Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now 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 do for His good pleasure.
Everyone wants to change for the better.
But did you know that this can only be possible with eyes wide open? And we have to work hard for it because it is never automatic.
According to the Pastor, there are five things we must do to be able to change ourselves for the better.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and I withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
To abide means to submit. We must submit and connect to God because without Him, there will be no overflow in our lives, no blessings that’ll come our way.
If we want to change, hope is in each of us. The first step is that we must submit ourselves to God.
And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”
The pastor said something interesting: “What blows on my face often has my name on it.” And it’s true. Usually, our problems are inflicted by no one but ourselves.
And the question is, when are we going admit that we are the ones who blow the bombs on our own faces? Remember, we cannot change with eyes closed. We must turn self-indulgence to self-awareness. And how do we do it? By aligning ourselves with God who has the power to change us for the better.
Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
There are two hindrances to growth, said the Pastor:
And if we don’t open our ears along with our eyes, there’ll be no way these two will be wiped out from our lives.
Be an eager listener. Especially of the Word. So that we’ll hear God’s revelations that will help us a lot.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in the mirror.
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Of course, all those abiding, aligning, and absorbing are nothing if we don’t apply everything in our lives.
The Pastor also reminded his audience that in changing, we erase all our failures and mistakes. Change is a new chance to do better, thus, our past should not cripple us and define our future.
“You worst moment does not define your life,” he said. “Failure is an event, failure in not a person.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
There may be people who proclaim that they’re independent (like me), but still, seeing and doing things merely on our own isn’t enough. This is where accountability enters.
These people that we should share with can be a close friend, a family member, your spouse or significant other, or those from join support groups that can help us monitor how we’ve been progressing in life and can see if we’re doing things right.
If you’re not yet part of any caring group, maybe it’s time for you to join one. I, myself, will be doing it soon.
Are you ready for a better you? Since growth is not automatic, always keep in mind two things: Plan to grow by applying the five things in your life, and of course, always make time for it. 🙂