My Grace-Full Life

1.14.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: The Then vs Now Challenge

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• So have you seen the Then vs Now Age Challenge on Facebook?
The instructions are simple: post your first profile picture and your most recent.
I’m not participating because my profile picture hardly ever gets changed.
It’s been almost two years since I switched it.
It’s been interesting to see what my Facebook friends have posted though.
But even more important than our outward appearance…
How have you changed on the inside?
I can say with absolute truth that the woman who started Facebooking in 2007ish is not the same as she is today.
I was nearing the end of a very long prodigal journey, and still wrestling with Biblical truths that I had grown up with versus the world’s point of view (and the world’s was winning).
I could (and did) curse like a sailor.
And struggled with issues I still struggle with (but I’m getting better) such as pride and temper.
If I was asked to do a Then vs Now Heart Challenge, I would see a definite difference.
As I hope we all would.
In 2 Peter 1:5-8, it says, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I love the way Peter piggybacked these attributes.
Notice how similar this list is to the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control).
But let’s focus on the last part in verse 8, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
No one wants to be ineffective or unfruitful.
Sure, we may have our occasional pajama day when we’re feeling lazy, but most everyone I know wants to feel of value and purpose.
And there’s no higher purpose than to allow the Holy Spirit to use you to God’s purpose.
When we willingly invest in the study of God’s word, with a heart that’s humble and willing to be changed, all these things begin to happen.
Our faith grows stronger; our virtue improves; our knowledge increases; we develop better self-control and patience; the Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of godliness, and we’re filled with affection and love for others, because we have a better understanding of God’s love for us.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the work He’s doing to make you more like Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be malleable as your heart’s reconstruction continues.

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