“The Holy Spirit comes to plant the graces of Christ in our lives. He plants those graces in the inhospitable soil of our hearts where sin still lingers. As those graces are watered by the Word of God, by prayer, by the ministry of God’s people, and by the fellowship of the saints, they flourish and squeeze sin out of our lives.” (Ian Hamilton)
What does all this look like in our daily lives? How do we practice these things?
- Daily Study of God’s Word
- Daily Prayer/Communion with God
- Consistently Attend/Serve the Church
Why is it important to study God’s Word Diligently?
It takes only 72 hours without exercise before your muscle begins to break down. Your body can last only 3 weeks without food and 1 week at most without water. What do you think happens when you starve your spirit from its daily need for the Word of God? All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2Tim 3:16-17) We read God’s word to come to know the Lord and to see our sin and need for God. It strengthens our Faith. My son, give attention to my words…Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. (Proverbs 4:20-22) We must constantly take in God’s word in order to live spiritually and to grow in our love and obedience to God. (Bible Study: Matt 4:4, Hebrews 4:12, Romans 10:17)
Why should we pray?
Prayer is response, duty, adoration and supplication. It is essential communication. Every relationship requires regular communication to make it work. Your prayers are that essential communication with God that your relationship with Him needs. Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41) So often when we are in crises, or something exciting has happened, we are tempted to jump on our phones or run to our best friend and tell her all about it. A Godly woman I know has a saying for this, “Go to the throne before you go to the Phone!” Our first instinct should be to seek out the Lord in prayer, going to Him first with our troubles, or praising Him for our joys. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it (Colossians 4:2) And when our prayers are answered, whether as expected or not, we should remember this: “If we knew what the Lord knew, we wouldn’t change a thing.” (CARM) (Prayer: Phil 4:6-7, James 5:16, Psalm 141:2)
Why should we attend/be part of a church?
The church is the body of Christ. If we are not part of, or partaking in, church, how can we say we are part of His body? So, we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (Romans 12:5.) As believers, we are each members of His body, and when one member suffers, all are affected. Much like when one organ in the body is not working in unity and health with the rest of the organs, the health declines. Believers are to support one another in Christ Jesus...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-2). The church does this through the teaching of God’s Word, holding believers accountable, and sharpening one another to become more like Christ by growing in knowledge of the scriptures and seeking to live holy lives. (Church: Eph 2:22, Heb 13:17, 1John 1:7)
Sanctification is the act of being set apart/dedicated for holy use. You shall be Holy, for I am Holy (1Peter 1:16). Sanctification, the pursuit of holiness, is God’s will for His people, designed to glorify Him. “The opposite of God’s standard consists of two things: a lack of self-control and a lack of the knowledge of God. When the believer engages in immorality, he or she lives in contradiction to his or her salvation and calling.” (Emilio Ramos) So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14). We read, study and memorize God’s word so it can renew our minds and conform us to the image of Christ. All these disciplines work together to bring about our sanctification. (Holiness: 1Cor 6:12, Col 3:5-6, Galatians 5:24-25)