“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
-Christianity does not stop at salvation even though it guarantees us of eternal life. Spiritual growth and maturity is our portion in Christ for we were created in His own image and likeness. Paul does not teach that salvation is dependent on one’s continued works, but that salvation must express itself in progressive Christian living and upright character, not only individually but through obedience in the body of Christ by His grace. One’s salvation is then build up as the Holy Spirit does His good works in us and through us to fulfill His good purpose and pleasures. As the salt and the light of the world, those who bear the gift of salvation lighten up the moral darkness of the world in Christ, as we rid ourselves from all evil thoughts, desires, talk and habits, and He gives us hope of shine like the firmament in the sky; forever.
Abba Father You are our God and our Lord. The Rock of our salvation. The Corner stone upon whom we stand. The Pillar upon whom we put our trust. We look to You Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, strengthen us in our salvation and enable us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. We look to You Jesus our Helper and Comforter, comfort us dear Jesus when we are weak. We look to You Jesus, guide our steps this entire week. We look to You Jesus in our family affairs, bless us and prosper all our ways. We look to You Jesus our provider, provide for all our needs we humbly ask You. We look to You Jesus our Protector and Shield, deliver us from all snares of the evil one. We look to You Jesus in our jobs and businesses, open many door for us and increase our territories. We look to You Jesus in our churches, let many know You and come to salvation. We look to You in our purposes and ministries, grant us success in all that You have called us to become. We look to You in our national affairs, bless our nation and grant us peace and prosperity Jehovah Shalom. May Your Shalom be present in the nation of Israel and USA. May Your peace be felt in all the nations of the world. You are our Helper and our Shield, we look to You in all areas of our lives, answer all our prayers and hearts desires we humbly implore You. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Colossians 3:5-10, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 13:43
1 Peter 2:1-3
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have the tasted that the Lord is good.”
-As new born babies yearn for spiritual milk that enables them to grow healthy and strong, born again Christians crave for spiritual food. Growth and maturity in salvation requires that we feed on good spiritual food which is the word of God, as we abiding in Christ who leads us in all truth. Christ calls us to abide in Him as He abides in us, for He is the Vine and we are the branches and without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). Apostle Paul revealed to the Hebrews that, they ought to be teachers but some rely too much on milk which belongs to infants. As we mature in salvation, we graduate from depending on milk to solid food that trains us to distinguish between good and evil, and walk in righteousness.
Lord our Everlasting Father we come to You today with thanksgiving in our hearts. We count our blessings and name them one by one. We surrender our lives to You. We thank You for who You are and what You have done unto us. Thank You for the good plans You have for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Thank You for all You have done unto our lives, our families, churches, and nation. Thank You God for You have gone before us and You are making everything work out for our good. Thank You for You know the times, seasons and the years before us, and the paths that we should take. Thank You for abiding in us as we abide in You. We love You Lord, thank You for loving us first. We rely on You Jesus Christ our true Vine for without You we can do nothing. Forgive us merciful Savior all our iniquities and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Grant us the grace to rid ourselves from all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Wash us dear Jesus with Your precious blood and lead us in Your way of salvation. Thank You for You are establishing us in Your word each day that we may rely on Your righteousness and holiness. Only You are Holy Lord. Only You are righteous, we rely on Your holiness and righteousness. Only You deserve to be worshipped and adored. Only You deserve to be exulted and praised. Only You are the true Vine, we rely on You for fruitfulness. We can do nothing without You Jesus, water us and establish us in the water of Your word. Thank You dear Jesus for Your goodness and mercy upon our lives. Thank You for Your kindness and love upon us Your children. Remember with mercy Lord all those who are jobless and struggling financially that You may provide for all their needs. Bless all the orphans, widows and the street children, that You may show them Your salvation. Open the eyes of our muslim brothers and sisters merciful Savior and show them Your salvation. Be with all those are waiting You for marriage that Your hand of grace may locate each one of them and unite them with their spouses. Have mercy on all the broken families that Your will may be done in their lives merciful Savior. Bless our children and make them fruitful. Be with us dear Jesus and answer all our prayers and hearts desires. Thank You Jesus for You love us and You care for us. Thank You for writing our names in the book of life. Thank You for we belong to You and You know us by name dear Jesus. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Hebrews 5:12-14
1 Corinthians 13:11
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
-Apostle Paul points out that once someone is mature in salvation, or probably also in age, he/she should not entertain, reason or engage in pursuits that seem childish. Advancement in age does not guarantee emotional maturity or better still maturity in salvation. Maturity in salvation is often accomplished by an enlightenment in knowledge and wisdom that leads to a change in mindset and character. Ones focus, plans and augmentations shifts from being shortsighted and erroneous to a more mature and Christ-like perspective. One also begins to focus on heavenly things and not earthly things, and seek the things above and not below through faith in Jesus Christ. One looks at God as Sovereign, the Creator and Owner of everything, and we are custodians for the advancement of God’s kingdom. God calls us to be transformed by the renewal of mind, so that we may realize Him good, acceptable and perfect will. Noah displayed utmost maturity and was sensitive to the times they were living in. He was obedient to hear and do as God commanded amid the pressure and ridicule that emanated from the people. As the people were oblivious of the fact that God would destroy the earth for its perversion, Noah was a just man and received the salvation of the Lord. Lot was also steadfast in the Lord despite the sinful and perverse environment that he lived in. When the two angels came to his house, the men contemplated to sleep with them even though Lot had offered his virgin daughters instead. As Abraham pleaded with God to save the righteous, Lot and his family were saved from destruction. We live in such a time when the world around us practices all kinds of evil and many do not believe in Jesus Christ. Like Noah and Lot, let us always be ready for the Day of the Lord, for Christ is coming soon. We are called to walk in the spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh, and hold fast our faith in Jesus Christ.
Oh Lord our God, how awesome is Your name in all the earth. All the earth praises You, all the nations of the earth proclaims Your goodness in all the earth. Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Grant us the fruit of humility Holy Spirit, that we may follow after the spirit and not as the flesh desires. Grant us the grace to do Your will and to be obedient to Your word. Prepare us dear Jesus for Your second coming and help us to focus on the things above and not on the things below. Hide us and our descendants within Yourself dear Jesus and cover us with Your precious blood. May Your righteousness be our belt and faithfulness a sash around our waists. Your throne of judgement is also a throne of grace, grant us the grace dear Jesus to serve You faithfully as You have called each one of us. Grant us the grace to finish our course merciful Savior. Deliver us from delusions and self-centeredness that perverts our lives. Grant the gift of salvation upon us, our family members, friends, colleagues, leaders and all those around us, that we may rejoice in You always. Increase our faith Holy Spirit that we may see Your salvation each day. Only You are holy Lord and worthy of our praises. We praise You and glorify Your holy name, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Genesis 6:13-22, Genesis 19:1-29, Romans 12:1-2
“And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
-Maturity in salvation requires an increase in faith. When a complain arose against the Hellenistic Jews, who were natives of Greco-Roman but neglected their widows. The apostles assembled the disciples and chose seven among them to lead the group. Among them was Stephen who had great faith and wisdom, and worked wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. They spread the gospel and many came to Christ. It is through such election that God has saved us through faith by grace lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8), and called us to do His will hear on earth. Abraham the father of faith; had great faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:3). Him having been instructed to go to a land that he did not know yet obeyed and received the promise. Also, he displayed great faith after he had received the promise yet was willing to sacrifice his only son. Through faith he pleased God and he was called a friend of God (James 2:23). It is by faith then that we are sons of Abraham (Galatians 3:7), and friends of God, and have since receive the promise of justification (Romans 5:1). Like Stephen who held fast his faith even when he was confronted by death, we are called to have great faith in God that we may fulfill the purposes He designed for us before the foundations of this world, that we may receive our crowns. Similarly, Apostle Paul declared that he kept the faith and therefore he was ready to receive his reward (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Since the just shall live by faith (Galatians 3:11), and we have been justified by faith, we are reminded to exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and He will use us for the glory of His name.
Abba Father we thank You for You are faithful and Your faithfulness endures forever. We thank You for You have been faithful to us even when we have become faithless. We bless Your holy name for Your merciful love upon us; that You gave Your only begotten Son for our salvation. Thank You for loving us and making us Your sons through faith in Jesus Christ. You are our Father and our Friend we praise You. Thank You for choosing us and for justifying us through faith by grace. We come to Your throne of grace with boldness that we may obtain mercy and grace to help us during our time of need. Remember all the orphans and widows in our society that You may be their ever present help in times of need. Be with all those who are sick and suffering that You may heal them for by Your stripes we are healed Jesus. Deliver all those who are in prison and transform their lives. Bless us dear Jesus and heal all our wounds. Lift us up from our troubles and prosper all our ways. Hear Oh Lord our prayers and answer all our hearts desires we humbly beseech You. Nothing is impossible with You Oh Lord. Increase our faith Holy Spirit that we may not despair during our time of need but hold fast our faith in You. Increase our faith and strengthen us in wisdom even when our flesh is weak, that we may live by the spirit for the glory of Your name. Help us to run the race well and to finish our course, that we may receive our crowns. Empower us Holy Spirit to mature in salvation and walk by faith and not by sight. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Luke 17:5, Hebrew 10:38-39, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
-Salvation was founded into the world through the love of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as the propitiation for our sins. Spiritual growth can be evidenced by possessing gifts like the gift of prophecy, faith, helps, speaking in tongues, performing miracles etc., but maturity in salvation requires that we have love. Without love we are nothing and we cannot accomplish anything. Love covers a multitude of sins, which is also translated as human weaknesses that may elaborate personal differences or cause discrimination. Agape love as discussed here by Paul influences our mental orientation, relational connections and spiritual enhancement for the glory of God.
A sounding brass or clanging cymbal both make or cause a loud resounding noise when struck. These are used as musical instruments that often yielded the same rhythm when played. The gift of tongues is therefore compared to these instruments if love is not applied, and the gift becomes ineffective. Maturity in salvation is a precipitate of spiritual growth. It first requires that we become obedient to the word of God, live uprightly and be dedicated to His call, as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. As one received the gift of salvation, he/she exercises it through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Since salvation comes by grace through faith, we rely on the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, as He trains us in the word. Secondly, salvation is founded through our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and to mature in it requires that we also grow in faith. If we have faith, we please God and He does His good work in us for the glory and honor of His name. Abraham obeyed God’s instructions by accepting to sacrifice his son Isaac, and by his faith it was accounted to him for righteousness. It is through faith that we are justified as we accomplish God’s good pleasure. Thirdly, maturity in salvation requires that we are separated from sin and the pleasures of this world, that cause fleshly lusts, lust of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16). We are called to obey the word of God, rid ourselves of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind, like newborn babies, and crave for pure spiritual milk, so that we may grow up in salvation (1 Peter 2:1-3). Apostle Paul also notes that as babes mature and grow, there is need to rely on spiritual food as one becomes skillful in the word of righteousness. It is through spiritual feeding that one grows and become a teacher, and exercises that which is good (Hebrews 5:12-14). Fourthly, maturity in salvation requires that each one exercises Christ-like love in the society as opposed to self-centeredness that enables us to fully operate in our gifts and calling by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like a sounding brass and a clanging cymbal which are used to symbolize lack of love and fruitfulness when administering the gift of tongues, we achieve nothing if we have the gift of salvation but do not abide in Christ and His love.
Almighty and Everlasting Father we come before You today thanking You for taking us through the entire week by Your grace and favor. We enter Your gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and with praise. We repent for all the things we have done to displease You and humbly ask You to forgive us and wash us with Your precious blood merciful Savior. We humbly ask You to remove any form of unforgiveness, hatred and unbelief from our hearts, that we may love unconditionally. God You are love and have created us in Your image and likeness, help us to love You and one another as ourselves. Help us to love our enemies as ourselves. Grant each one of us, our family members, friends, colleagues and our entire nation the gift of salvation and help us to mature in it. We did not choose You but You chose us dear Jesus, we humbly ask You to mature us in Your salvation that we may operate in full potential for the glory and honor of Your name. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. May You bless us Lord and keep us. Make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us; God lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
Further reading: 1 Corinthians 13:13, Songs of Solomon 8:7, John 15:9-12