The Word of God teaches us that salvation involves God initiating a relationship with us by choosing us in the beginning (Ephesians 1:4 says “before the foundation of the world”) which is summarily manifested when we actually believe the truth. Understanding this will release faith in our lives as we realize God has already laid out a course for our success that leads to a full manifestation of His glory.
(This based on a teaching I have given in a bible study )
Text Philippians 2:12,13
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 
Business does not always mean productivity! I.E. You can practice golf all day and not get better if you never had the right technique to begin with! Business makes people feel important –like there is a purpose to their life, but if they do not work on their inner man of the heart and just fill up their day with activities, then they will not be ready in a time of crisis!
By “rites of passage” I am referring to a person’s transition from one status or phase to another. In the church we have various ceremonies that mark different phases of spiritual and biological maturity like baptism, first communion, confirmation, etc. However, in the context of this article, a rite of passage is more of a test that is part of a process God uses to bring believers into another stage of maturity, before assigning them to another level of kingdom service.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:1,6).
How many of us have promises, hopes, or dreams that are yet unfulfilled?
When most people think of how to choose their friends they have more of a worldly, casual concept rather than a biblical one. In John 15:15 Jesus told His disciples He called them friends and not servants. Since the Kingdom of God is based upon relationship and not ministry, it is important we know how to choose our friends wisely.
In our culture we have a proclivity to elevate “doing over being”; to focus more on causes than on Christ. This means that the greatest threat we have as Christians (as defined by Paul in Galatians and Romans when we try to have salvation by works) to our growth in Christ by process is that we live in a future oriented culture that relates time largely to efficiency and productivity. We are more inclined than ever to use time to accomplish results than to enhance relationships.
Many people have a hard time receiving from God because in the world we are programmed to receive based on what we earn. If you work, then you receive payment based on the expertise and amount of hours you put in. It is unusual for someone to come up to you and give you something valuable you didn’t work for or earn. Even on Christmas we expect to receive gifts because we give gifts in return; thus it is not really a present but a blind exchange. Contrariwise, receiving from God is made easy and possible because Jesus bore all of our sins and all curses in His body on the cross.
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