How do I develop a lifelong faith?
Jesus told his disciples they would do even greater works than he did.
One of those works is to faithfully follow our calling after the age of 33! We have watched many in our family not keep faith after their thirties. Sometimes it feels like an old Christian is hard to find! Many inhabiting the dying churches of the Philadelphia region don’t seem more alive in faith or even deploying their gifts!
We hope people become mature Jesus followers as quickly as we can help each other and then swim the depths of grace -- becoming even more robust and valuable to the cause of Christ in the world! Instead of presenting a Christianity one can consume and dispose of, we hope to lay out eternity and be brave enough to receive it all.
The newborn believer needs to take brave new steps. A more mature believer needs to keep taking them. Paul told Timothy when he was old:
📖 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-7)
New steps are not easy
📖 As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature (Luke 8:14)
But the rewards are great
Wisdom: 📖 Among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish (1 Cor 2:6).
Reconciliation: 📖 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you (Philippians 3:15).
Vision: 📖 It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
Discernment: 📖 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrew 5:14).
Endurance: 📖 You know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4).
Further steps to take
1. Use Circle of Hope Daily Prayer :: WATER
This daily prayer offering is written by WATER people for WATER people. It is one way we can create a community of depth and challenge. At this site we enjoy many different voices who are being asked to take a week or two at a time to lead us. They may have a theme to follow at times, especially when the pastors are taking their turn; they may lead us through a book, or just give us what they think we need.
2. Receive the Gifts for Growing and offer them
We lay out a path from here to there in faith each year and provide resources for people making their way in deeper faith, hope and love. We call these resources “gifts for growing” since someone among us has given them as a gift to help us come to our fullness. Now is the stage when you might be ready to share such gifts, or at least support the process of moving deeper.