10/17/2022 0 Comments
October 17, 2022
This Week's Teaching | Prayer Requests
"Do These Things, And They'll Keep You From Stumbling In Your Faith!"
Last week I taught on how God heals us spiritually. Where we’re lame, he heals us so we can walk. But we do need to walk, and that takes effort.
The healing is on him. The walking is on us.
Today many people live as if being in the Faith should require no real effort on their part. Some even feel like any effort at all somehow nullifies grace. As a result, they remain stuck in old ways, and never mature. “I thought God was supposed to save me!?” And their disillusionment becomes entrenched along with their sins.
I think most of us wouldn’t actually say it’s wrong to put in the effort. But we also live with a sense that God is supposed to fix our sin nature so that we no longer struggle with sin. And so, rather than working hard at it dying to self by resisting the sins of the flesh, we just wait to be released from it—and then we wonder why we aren’t fixed.
When Peter wrote his second letter, he twice used the phrase, “make every effort.”
Of course, we all do stumble — especially if we put little effort into adding these qualities to our faith. But to whatever degree we do put in the effort, we stumble less. This is the apostle’s witness, it is my witness, and it is the witness of the Church throughout the centuries.
I hope you’ll take 20 minutes to watch this week’s video where I develop these thoughts further. And as you watch, reflect on whether and where you need to put in more effort. Of course, it all starts with what Peter calls participating in the divine nature. And that’s where the teaching starts.
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Roger Shenk is the pastor of X242, a network of microchurches.