Growing Your Faith

This quarter at the Bear Valley Bible Institute International, I’m teaching “Personal Spiritual Growth” in the Women’s Program.  There are 24 wonderful women in the class.  One of their recent assignments was to write a 6-page paper about growing their faith.  Not only did I learn a lot while grading their papers, but it also gave me additional insight into their good and tender hearts.

I asked the ladies if any of them would be willing to share what they considered to be their best thoughts from their paper with you.  Here is what I received:

  • “Sometimes it is easy to be down on ourselves. That really is where Satan would like to keep us. He would like to keep reminding us that we are not worthy of the love of our Savior. Some are defeated because of thoughts like this. But we only have to remember Paul’s story to know what a lie this is. He shows us right here how unworthy he feels and really, all of the terrible things he did that might make us agree with him. But the love of Jesus and His grace is for all of us!” —Abigail Warnes
  • “Now that we know we have baggage, we must focus on making a conscious effort in training ourselves to change this behavior and eliminate the baggage.  You can do this by replacing these thoughts with scripture, spending time helping someone else, or focusing on how these situations may glorify God. Romans 8:28 shows us that all things work together for those who love the Lord. Over time these things seem to be less important, and it may even motivate you to mend past relationships. A verse that personally helped me is Romans 12:21, “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  It showed me that by replacing these negative thoughts with positive ones and actively doing for others instead of being self-absorbed, God will give us that peace that surpasses understanding in Phil 4:7. I honestly believe once we begin doing these, that’s when we find the true joy and the past has no relevance in the present.”  —Bonnie Saldana
  • “If you aren’t growing spiritually, your mind is still on the fleshly and you are dead (Romans 8:5,6).  God can use anyone’s situation, but He uses you to the fullest when you let go of the past.”  —Christa Bassett
  • “There are many flashing lights in this world that can pull us towards them, but if we are focused on becoming mature in our faith we can overcome those desires and know that what the Lord provides for us is enough (Matthew 6:33). Our worldly passions can lead us to many undesirable attitudes about “THINGS,” so when we can get these desires under control, we can soar to a higher spiritual calling rather than to the desires and riches of this world (1 Timothy 6:17).” —Monica R. Gibson
  • “Another way to become spiritually mature is to train ourselves to know right from wrong (Hebrews 5:14).  We are bombarded every day by what other people believe to be truth–in schools, on TV, in magazines, on the radio, on the internet, in books written by scholarly men, by scientists, the list could go on.  What source are we using to determine truth?  If we rely on others to tell us what is true, we leave ourselves vulnerable to false teaching (Gal. 1:6-9).  The Bereans gladly searched the Scriptures daily to make sure what they were hearing was accurate (Acts 17:11).  We need to behave as the Bereans, and be eager to search the Scriptures daily to train ourselves on what is truth and what is error (2 Tim. 3:16,17).  This is the only way we will be able to stand on solid ground when we are presented with having to defend the truth.”  —Carol Melton
  • “Though putting on the nature of God takes effort, it is rewarding.  He makes provisions for us in our struggles. Like the story of the house swept clean of demons, we must replace the bad with something good. ‘Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart’ (2 Tim 2:22).” —Brenda Woolery
  • “The past can weigh us down and has the ability to hold us back from growing. Sometimes it can be hard to forgive ourselves from our past. Paul certainly struggled with this. He states, ‘Even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief’ (1 Tim 1:13). It can become a ball and chain around our leg stopping us from running the race as we should.”  —Tracy Threlfall
  • “You can’t grow in your faith if you’re still living in the past.  Being stuck in the past can keep you from moving on toward spiritual maturity.  Your faith will grow as you see that knowing Jesus is the most important thing in life.”  —Laura Jensen
  • “When we are baptized, ALL our sins are washed away.  God remembers them no more!  From that point on, when we stumble, we ask forgiveness and He removes those sins also.  We are told in Colossians 1:13,14, ‘He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’  If God can do that, why can’t we forgive ourselves?  I believe Satan puts doubt in our minds and makes us recall memories in order to confuse us and draw our minds away from God.  James 4:7 tells us, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (ESV).  1 Peter 5:8 says, ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’ If we can keep doubt in perspective, we will know it comes from the devil.  And if we keep our focus on God, we can resist the devil’s attempts to discourage us.”  —Brenda Stow

10620495_10206174749585852_1056074534779123308_o

11201005_10206174749545851_4601603784600080937_o

11169571_10206174749505850_5140121151108354339_o

11206810_10206174749465849_7118986397712389568_o

10847194_10206174749385847_4449990598935146005_o

2 thoughts on “Growing Your Faith

  1. Thank you ladies for sharing your best thoughts!! Thank you for reminding me to forget the past and to press on to the goal, thanking God for the love and mercy He has afforded me and not to me only, but to all that believe on His son and commend their faith in Him.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s