So you are a Christian (Acts 11:26), a Saint (I Corinthians 1:2), a Disciple of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20); what now? You will observe in the church that there is a wide range of strength amongst the Lord’s people. God knew this; which is one reason why He told the strong in faith to bear with the weak. (Romans 15:1-3) Why He told the strong not to think too highly of themselves because we all have an importance in the body of Christ. (Romans 12:3-5) And one reason why the word of the Lord has been provided… so that we all might increase in the strength and stability of our faith. (II Peter 3:18) How can we do that? Here are six fundamental ways vital to every Saint’s growth, maturity, strength and stability. These are non-negotiable. Every single one is absolutely vital. If you are not growing in your faith or you are constantly stumbling in sin, one or more of these six reasons will always be the culprit. Always. Always. Without exception. Always.
1. Study - Every Saint needs to study. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) As a Saint, if you aren’t studying you aren’t growing. If you aren’t studying you are weakening. If you aren’t studying you are soon to be tossed here and there by every wind and wave of doctrine because of your immaturity in the faith. (Ephesians 4:14) Study. Study as much as you can. If you don’t know how to study; learn how to study. (II Timothy 2:15; 3:14-15) If you don’t know where to start; learn where to start. (II Timothy 2:2; Romans 10:14) If you don’t have time; start making the time. (Ephesians 5: 15-17) Why? Because there is nothing more important to your spiritual strength and stability than studying God’s word. There is no substitute. Study, and you will naturally strengthen and mature in the faith. (Romans 10:17) Increase in your faith and you will not stumble. (II Peter 1:5-11)
2. Speak - Go to God in prayer. “...pray without ceasing;” (I Thessalonians 5:17) We are to be, “...devoted to prayer” (Romans 12:12). God wants us to speak to Him. We need to speak to Him. We must be in constant communication with God or we will become weak. Prayer increases our faith and spiritual strength and we will quickly become lost with out. Studying is us listening to God. Prayer is us speaking to God. It takes both for us to strengthen and mature as Saints. As a new Saint, you may not be used to praying. Learn. Learn by listening to others who pray; but especially, learn to pray by studying the scriptures. The Disciples asked of Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) And He did. Study the prayers of Jesus. Study the prayers of the Disciples. Study the Prayers in Scripture (especially the Psalms), and you will grow in faith like you never imagined possible. Speak to God. He will hear you. Speak to God. He will strengthen you.
3. Supper - Meet w/ the Saints EVERY week and remember why you became a Christian. Nothing will help you remain a Christian like remembering why you became one to begin with. We know that brethren met every first day of the week to partake of the Memorial Supper that Christ instituted before His death. (Mark 14:22-24; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:17-33) There is great purpose in this Memorial in keeping us focused on Christ. How many times do you have to miss a service before you aren’t missing it… it’s just not a part of your life anymore? All Saints, but especially new Saints, need to be at services every week. At every service possible. To forsake that assembling, to forsake the memorial, is to forsake the stimulation, strength, stability, and maturity of our own soul. (Hebrews 10:25).
4. Sing - Nothing affects our attitude and mood like music. It is a unique creation of God with its impact upon the spirit of man. When we are babes, we first learn many valuable lessons through song. We first find a unique joy in music. Music helps us to make memories and makes impressions upon our hearts and minds. So it is when we are babes in Christ. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16) Some things never change. As a Christian, we should “wake the dawn with praises” (Psalm 108:1-2) and see how that impacts the rest of our day. Those who think singing has no impact upon their faith, or faithfulness, or guarding against sin will be the same people whose faith is weak and sin is always crouching at their door. Learning hymns, knowing hymns, singing hymns is vital to our spiritual health and well being.
5. Serve - Be like Jesus. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. (Mark 10:45) As Disciples, if we want to grow then we need to serve. Serving is much like working out. If you want your muscles to grow and strengthen then you need to work them out through work or exercise. It’s the same for spiritual strength. We don’t need to be busy (bodies), we need to be working. Exercising our faith in our service. In reference to us no longer being immature the Holy Spirit teaches, “...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16) Serve in love and you will grow, strengthen, and mature.
6. Share - Share what you are blessed with; especially what you know. One of the best ways to grow is to teach. Yes, as a young Saint it is a lot about learning, but it’s not ALL about learning; it’s also about sharing what you learn with others. When you learn something, go share that with others. Your child, your spouse, a friend, coworker, or even a stranger! One of the best ways to grow is to teach. It reinforces in your mind what you’ve learned and helps you to retain it. It pushes and challenges you in ways that help you to grow. As Saints, we should all be teachers (Hebrews 5:12); may we have that as our goal and may that be our work.
Six S’s for Saints’ Strength and Stability. Crucial. Vital. Non-negotiable. Essential.