Christian Skills January 8, 2022
Our grandson, Luca, is now playing his third year of hockey. He has excellent coaches who are very focused on helping the kids develop the basic skills of the game. Skills such as skating, stopping, passing, shooting and stick handling. Typically, they practice twice a week and over the years I have seen Luca and the kids progress in their development of these skills.
Skills are not things we are born with; however, they are things which can be learnt, and perfected through practice and dedication. Some of the kids are blessed with more natural athletic ability than others, but each child has been able to learn and perform these skills to a level which allows them to play the game.
What about Christians? What are some of the fundamental skills we require to live a life of service for God? I didn’t develop an exhaustive list; however, I think the following is a good start:
Putting God First – Matthew 6: 31-33 teaches us that we are to put God’s kingdom and His righteousness first and when we do then our heavenly Father will take care of our physical needs. It is essential that we learn to put God first in our lives and not live a life focused on worldly pursuits.
Prayer – Prayer is an incredibly powerful tool for the child of God. Prayer can reduce anxiety (Philippians 4:6). It gives us the ability to understand the will of our Creator (Colossians 1:9). It also has the power to heal the sick (James 5:14-16) and help us to reach others with the gospel message (Colossians 4:3).
Bible Study – Knowledge and understanding of scripture is necessary for wisdom and equipping us for good works. II Timothy 3:14-17 & II Timothy 2:15 exhorts us to correctly handle the word of truth. Without regular and consistent Bible study, how can we expect to do this and present ourselves to God as one approved? Hearing the word of God allows us to develop our faith and trust in God (Romans 10:17).
Giving – Paul tells us in II Corinthians 9:6-11 to give purposely, generously and cheerfully. He also states that in our giving, through grace, God will ensure we have an abundance for every good work. Proverbs 3:9 encourages us to honour God with our wealth.
Acquiring Wisdom – The book of Proverbs is rich with scriptures encouraging us to seek wisdom and the value that comes in seeking it. Proverbs 16:16 states that wisdom is superior to riches. Proverbs 2:6 teaches us that wisdom comes from the Lord. Proverbs 4:6-7 instructs us to not forsake wisdom. James 3:13 tells us to show our wisdom through our good life and deeds in humility and James 1:5 encourages us to pray for wisdom.
Fostering Relationships – Our lives are blessed with a number of relationships. Each of them require us to take the time to develop and foster them. I Thessalonians 5:11 & Ephesians 4:29 speak to us about encouraging and building one another up and avoiding unwholesome talk. Hebrews 10:24 tells us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds and not to give up meeting together. Colossians 4:5 instructs us to be wise in how we deal with outsiders, making the most of every opportunity.
Evangelism – We were all taught the Good News by someone. Likewise, we too, need to be prepared and ready to share our understanding of God’s will with others. Psalms 105:1 teaches us that we are to make known what God has done. I Peter 3:15 reminds us that we always need to be prepared to give the reason for the hope we have. In Acts 20:24 Paul identifies that the most important thing he needs to do is to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.
I believe that through God’s amazing grace these are the skills we can learn and develop. We may not all perform these skills at the same level. However, they are all things that we need to do in serving our God. Luca practices hockey twice a week, but there are no significant life consequences associated with this. I appreciate that our heavenly inheritance is through the grace of God. However, there are eternal consequences associated with our Christian walk. Our challenge is to take the time each day to practice and master these skills to fulfill our walk with God.
By Kevin Pickles