in our lives. With God’s help we CAN. HE knows our Hearts (we do want to).

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