Through the inspired apostle Peter, God instructs us to add to our faith: "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 1:5-8).
The Christian should strive to perpetuate his or her faith. To that end, I'd like to share with you four simple points to help you feed the fire of your faith. We'll consider two of them today and the remaining two tomorrow. These are points that a dear brother in Christ shared with me many years ago.
Point One - Let God Say Something to You Everyday
We let God say something to us everyday by consulting His word. This is how we add knowledge to our faith. Just as regular physical nourishment is needed for the physical body, regular spiritual nourishment is needed for the spiritual body. Jesus made this point clear when Satan tried to tempt Him by appealing to His physical hunger. Jesus resisted saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God'" (Luke 4:4). The young preacher Timothy was told to "be diligent [the KJV says "study" ] to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15). A worker--such as a carpenter--who does not know how to use a hammer has good reason to be ashamed. Likewise, a worker for the Lord who does not know how to use God's word has good reason to be ashamed. If one desires to present himself approved to God, he must be able to rightly divide the word of truth, and such requires regular and diligent study of the sacred text.
Point Two - Say Something to God Everyday
We say something to God everyday by going to Him in prayer. In the conclusion of his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul instructed them to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (I Thess. 5:16-18). What does it mean to "pray without ceasing?" It simply means that we are to have a mindset in which we continually desire to be in communication with the Father. It is impossible to literally "pray without ceasing," but one should pray frequently every day. Friends, realize it is the "will of God" that we always rejoice, that we give thanks for everything, and that we pray regularly. Do not forget; "the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).
Prayer is important, and Jesus--who was God in the flesh--is our great example of prayer. Numerous times in the gospel accounts we read of Him praying to His Father. Two notable occasions on which Jesus prayed are the night before He chose the twelve apostles (Luke 6:12-16) and before His betrayal and arrest at Gethsemane (Matt. 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and especially John 17). If we are truly striving to be like Christ, we cannot overlook the importance and necessity of regular prayer.
Friends, tomorrow we will consider the other two points that will help us perpetuate our faith. In the meantime, why not put the two points we just discussed in practice today?