Here at Coast Hills Church, we are entering this new year with a heart to grow. We aren’t just interested in numerical growth (although that can be a marvelous indicator of God’s people reaching out to others). Instead, we are committed to a process. It is a process of discipleship. We are asking God to form us into His image. We want to be changed into His likeness. We want to look like Jesus!
Pastor Adam got us started Sunday with a message focused on the temptations of Jesus outlined in Matthew chapter 4. For each of the temptations, Adam offered a response.
To the temptation to be satisfied by ANYTHING other than the Lord, he urged us to seek satisfaction in the Savior and His Word.
To the temptation to seek honor or power from the world, he urged us to depend on the Lord to accomplish His will. And to the temptation to doubt or question God’s faithfulness, he counseled us to PRACTICE THE PROMISES of God.
That phrase has stuck with me. PRACTICE THE PROMISES OF GOD.
How do we do that? Well, I think it is like anything else that we want to get good at. We repeat the well-formed process, procedure, or activity over and over again until we can do it “in our sleep.” Perfect practice will produce a perfect result.
If you play basketball, a swishing three-point shot comes on the heels of endless effective drills. If you swing a golf club, the perfect drive comes after hours of practice swinging that club with precision. If you want to record a song, you don’t turn the recording equipment on until there have been enough iterations to ensure a great result.
Practicing the promises of God is a similar act of self-discipline. We identify an area where God has demonstrated His faithfulness, we notice how He fulfilled His promise, and we repeat the request. Little by little, our confidence in His faithfulness is developed. Little by little, we come to trust Him and His word.
So at the start of this new year, let’s all set out on a new course. Let’s choose to put into practice what we know to be true. God doesn’t lie. He loves His people. He cares about their lives. He promises to be with us through any circumstances.
We just need to practice trusting Him!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.