Last week we talked about moving from glory to glory and glory is value. There are three key factors that facilitate this transition. The first factor is vision.
May 22, 2023
Last week we talked about moving from glory to glory and glory is value. There are three key factors that facilitate this transition. The first factor is vision. It is crucial to possess a clear vision of the next level that God has in store for you. Without a vision, you will find yourself directionless and uncertain. Think of vision as setting the destination coordinates in the GPS of your life. Once you have established your vision, the next step is to acquire the necessary knowledge and expertise to reach that vision. This entails a commitment to studying, learning, and cultivating a voracious appetite for knowledge. Armed with the acquired knowledge, the next essential component is mindset. Your mindset must align with your vision and utilize the acquired knowledge as a catalyst to propel you towards your desired destination. Therefore, in order to transition from one level of glory to another, you must possess vision, knowledge, and the right mindset.
Surprisingly, all three of these elements stem from a source that may seem incredible: the Word. Your spiritual development will inevitably manifest in your physical circumstances. This correlation is indisputable. As your spiritual life expands, so too will your physical existence. Physical growth encompasses more than mere bodily maturation; it encompasses emotional development, improved relationships, financial advancement, and career progression. Growth is an inherent aspect of your existence within the kingdom. In the realm of the kingdom, growth operates on a multiplier effect, transcending the incremental and linear growth observed in the secular world.
In the secular world, growth occurs gradually and in a linear fashion. It progresses incrementally over time. However, in the kingdom, growth operates on an entirely different level. It multiplies exponentially. Thus, as believers, it is essential to recognize that if we are not multiplying what the Lord has entrusted to us, we are failing to fulfill our role as good stewards. Furthermore, it is equally important to understand that if we are not multiplying what the Lord has not given us, we are still falling short in our stewardship. Therefore, we must learn the principles of multiplying growth. I would like to delve into the concept of unlocking the secret of exponential growth, as a life of increase is inherently tied to a life of growth. To gauge growth, we assess its effectiveness and fruitfulness. How effective are you? How fruitful are you? Similarly, when measuring the growth of a tree, we consider its stability and the abundance of fruit it produces. Therefore, the effectiveness and fruitfulness of our endeavors serve as the indicators of growth.
2 Peter 1:8 – For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter highlights the significance of certain qualities, the ongoing growth and development of these qualities will consistently make you more effective and fruitful. It’s important to note that this principle extends beyond spiritual growth alone. Spiritual growth inevitably influences your physical life as well. There is an undeniable connection between the two. It operates as a principle, meaning that if you observe growth in your spiritual life, it will undeniably manifest in your physical life. Growth is not an enigmatic concept; it operates on a foundational principle.
Growth is not a mysterious phenomenon. It is a principle that, when followed, yields consistent results. Growth does not occur by chance; it is a deliberate pursuit based on principles. We often tend to attribute our lack of growth to external factors such as our circumstances, upbringing, or background. However, it is important to recognize that growth is not a mystery; it operates on a well-established principle. By adhering to this principle, you can experience growth in various aspects of your life. There are no limits when it comes to growth. It continues to expand and flow until you declare otherwise. The day you say “stop,” it will come to a halt.
Heaven knows no bounds. If you find yourself facing limitations in life, it’s because you have spoken those limitations into existence. It’s because, in some way, you have consented to their presence. Heaven has infinite potential for growth, and you can too, as much as you desire. In the words of Peter, if you possess and continually nurture these qualities, they will prevent you from being ineffective or unproductive.
2 Peter 1:10 – Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
These qualities are bestowed upon you to actively incorporate into your life. They are meant to be practiced, allowing you to nurture and develop them. What’s truly remarkable is that through consistent practice, these qualities can lead you to a life free from stumbling. Just imagine embarking on a successful Christian journey where you no longer experience repeated falls. It’s not necessary to proclaim this ambition to others with phrases like, “Yeah, I fall, I get up, I fall, I get up.” It’s perfectly normal to stumble occasionally because you always have the capacity to rise again. Nevertheless, I can assure you that within the realm of the Christian life, there exists a dimension where falling can be completely avoided. Peter affirms that by diligently and continuously practicing these qualities, you can attain a state of unwavering stability.
The Apostle John states that if you are born of God, you are incapable of sinning. He doesn’t suggest that you might occasionally sin or that you may or may not sin. He unequivocally declares that you cannot sin. Those who are born of God are fundamentally unable to sin—it’s an inherent impossibility. Yet, at times, you find yourself living contrary to this impossibility by engaging in sinful behavior. As a child of God, falling is out of the question. However, there’s a crucial aspect to consider: you must actively practice these qualities to avoid falling. Take note of what Peter emphasizes: “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election.” You see, it is God who has called us. It is God who has chosen us. It is God who has elected us. We don’t choose ourselves. In John 15:16, Jesus asserts, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” God has chosen you out of His love and wisdom. He believed in you; He chose you. However, Peter highlights the need to affirm that calling. How can you confirm that calling? By actively practicing these qualities. This implies that you were born with the DNA of the King, as a prince inheriting the genetic makeup of royalty. Yet, if you fail to practice and embrace the lifestyle befitting a king, despite being a prince, you will continue to behave as a beggar.
To truly embody these qualities, consistent practice is essential. The issue does not lie in the lack of calling or selection of individuals. As believers of Jesus, each one of us is called and chosen. The challenge arises from our failure to cultivate and exhibit these qualities, resulting in a life filled with defeat. It is crucial to practice these qualities in order to confirm our calling. Allow me to share a familiar story that illustrates this point: an eagle mistakenly raised among chickens in a poultry farm. Despite realizing its true identity as an eagle, the bird must practice behaving like one. Mere revelation of our identity alone does not guide us towards our purpose. We must actively practice our identity as children of God. It’s not enough to simply proclaim, “I’m a child of God.” Though you are undoubtedly a cherished child of God, without putting it into practice, it remains empty words. Practice is key. Practice these qualities diligently.
2 Peter 1:10 – For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
I’m about to share with you the key to unlocking exponential growth. It’s a single factor, and that factor is faith. Faith holds the secret to exponential growth. In Romans 1:17, it states that the righteous shall live by faith. The righteousness of God is revealed through faith, and it progresses from one level of faith to another. Living by faith is crucial. However, there’s an important distinction to make. The secret to growth does not solely rely on faith alone. It lies in the cultivation of genuine and growing faith. Growing faith is the true secret to growth. Each one of us has been given a measure of faith.
2 Peter 1:1 – Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
When you received the gospel and responded with a resounding “yes” to Jesus, it was because you received a faith of equal standing. Each one of us has been bestowed with a faith of equal measure. None of us received a higher or lower portion, more or less. We all received a faith of equal standing. However, it is within our power to determine how much we can grow from that initial measure of faith.
You see, this is what Jesus said: If you have the faith of a mustard seed, what is remarkable about a mustard seed? Despite its small size, it has the ability to grow. Therefore, it’s not a matter of how small or big your faith is, but rather how much you can cultivate and develop from that initial seed of faith. The issue lies not in the absence of faith, as each one of us possesses faith. That’s why we are gathered here today. We all have received a measure of faith. The real question is, how much have we nurtured and expanded that faith? The secret to growth lies in the expansion of our faith.
In Philippians 2:12-13, it says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” These words have caused considerable confusion within the body of Christ. Does the Lord work salvation, or do I work salvation? The truth is, you can only work out what God has already worked in.
Just as you can’t work out your abs if you don’t have abs beneath the layer of fat (which can be worked out to reveal the abs), similarly, you can only work out your salvation because God has already worked salvation within you. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the believer to actively develop and live out the faith that we have freely received through the grace of Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith, and both grace and faith are gifts. You possess genuine faith; that’s why you are sitting here. The mere fact that you walked through that door and are here, listening to the gospel, is evidence of your faith. However, the question remains: How faithfully have you stewarded and nurtured your faith to grow to the next level?
Faith has the inherent capacity to grow, and one way to facilitate its growth is through exercise. Let’s say it together: exercise. This is why Paul, in his letters to the Ephesians and Colossians, emphasizes the connection between faith in Christ and love for fellow believers. Your faith in Christ finds expression and is exercised through your love for the saints. It is impossible to claim belief in God while harboring hatred toward His people. Have you ever heard someone say, “Yeah, Jesus is fine, but I despise the church and everyone in it, including you”? That attitude does not align with genuine faith. I acknowledge that the church can be hurtful, mean, and judgmental, but it is through our belief in God’s goodness that we are called to love even the ungrateful, wretched, and judgmental individuals.
So, your faith in God must be actively exercised through loving others. Now, let’s consider Peter’s guidance on how to grow in that faith. Growth often involves taking steps, just like climbing a staircase where each step builds upon the previous one. Without a solid foundation, there can be no progression. Faith serves as the foundation for growth. You need to grow in the understanding that God is good, His thoughts for you are good, and His intentions for you are good. Recognizing His goodness is the starting point from which you can grow. If you attempt to love others without a foundation of faith, you may become burnt out. Faith is the foundation, and love becomes the evidence of that foundation. It’s a journey from faith to love, progressing from an initial state of genuine faith in receiving Jesus to a mature faith where you can truly love others.
Now, let’s examine the steps that Peter outlines. The first step is virtue. In verse five, Peter encourages us to supplement our faith with virtue. In other words, in addition to faith as the foundation, we are to cultivate and incorporate virtue into our lives.
Virtue, in addition to its meaning as moral goodness, can also be understood as excellence. It encompasses having an attitude of excellence in various aspects of life. It involves constantly stretching our faith in order to strive for excellence. This mindset of excellence should permeate every area, whether it’s our career, education, relationships, or even the relationship between husband and wife. By believing in God and embracing excellence as a mindset, we can move towards the next level of glory.
To assess our progress, we must ask ourselves a crucial question: What value are we producing with what God has entrusted to us? What excellence are we manifesting with the resources and abilities God has already given us? It’s easy to yearn for the next opportunity, the next relationship, or the next upgrade in life, but it’s essential to remain faithful and conscientious with what we have been given by God.
Are you faithful? Are you demonstrating faithfulness in your workplace? Are you faithfully nurturing the relationship that God has bestowed upon you? Are you faithfully serving the members of your church, whom God has blessed you with? Before proceeding to the next step, it is essential to reflect on your faithfulness. Excellence, without a doubt, is a mindset—a mindset driven by the pursuit of excellence. Pastor Bill Johnson once mentioned that power may attract the masses, but it is excellence that captures the attention of kings and queens. Consider the story of Queen Sheba, who traveled a great distance to meet King Solomon and was deeply impressed by the extraordinary excellence within his palace. Impressions of kings and queens are not easily attained.
Excellence is a mindset that can only be established upon a foundation of faith.
The next step involves the first key, which is faithfulness. With a mindset of excellence firmly in place, the question arises: How can we acquire the necessary knowledge to achieve our desired level of excellence? It is essential to identify the knowledge and skills required to fulfill our vision of excellence within the company or organization we are a part of. When we are clear about the excellence we aspire to bring forth, we can then focus on acquiring the knowledge and expertise necessary to reach that goal. It is important to recognize that skillfulness cannot be achieved without intention. Without intentional effort, any area lacking purpose and intention will inevitably deteriorate and lose its appeal.
Neglecting your beautiful garden for a mere three months will inevitably result in its deterioration. It serves as a reminder that intentionality is crucial. Intentionality extends to understanding the necessary know-how. It is important to recognize that as your skills and knowledge multiply, so does the potential for a higher salary. This truth holds: instead of solely praying for a salary increase, focus on expanding your knowledge and honing your skills. By doing so, your salary will naturally experience growth. Sitting idly and expecting miracles to occur is not the path to follow. Sometimes, it seems as if the Lord desires to grant us a guiding rod, a tool to warm our path with truth. Consequently, do not wait for miracles to transpire, as that which comes effortlessly is easily lost.
Proverbs 24:4 – by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
You wanna fill your houses with treasures. Don’t be ignorant. It’s a sad truth that in India, the percentage of the body of Christ that actually reads is less than 10%. Do you have the desire to grow? Oh yes, I wanna grow. How many books have you read?
Your growth will be stunted if you do not invest yourself in the school of the Holy Spirit. It is crucial to recognize that reading books plays a significant role in this process. Allow me to explain why I strongly encourage reading. Imagine going to the gym and attempting various exercises and lifting weights without guidance. While you may make some progress, it will be limited. However, if you hire a personal trainer, you will experience immediate growth because you benefit from their expertise. The struggles they have endured and overcome can be avoided as they guide and support you. Similarly, reading books acts as a personal trainer for your spiritual growth, providing wisdom, insights, and experiences that accelerate your development in the school of the Holy Spirit.
Be humble and prioritize your training. Learn from those who have come before you. Acquire books and study materials to expand your knowledge. Avoid living in a fantasy world where everything magically falls into place. If there are books available in your desired field of growth, make an effort to obtain and learn from them. Embrace humility as you absorb their wisdom. Approach learning with honor and hunger. Why waste time trying to figure everything out on your own? By the time you manage to do so, you’ll already be in your twenties. The authors of those books likely wrote them after enduring struggles for 30 or 40 years. By reading their work in just a couple of weeks, you can fast-track your own journey and bypass unnecessary foolishness, pride, and laziness. Can I tell you something? Diligent hands will prosper. The easiest path to poverty is laziness. Diligence will bring success. So start reading, not only your Bible. Expand your horizons by diving into various books.
Diligent hands will prosper. The easiest path to poverty is laziness.
The first step towards excellence is the virtue of excellence itself. The next step is acquiring knowledge, the understanding of how to achieve that excellence. The third step is self-control, which, as we discussed in a previous sermon, means mustering strength and restraint. Self-control is essential because without it, even possessing power alone wouldn’t enable you to perform simple tasks. Therefore, you require disciplined strength, self-control, or mustiness.
1 Corinthians 9:25, Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.
Let’s say it together: “all things.” You must learn to exercise self-control in all aspects of your life. So once you have the right mindset, the next step is to acquire the necessary know-how, followed by cultivating self-control to master all areas of your life. Whatever knowledge you acquire, you need the discipline to grow in the vision that the Lord has bestowed upon you. Exercise mastery in all things.
What is steadfastness? Steadfastness can be defined as the combination of endurance, patience, and perseverance. It is characterized by the ability to maintain a determined mindset, even in the face of challenges. When you possess a mindset of excellence, along with knowledge and self-control, you will inevitably encounter trials. It is during these times that steadfastness becomes crucial, as it enables you to remain committed to the process without becoming disheartened or distracted.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
These trials serve as tests for one’s faith, ultimately producing steadfastness and allowing it to fully develop. The outcome of steadfastness is a sense of completeness and wholeness, as stated in the verse, “that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” The true strength of your faith lies in the aspect that has endured trials and remained unwavering. Therefore, steadfastness is an essential quality that should be cultivated and embraced.
You need steadfastness. It is a characteristic, an essential trait of remaining unwavering in your pursuit of your liberated purpose. Even when you face tremendous trials and suffering, it is crucial to maintain your composure. Let me emphasize this: your trials and suffering are transient. They exist only to divert your attention and lead you astray. They are temporary obstacles in your path. However, if you stay steadfast, even in the face of adversity, you will emerge stronger.
The next phase entails embracing godliness, which essentially means striving to be like God. To be godly is to exhibit characteristics that resemble those of God. However, godliness encompasses more than just imitation; it involves wholehearted devotion to God and His kingdom. How can one achieve such godliness? Paul’s letter to the Ephesians urges us to imitate God as beloved children. But how can we imitate God if we lack a personal relationship with Him? Therefore, developing a genuine relationship with God becomes crucial in our pursuit of godliness. It is through this relationship that we can learn to imitate His ways.
Godliness requires a deep sense of dedication, characterized by unwavering devotion to God and His kingdom. Regrettably, many of us tend to prioritize wealth above all else. This fixation on money often becomes apparent when we experience financial setbacks—our peace is disrupted, and we become distraught. It serves as a telling indicator of our devotion or lack thereof.
By having a deep devotion to God, you can experience a transformative process where you begin to embody God-like character and behavior. Your high devotion to God allows His influence to permeate your life. When you maintain a profound devotion to God, you start to reflect His attributes. Consider the words of Jesus when he proclaimed, “I am the light of the world.” However, as you delve into subsequent passages, you discover that Jesus also declared, “You are the light of the world.” Now, who is truly the light of the world? Is it solely Jesus, or can you also be the light of the world? The answer lies in understanding that you become the light by honoring and aligning yourself with the light of the world. Jesus is the source of light, and through your union with Him, you too can radiate that light.
One of the remarkable aspects of Jesus is that by being in union with Him, you can partake in His qualities. He is the light, and through your connection with Him, you become the light. He is life, and as you deepen your relationship with Him, you begin to experience abundant life. Moreover, this transformative process creates a ripple effect where God utilizes you as a channel to bring life to others.
To truly embody godliness, one must possess unwavering and profound devotion to God. However, it seems that this vital element is often lacking. Instead of cultivating a deep connection with God, many of us exploit faith as a means to acquire material possessions. My belief in the goodness of God extends far beyond personal gain, for I desire a genuine relationship with Him. I am wholeheartedly devoted to Him, expressing my love, seeking His presence, holding Him in awe, and honoring His name.
Throughout the book of Deuteronomy, there is a recurring phrase emphasizing the importance of seeking the Lord with all aspects of our being: heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are called to love the Lord with our whole heart, mind, and soul. Fear in this context implies a deep reverence and honor for the Lord. We are to honor Him with our entire being. Furthermore, we are instructed to obey the Lord with our entire heart, mind, and soul. The promised result of such devotion is that we will never lack anything. Our needs will be fulfilled. The problem lies in our desire for fulfillment without genuine love and devotion for Jesus. It is crucial to prioritize seeking the kingdom of God above all else, fixing our gaze on Jesus and wholeheartedly devoting ourselves to God. Business pursuits should not take precedence over our devotion to God; they should arise as byproducts of that devotion. Prosperity, too, becomes secondary, for even if we lose material wealth, our inheritance lies in God Himself.
The subsequent step is fostering brotherly and sisterly affection. Brotherly affection, known as ‘Philia’ in Greek, derives from the word ‘Philadelphia,’ which translates to fellowship. This concept extends beyond brothers alone; it encompasses fostering a sense of unity and fellowship among all our brothers and sisters. Philadelphia teaches us that if we hold a profound devotion to God, we will naturally cultivate fellowship with our brothers and sisters.”
Your strong devotion to God will result in fellowship with the saints. I recently read a story from Genesis 38 about Judah, where he experiences a tragic event in his household – the loss of his two sons. However, the first verse of the chapter, Genesis 38:1, caught my attention. It states that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Edomite named Hira. In this context, “went down from his brothers” implies that he distanced himself from the fellowship of his brothers and formed a friendship with a Gentile named Hira. It is worth noting that Judah means “praise,” while Hira means “anger.” When praise aligns itself with anger, tragedy often follows, despite the fact that praise is meant to bring about victory. Understanding Judah, who carries the banner of victory, reveals that whenever praise becomes tainted, tragedy ensues. When Judah departed from fellowship and associated himself with tragedy, the inevitable outcome was suffering.
I understand that maintaining fellowship can be challenging because the people we fellowship with are imperfect individuals. However, I want to emphasize that it is even more difficult and traumatic to isolate oneself from fellowship. If you can find a way to navigate and resolve conflicts within the boundaries of this fellowship, you can experience tremendous personal growth and lead a successful and fulfilling life. However, if you choose to isolate yourself due to past hurts, offenses, jealousy, or any other reasons, you will inevitably be drawn towards unknown individuals who may become the cause of your downfall and tragedy. I have observed a consistent pattern within the church where individuals, for various reasons such as busyness or feeling either overly blessed or under-blessed, isolate themselves and consequently display worse characteristics and bear more negative fruits compared to when they were actively engaged in fellowship. It is crucial to remain committed to fellowship, to cultivate brotherly affection and to allow the devotion you have for Jesus to manifest in your interactions with others. It is imperative to stay connected and engaged within the community of believers.
The ultimate culmination is love. Love cannot exist without brotherly affection. Each step builds upon the other. Love is intertwined with faith, excellence, knowledge, self-control, and steadfastness. Love represents the final stage of faith, the ultimate maturation of one’s spiritual journey. The concept of love is derived from the Greek term “agape,” which signifies the unconditional love of God. It is the kind of love demonstrated by God’s selfless act of giving His only begotten Son for the world. Agape love extends beyond mere behavior or responses from others. It encompasses a deep, unconditional love that is directed both towards our brothers and sisters in the church (Philadelphia) and towards the world at large.
How can you genuinely love the world without experiencing fellowship? How can you wholeheartedly extend love and generosity to everything around you when you haven’t truly embraced the spirit of generosity within the community of your brothers and sisters? It is through the abundance of fellowship that you embark on a journey to love the world. You start to develop a profound affection for broken individuals. The Bible reminds us that even when we were considered enemies, when we were trapped in sin, God loved us. And how did He demonstrate His love? Through giving. Therefore, love is exemplified through acts of generosity. Without generosity, love cannot exist. Love and giving are intertwined; you cannot truly love without giving.
Peter highlights seven qualities that contribute to the growth of one’s faith. The first quality is virtue, which involves cultivating an excellent mindset. The second quality is knowledge, encompassing the practical understanding of how to apply that mindset. The third quality is self-control, displaying mastery over the knowledge acquired. The fourth quality is steadfastness, the ability to stay committed to the path despite challenges or excuses that may arise. Regardless of inconveniences like rainy weather, one remains dedicated due to the vision the Lord has bestowed. The next quality is godliness, which entails a deep devotion to God and His kingdom, placing Him at the center of all things. Following that is brotherly affection, emphasizing the importance of fellowship and camaraderie among believers. Finally, the seventh quality is love, which manifests as generosity—a willingness to give selflessly. These qualities collectively shape a person’s faith and enable them to live a purposeful and loving life.
According to Peter, if you possess these qualities and diligently work towards increasing them, you will never stumble or fall. Now, let’s explore the meaning of diligence. Diligence goes beyond mere effort; it involves consistent and purposeful effort towards your goals. Consider this analogy: Imagine someone mindlessly pounding a hammer on the ground. Although they are exerting constant effort, it serves no purpose and achieves nothing but noise. On the other hand, a skilled carpenter can utilize the same hammer with unwavering and purposeful effort to create something beautiful. Diligence, therefore, is the act of applying constant effort with a clear purpose in mind.
So, when it comes to practicing these qualities, be diligent. Remember, it’s not enough to possess them; you must continually strive to enhance and develop them. By doing so, you will become effective, fruitful, and secure in your journey. You will not stumble or fall from the level of glory that the Lord has bestowed upon you. In other words, with diligence, you will remain steadfast and unwavering.
I just want to emphasize one thing so that it remains in your memory: you cannot cultivate these qualities through your own strength alone. It’s quite amusing, really. All of these qualities – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love – are indeed remarkable. However, their growth within you cannot be achieved by sheer willpower. As the Lord declares, it is not by power or might, but by the spirit.
But why do I mention these qualities if their growth depends on the spirit? It is to inspire you to set an intention in your heart, allowing yourself to be guided by the spirit in nurturing these qualities and experiencing continuous growth. In fact, if you refer to Galatians 5:22, you will find it discussing the fruit of the spirit, which aligns closely with and encompasses all of these qualities I have just mentioned.
So, you cannot rely on your own strength alone. The power of the Holy Spirit is essential. In astronomy, there is a verse that refers to Joshua, highlighting how he began to walk in wisdom after Moses laid his hands on him, imparting the spirit that Moses possessed. It is crucial to have the spirit of God within you in order to embody and exhibit these qualities, but it also requires practice.
As I mentioned last week, the spirit of God amplifies the efforts you put forth. Speaking at this moment, it may seem effortless, but it is the microphone that amplifies my voice. I don’t need to speak loudly; the microphone enhances the minimal effort I exert. Similarly, if you do not actively practice these qualities, the spirit has nothing to work with or amplify in your life. Therefore, you must intentionally strive to grow in all of these qualities. Make a diligent commitment to cultivate faith, progressing from one level to another. According to the Bible, if you do this, if you grow in these qualities, you will never, ever stumble. You will always bear fruit, remain effective, make an impact, and hold great value.