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In the parable of the wise and foolish builders Jesus told us to build our "spiritual house" upon the Rock. That rock is Jesus himself, the chief cornerstone supporting the foundation of our lives. So everything else we use as building blocks must come from him. I would like to propose 4 essential building blocks for a mature and powerful spiritual life. Grace Faith Love Hope The "Grace" of God provides us with everything we need for an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. It all starts with receiving that grace by accepting Jesus as our personal saviour. But the grace of God comes to us in many forms. We need the spiritual eyes to see that grace and accept it for our blessing and benefit. The spiritual gifts are good examples of the different forms of God's grace. Without "Faith" it is impossible to please God and faith without actions is no faith at all. Just because we believe what the bible says is true does not mean we have faith. Only when we take what the bible says and apply it into our daily lives are we trusting that God knows best. When we ask God in prayer to reveal his will for us - before making decisions - then obey what God tells us to do, that is exercising faith. When God wants to lead us down an unfamiliar road, to a destination we cannot see, with lots of obstacles along the way, it takes real faith to follow his lead. We "Love" God by doing the things that please him. I have discovered 5 ways to love God. First, I immerse myself in his word from the bible - read, study, meditate, and memorize it. Second, I talk to God about everything, in an attitude of prayer, all day long; then listen carefully for his will to be revealed. Third, I fill my life with praise and thanksgiving, often through contemporary Christian worship music. Fourth, I have intimate fellowship with other Christians on a regular basis through church, small group and mentoring environments. Fifth, I serve where God has called me, using the spiritual gifts he has given me to bless others. We "Love' other people by following Jesus example. He reached out to everyone with the love of God by bringing truth, acceptance, compassion and healing. We need the spiritual eyes to see the needs around us, then act to bring God's blessings to the people that need them. As we do this, we will often ask God for more grace to meet these needs, as our own resources will be so inadequate. Our "Hope" is built on God's promises to us. In this world, Jesus said, we would have trouble - suffering, persecution, corruption, injustice, poverty, sickness, pollution of sin, etc. But he also said to take heart because he had overcome this world. Jesus defeated the power of sin, death and the devil and restored eternal life to us. Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit to live within us to be our teacher and source of power. Jesus is coming again to reward our faithfulness. God the Father will judge everyone who has rejected Jesus, punishing all evil and wickedness for eternity. Together Father, Son and Holy Spirit will create a new heaven and new earth. We will live with God in this perfect world forever. This human life is just a scratch on the line of eternity with God. We are aliens and strangers in this place - heaven is our home. All 4 building blocks - Grace, Faith, Love and Hope - are needed to build a powerful and mature spiritual life that enables us to walk with Jesus every moment of every day.
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