Maya Angelou once said something to the effect of:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Just because you stay doesn’t mean you are stuck.
While we remain in His Word, we can grow.
When We First Hear the Word
When did your faith begin?
As a child when your parents read to you from your early years?
As a teen when a friend shared the gospel?
As an adult when you finally felt open to asking questions and receiving answers?
Your situation could be any number of possibilities, but we all started our faith with an event – we heard the Word somehow, somewhere.
Romans 10:17 says:
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
True words about Christ share His message.
Hearing His message brings faith.
It may be as simple as that, but not always easy.
In between, we have to decide.
Decide to listen. Decide to believe. Decide to trust.
(That’s a big one there. Trust.)
Once We Trust
Once we listen, believe, and trust, then what?
I’m always drawn to the practical advice in James 1:22-25 (NIV, emphasis added):
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
We listen, then we do.
But how do we do?
We act out of faith.
We love because we have first been loved (1 John 4:19).
We deepen our understanding of His goodness through faith (Philemon 1:6).
We witness more grace along with growing faith (1 Timothy 1:14).
Growing in Faith
Christ is the perfecter of our faith, and we grow in faith as we fix our eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). Since He is the Word of God (John 1:1-14), remaining, staying, abiding in His Word keeps our minds, eyes, and hearts focused on Him.
As we grow in faith, we are compelled to act out of that faith and love.
Remember how Romans 10:17 said faith comes from hearing the message, being the Word about Christ?
A few verses earlier, in Romans 10:14, we see a reversed trail of how growing in faith expands to others:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
When you abide in His Word,
and grow in faith,
You share that faith.
and spread His Word to other ears.
Some of those ears may listen,
and trust to then call out to Him.
Just like you first learned when you first believed.
How did you come to your faith? Who listened, believed, trusted, and shared His Word to you? How does abiding in His Word specifically help you grow in faith?