My year of *Believe* {part two}

This year will go down in the history books as the year of Believe {or at least in my life history}. I told you I’d not kept my word in Part One – My Year of Believe.

It’s not something I make a habit of – not keeping my word. It’s just that things turned out differently than I expected. Surely you can relate. We all get a healthy {or not so healthy} dose of the unexpected occasionally.

He took me by surprise.

God has used this daily devotional to re-acquaint me with the believes, practices and virtues of my faith. It has been surprising and more meaningful than I could have expected.

Today, I’m sharing from section two which focuses on the practices. It’s about learning to act like Jesus. For the new Christian, these practices may seem elementary. To those of us who’ve been on this journey for years or decades, we know better. We’re still learning.

Brothers and sisters, whatever is true…think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4.8-9

10 Practices

¹The following “10 Practices” are from the book BELIEVE: What I believe. Who I am becoming.

Worship – I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.”

Prayer – I pray to God to know Him, to find direction for my life, and to lay my requests before Him.”

Bible Study – I study the Bible to know God and His truth and to find direction for my daily life.”

Single-Mindedness – I focus on God and His priorities for my life.”

Total Surrender – I dedicate my life to God’s purposes.”

Biblical Community – I fellowship with Christians to accomplish God’s purposes in my life, in the lives of others, and in the world.”

Spiritual Gifts – I know my spiritual gifts and use them to fulfill God’s purposes.”

Offering My Time – I offer my time to fulfill God’s purposes.”

Giving My Resources – I give my resources to fulfill God’s purposes.”

Sharing My Faith – I share my faith with others to fulfill God’s purposes.”

What do you *Believe*? Here's what I believe about my faith; 10 beliefs, 10 practices, and 10 virtues - and a great handbook to remember themSpeaking of elementary things, remember what it was like back in elementary school? The teacher would teach you the basic lesson. You had to learn the principles of the English language, beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

The learning did not stop there, though.

What came next? Practice and lots of it. We practiced our letters in class. We took practice assignments home to do at night and on the weekends. And every time someone came around who hadn’t heard it, Mom would say, “Can you say your letters for [_ _ _ _ _]?

We’re going through this with our #1 grandson now, who’s in pre-kindergarten. He’s learning to recognize, recite, and write his letters and numbers. And he loves to demonstrate his skill every chance he gets.

How long before it grows old and he loses interest?

For most of us, over time, we begin to take for granted the practices of our faith? Before long, we start focusing on other things besides prayer, giving, sharing, and worshiping. This can eventually lead to abandoning the practices for what seems more worthy of our time.

The takeaway…

When I look over the list of 10 Practices there’s one thing that jumps out at me. Can you spot it? “God’s purposes” appears in six of the ten practices. Three of the remaining practices mention “God’s priorities” or “God’s direction”.

“What is God’s purpose for my life?”

If you are asking that question today, look at the list. While you are waiting for God to reveal that special thing He has for you to do, make sure you keep up the basic practices of the faith. This is one of the primary components to becoming more like Jesus.

And that is the second takeaway, for me. Critical to becoming who God created us is that we continue to become more like Jesus – the One who redeemed us from a life of destruction and gave us life eternal.

Make it your goal that these 10 Practices become as much a part of your routine as eating and breathing. And if you need encouragement in this area, think about getting this 365-day devotional. Put it on your Christmas list! It would make a great start to the new year.

Next month, I’ll share the third and final section – the 10 Virtues of our faith.

¹BELIEVE: What I believe. Who I am becoming by Randy and Rozanne Frazee.

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