Keeping Focus on Kingdom Matters (Matthew Sermon 75 of 151)
April 22, 2007 | Andrew Davis
False Teaching & False Teachers
Loss of Focus on the Kingdom
They forgot to bring the bread. That was a big mistake. The scripture never resolves it. It's like an unresolved key on the piano, it doesn't resolve into a sweet chord. We don't know what they had for dinner that night, we never found out what they actually, in fact, ate. I do have a strong instinct that not one of them died of starvation. Do you have that sense? Not one of them died of starvation, but they did forget to bring the bread. It’s worthy of mention at least in the Scripture right there in verse 5, they forgot to bring the bread. I must tell you, and I don't think it's perverse I think it's intended by God. I find pleasure in their failing, I just do. I find comfort in the fact that they were forgetful. I find consolation in the fact that God's grace can cover our sinfulness and our weakness, that we have a God who watches over us and providential cares for us, and that in this text, He’s calling on us to look above our earthly forgetfulness and our weakness and our failings to kingdom matters and focus on that and concentrate on that and let him take care of our needs. I take consolation in that. I take consolation in the fact that the Bible is unfailingly honest about the failings of its great people. I mean, the apostles were great heroes of our faith. They were chosen by Christ after a night of fasting and prayer. They were the human foundation of his future work. Their eyewitness testimony to Christ, to His life, His death, and His resurrection, was the foundation of the future generations of the church, which I think the later part of this chapter makes plain. Peter and the other Eleven stood up on the day of Pentecost. They raised their voices, and they proclaimed the Gospel with great courage and 3,000 were added to their number that day, in one day, what a great harvest. They would write down their eyewitness accounts, they would give us four Gospels, they would give us the New Testament.
We read it, and we derive great benefit from it. They would step out in faith and they would shape the course of church history, by their key decisions, by their lifestyle, they were great men. In the end, they would courageously testify to a hostile world at the cost of their own blood - at the cost of their lives - to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were great men; they were incredible heroes and yet they were examples of weakness and failing and sin. It's right here you can read about it. They frequently misunderstood Christ, they didn't know what he was saying to them, they couldn't figure it out. They frequently displayed carnal attitudes and actions, like we do. They displayed selfishness, when they were indignant with James and John, who were asking to sit at Jesus' right, and his left at the Kingdom. They were indignant because they wish they'd thought of it first. They wanted to sit at the right and the left, not because of anything other than selfish reasons. They displayed unbelief when they couldn't drive out the demon from that boy when Jesus was up on the Mount of Transfiguration and Jesus said, “Oh, faithless and unbelieving generation.” He was talking about his own disciples, what a moment that was. They displayed cowardice when they all deserted him and fled the night He was arrested, “This night you will all fall away on account of me,” Jesus said. All of them, not just Peter, all of them fled. After the resurrection, they displayed unbelief when the women testified to the resurrection, the evidence that they'd seen with their own eyes and they wouldn't believe it. They were foolish of heart and slow to believe all that the prophets had spoken. They were like that.
They were ordinary men, with ordinary sin patterns. In this one chapter, we have abundant evidence of both the godliness and sinfulness of the apostles. Godly, in that they'd left everything to follow Jesus; sinful in that they still can't seem to trust him to meet all their needs for the journey. They're godly in that they believe Jesus did those miraculous feedings by the great power of God, but sinful in thinking that doesn't apply to their present situation. They were godly in that they were committed to following after Christ's character and becoming like him in every way, but sinful, in that they're bickering and arguing over who forgot to bring the bread. Godly, in that Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. Bu ungodly in the same chapter, when a moment later, he rebukes him concerning going to the cross. This chapter has ample evidence of the apostles. They’re a mixed bag. For myself, I think, this was written to give me comfort and consolation. How can both be true? How can we be as Martin Luther put it at the same time righteous and sinful? How can it be, even James wonders over that, out of the same mouth come praising and cursing? Out of the same heart come righteousness and sin, how can it be? How can it be?
But indeed, it is true, and you know it, don't you? Out of the same life come praising and cursing, how can it be? The Bible's this way throughout, honest again and again about the failings of its great people. Like Abraham, who lied to save his skin at the expense of his wife's honor, not a good moment for Abraham. Isaac, you know the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, he did the same thing to save Rebecca, again, same pattern. Jacob is a conniver, a liar, a con artist, with all kinds of issues, played favorites in his family, not an ideal father in that regard at least. Judah sleeps with a prostitute and then tries to cover it over. Moses, you know, commits murder and then when he's called, at age 80, by flames of the burning bush, it's quite a sign, but not enough. “Send somebody else Lord.” He doesn't want to go. The Jews as a nation, consistently a mixed bag, consistently believing and not believing. You've got the two spies that believe, the ten spies that don't.
That's the way it is again with even the godly men and prophets. The great example is like Elijah standing before God and man on Mount Carmel, calling down fire from heaven and then, afraid of a woman [Jezebel] a few hours later, running for his life wanting to die. Laying under the broom tree, Elijah ’s ready to die. Both Job and Jeremiah accused God of injustice, both of them did. You can find it in the scripture. Both of them said that God was unjust, unfair to them. John the Baptist before he died, doubted whether Jesus was the Messiah. He was among those born of women, no one had risen greater than John the Baptist, and he's there doubting, right before his death, and Jesus does some miracles in front of John's messengers to persuade them, so that they can persuade, John. The scripture consistently testifies honestly to the failings of its great people. You know why, because Jesus said it this way, it's not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Ecclesiastes 7:20, says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”
I believe it's Biblical to say that there's not a person in this room who's done being saved. All of us have to continue in faith, in godliness, in trusting in him. We have to continue in a lifestyle of repentance and trust and the Lord. By His Word and by His Spirit we are going to keep uncovering new issues. You're going to keep seeing new patterns of sin. You're going to be grieved over it, and what should you do? Follow the example of the apostles. Turn to God with tears coming down your face and ask for forgiveness. He will restore you and this act will continue the rest of your life. I think it's a good thing when we come to passages like Matthew 16, and see the failings of great people and realize that we can fail too and still be in the family of God. Isn't it remarkable how Jesus can use his omnipotence, his great power to use people like us to build an eternal kingdom? He can use you. If you're a Christian, He can use you. It doesn't matter how many are your weaknesses and how great are your failings, He can use you. His grace is sufficient in the middle of your weakness, actually He's made glorious in weakness. It's not perverse that I'm glad that they forgot to bring the bread. I guess really what it is, is I'm glad that they wrote about it, so that when I forget my cellphone or my wallet or my keys or I forget to call somebody back or forget to do something and I chide myself over my forgetfulness, this passage steps up and confirms that God's grace is sufficient to cover my weakness. And that's encouraging. For you perfect people, take the morning off, okay? But for the rest of us who need this kind of encouragement, I find it right here in this passage.
Reasons We Lose Focus: Forgetfulness
So, we begin with forgetfulness, and forgetfulness is covered by God's grace. Look at it in verse 5. When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. At one level, it's a small failing, but at another level, a significant one. There weren't going to be supermarkets to quickly go to, this was a big deal. It's a steward’s job to see to it that God's people get their food at the appointed time. Someone blew it. I can imagine how the discussion went, “I thought it was your turn.” “No, it must have been yours, I got it last time.” This kind of thing, but one of them forgot. When people are counting on you to meet their needs and you don't follow through, that's a big deal. I don't want to minimize it. I believe that daily life forgetfulness is evidence of sin, evidence of the frailty of our nature when you promise to pray for someone and then forget to do it, and the next time you see their face brings to memory that you promised that you would pray for their situation, and you didn't. That's a sinful self-focus for myself because I'm prone to that kind of sin, I've learned to pray immediately when someone asks for prayer to stop and say, "Let's pray now". But I think it's frailty when we are late in mailing a birthday card or forget to return a call or do various things. I think it's sin, it's self-focus. Our deal is more important than that deal. We’re not talking about physical reasons for forgetfulness. My grandmother died of Alzheimer's. It was hard to watch her in those last few years as they forget their own name, they forget the faces of people they loved. That's very tough and its evidence of the sin that entered the world through Adam. Mental illness is therefore just one more physical effect of the disease of sin that entered the world at that beginning with Adam. But for those of us that don't have that physical thing I still think forgetfulness is just evidence of sin.
The issue in this passage is what happens when you forget. Jesus is in the boat with them. The question I want to ask is, is it true that God helps those who help themselves? That's really what this passage is about, in terms of their forgetfulness. “God helps those who help themselves.” It's an ancient proverb that Benjamin Franklin put in Poor Richard's Almanack in 1736. He didn't make it up, it’d been around a long time. The problem with the passage or with the proverb is it's not just that God helps those who help themselves, it's that God only helps those who help themselves. To say that God helps people who helping themselves leads to work salvation, doesn't it? Do you know that George Gallup did a poll and 75% of Americans thought that's actually in the Bible? It isn't. Actually, it flies in the face of salvation by grace. God is in the business of covering up our weakness. He's in the business of making up the difference. You know we say to each other as friends do, “I’ve got your back.” What does that mean, “I’ve got your back?” What it means is, “I’ve got you covered in your weakness, in your weak spot I'm watching out for you. You watch out for me too.” Well, God has our back, He's covering for our weakness and our failings. Fact of the matter is, we cannot completely care for ourselves, we certainly can't save ourselves, we can't even feed ourselves apart from His grace, we get our food from rainfall. From sunshine, from a good harvest, from livestock multiplying over which we have no control. Then an elaborate food delivery system over which we have no control gets it to our favorite supermarket. That's what we depend on. Jesus, in this passage, is really rebuking our arrogance, and our self-focused and our confidence that we need to save ourselves, that we need to take care of our own needs. Jesus says in Matthew 5:36, “You cannot make even one hair white or black.” He says in Luke 12, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life since you cannot do this very little thing, then why do you worry about the rest? Why are you worried as though you're the king of the universe?” As though you need to take care of everything yourself? God has committed himself to caring for our needs entirely. Here's the confusing part. Sometimes he uses our labor and industry, and foresight and planning to do it, and sometimes He particularly doesn't use those things and takes care of us anyway. He humbled Israel and taught them to trust in Him by giving them manna every day for 40 years, which came down out of heaven, and in this way, He's humbled them, saying, what you need to do is to get a basket and go out and collect it. That's all. For 40 years.
He humbled them and taught them this lesson. Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. It is by God's command that you live and move and have your being. Why did they need to be trained for 40 years? He was bringing them into a fruitful land, a land soaked with the rains of heaven, a land where there were vineyards and crops planted that they didn't plant and houses that they didn't build. They were going to step immediately into prosperity, and when they stepped into that good land, immediately into prosperity, they would forget God, and forget how dependent they were on him. Is that not our failing also as a nation? We live in a good land, a land soaked with the rains of heaven, a land with good crops, a land where you can dig copper and gold and iron out of the hills. It's like the promised land in that regard, it's good land. It's easy for us, in our prosperity, to forget that God gave it to us, and that we are dependent on Him every moment, every day. God meets our daily needs, and they're met by God's grace every day. So, our forgetfulness is covered by God's grace. So next time you're at the airport and you start fumbling and you find that you didn't bring any form of identification, and you have an e-ticket, and now you have missed your fight. It's that simple. I'm just urging at that moment, trust in God, He has something big planned for you. Don't just imagine that those that didn't forget their passport and all that, are going to die in a fiery plane crash, and God was rescuing you. No, they just remembered to bring their identification, and they'll be fine. God has a different plan for you. God can cover our weakness, learn to trust Him in those situations. Yes, plan ahead, please bring your passport and form of identification to the airport. Got to have this, so I can get on the plane. Alright, I always check, but you know something, if for some reason I forget and then I must trust God.
Reasons We Lose Focus: Arguing
Secondly, we notice that arguing is covered by God's grace. Verse 6-8, “Be careful,” Jesus said to them, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They discussed this among themselves and said, “It’s because we didn't bring any bread. That's why Jesus is talking about yeast.” Aware of their discussion. Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?” One of the most natural things in the world when someone forgets to bring the bread is the blame game. Right? Have you ever done that? You get into that bickering situation, you know what happens, it's like... It's like river water that you just let sit for a while and it looks clear enough to drink, but then when you kinda jostle it a little bit stuff starts getting stirred up. I think when there are these kinds of stressful situations, what's in the heart comes up and pride tends to come. This wasn’t merely discussion. There was an argument going on here, in Luke 9:46, the same word is used, it said, “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.” Now, that's an ugly moment right there. The sam is word used here. The disciples are bickering, and bickering is a great sin, so is blame shifting, pointing the finger, it's your fault, it was your turn. I brought it last time, all of that. None of that matters. We're commanded in Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without complaining or arguing." But you know what, arguing is covered by God's grace. Notice how gracefully Christ deals with it here. You can imagine them huddled in one side of the boat, not wanting to argue in front of Jesus, and Jesus in the other end of the boat, “What are you discussing among yourselves?” He knows exactly what they're talking about. You know that all of our arguments are done right in front of Jesus, all of them. He knows exactly what we're arguing about, and yet, there He is covering it with His graciousness, covering it with mercy. He's pointing them to the things of the Kingdom. Thanks be to God that even these kinds of ugly disputes can be covered by His grace.
Reasons We Lose Focus: Hardness of Heart
We notice also that hardness of heart is covered by Christ's grace. Aware of their discussion Jesus asks, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the 5000 and how many basketfuls you gathered, or the seven loaves for the 4000 and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it that you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread?” They'd already seen two great feeding miracles both centered around bread. They had already seen this feeding of the 5000 and the feeding of the 4000. Now Mark's Gospel gives us an insight here. Mark 8:14 tells us they actually did bring one loaf; Mark 8:14, “The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat." I think it's possible that Matthew didn't mention it because it was in the bottom of the boat where all that swill water is and maybe it wasn't edible. I don't really have any idea, but it clearly wasn't enough to feed the whole crowd. What were they thinking? Were they thinking, "Well Jesus, we know you need to have at least five loaves to do the miracle, and you only have one, so we're in trouble.”? Jesus says, "You of little faith." He upbraids them. Friends, this is a very significant spiritual principle. There was an insight that came to me this week concerning this. I believe with all my heart that faith comes from hearing the word, but apparently faith comes from more than just hearing the word, it also comes from living in God's world, and seeing his power. Because he says, "You of little faith, you should have known by living through these experiences, what I have done in the past." I actually think the two go together. I think the word of God interprets our experiences under God's sovereign grace, and they together give us faith. They should have known by living through the experience that Jesus can handle this, they should have known by living through it again, that Jesus can handle this. They shouldn't have been so doubtful; they should have trusted. Faith comes not only by hearing, but also by hearing and living in God's world, and seeing his mighty power by His Spirit. He says, “You of little faith.” There's a world of difference between being called, "You of little faith,” and “You have no faith." If you have no faith, then you have no forgiveness of sins, you're un-regenerate, you are lost, you're heading to hell if you have no faith. If you have little faith, what's happening is, the inside of faith that God has given you, you haven't learned yet to apply it to any and every situation. You don't need more faith; you need the same faith applied over and over again. There is a God, He's a king, He loves me, He's powerful, He can handle it. It's the same thought, apply to every situation. Why did they have such little faith? Why did they still not understand?
Mark’s diagnosis is hardness of heart. Aware of their discussion in Mark 8:17-18, Jesus asked them, "Why are you talking about having no bread, do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, but fail to see? Do you have ears, but fail to hear? And don't you remember what I did?" Their hearts are hard. What is a hardened heart? It's one that's resisting the work of God. We're not able to learn lessons, we've got stubbornness, we've got selfishness, pleasure-seeking, these things make it hard for us to learn Christ's lessons. After Jesus fed the 5000 and then walked on water, Mark describes very clearly how hardness of heart was the reason they were afraid of Jesus. Remember they thought He was a ghost. Mark 6:49 and following says, “When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost, they cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.” Immediately He spoke to them and said, "Take courage. It is I, don't be afraid." Then He climbed into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely amazed for they had not understood about the loaves, their hearts were hardened.
The reason we don't learn lessons that God sets up for us, how He orchestrates providentially circumstances, and we go through them and don't learn the lesson is our hearts are hard. Hardness of heart hinders understanding. A hindered understanding means anxiety and problems. Our eyes are like those of a blind person, our ears are deaf to God's still small voice. Our mind is like a sieve, like a bucket with 16 holes blown in it. We have to keep learning the same lesson, and just draining out, draining out, how inefficient. Isn't it amazing that God can build his kingdom with people like us? Isn't that incredible? But hardness of heart is covered by Christ's grace. Thanks be to God, He knows how to work with hardened hearts, He knows how to soften them. He knows how to work with them, He is gracious with people who have hard hearts. And above all, He is skillful at using his Word to transform our lives by the renewing of our minds, so that our hard hearts get softened by the Word of God. We start learning more and more, and we learn to trust Jesus, trust him for everything.
False Teaching: The Yeast of the Pharisees & the Sadducees
The real danger Jesus was getting at had nothing to do with bread. I hope you know that. He wasn't even talking about bread; He was using an analogy. He was talking about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It wasn't even about bread; it was just an analogy. Look at verse 6, “Be careful,” Jesus said to them, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Frankly friends, all of that bread discussion was just a distraction. That's the whole point of this passage. We are distracted by things that don't matter. Do you realize that? You're going to get hungry about three times a day. It is not the point of the Kingdom. God will meet that need. That's not what we're about here. If it's feasting you want, you're going to have it in the kingdom forever and ever. We'll be in the presence of God, and as He sees fit in his beautiful way, we will feast with Him at His table, and what a magnificent thing is. But right now, we're about the kingdom, and Jesus is urging them to see through the distractions and know about the piece, the loaf of bread in the bottom of the boat. “I know about it; I know where we're at with that. Focus with me. Focus, concentrate, beware, be on your guard of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well. Don't worry about your life, what you'll eat, or drink, about your body, what you'll wear, is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? So, do not worry saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Focus with me now, concentrate, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Now what that yeast? It's false teaching. The context of this is an encounter Jesus had in verses 1-5 of this chapter, when the Pharisees and Sadducees came and wanted to see a sign from heaven. He's thinking about them and said, "Watch out for those guys, watch out for their teaching." The yeast is the teaching and it's called yeast because it spreads, like gangrene, like the plague it spreads, it doesn't stay put. False teaching is deadly dangerous for the life of the church. So, “You Apostles,” He's saying, “You are going to be guardians of the mind and the doctrine of the church. Watch out for these two great perversions of world view. These are the two greatest there are: the yeast of the Pharisees, self-righteousness, religion through self-effort, thinking you don't need a savior, thinking that just by obeying a bunch of religious rules and regulations, you can make yourself perfect in God's sight.”
Secondly, the yeast of the Sadducees: denial of revelation, denial of the resurrection of the body, thinking that this life is all you get, so you might as well have a good time and enjoy it and forget about all that religious stuff, but concentrate on here and now, and enjoy your life. These are the two great perversions of world view. Beware of them. These teachings are going to crop up again and again; thinking that you can save yourself through your own efforts, or thinking that this world is all I've got, so live for my pleasures right here and right now. Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, that's what he's getting at.
Now, false teachers who do not repent are in deep trouble. 2 Peter Chapter 2 says blackest darkness is reserved for them; the most severe penalty there is for false teachers who don't repent. False teaching is the most deadly attack there is on the life and the mind of the church. But even false teaching is covered by Christ's grace, because Christ's sheep don't believe it, they don't follow it. They are aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees; they know that they can't be saved by their own works. They know that this world is not all there is, that the pleasures of this world are vanishing. They don't mean anything, they know that. “My sheep hear my voice; they will not follow the voice of another.” You are God's people; you have an anointing an unction inside you and you know the truth. 1 John 2, “I do not write to you because you don't know the truth, but because you do know it.” “You're established in the truth. False Christs and false prophets [Matthew 24] will come and perform great signs and wonders to deceive even the elective, if that were possible, but it's no, because Christ's grace covers false teaching, and He will not let us be deluded. Instead, He gives us warning, He gives us patient careful teaching. We are ready when the false teachers come, and we say that is wrong. It's unbiblical. We're ready. He's called them to the truth as leaders of the church, the very thing that Paul called the elders in the Church of Ephesus in Acts 20,” Be on your guard. Remember that for three years, I never stopped warning each of you, night and day with tears. Beware of false teaching. Beware, they come in like wolves with sheep's clothing on, watch out for them, watch out for these two forms of perversion of worldview, watch out for it, be on your guard.”
stop worrying about everyday life issues
What application can we take from this passage? First of all, stop worrying about everyday life issues. Think about this last week, did you worry about anything this week? Do you worry about anything to do with your body, anything to do with your income, anything to do with relationships, anything to do with your future? Did you worry this week? Stop worrying about it. These earthly things are not the reason you live. Life is more than that. God's providence will take care of you. I have to balance it because some of you are going to say, "I don't even need to look both ways before I cross the street. No, I told you to check to see if you have a passport and your self-identification, before you go to the airport. Proverbs 19:3 says, “A man's own folly ruins his life, but his heart rages against the Lord.” It's your fault God, I forgot my passport. No, it isn't God's fault. What I am saying is, do whatever you find your hand to do, pray, think about your trip, think about your day at work, plan as best you can, but understand this, God sometimes providentially will create blind spots so that you learn to depend on him more and more. You don't have to watch out for everything in your life because you can't, it's too big a job. It's just too big a job. Trust him, stop being anxious about your life. Focus on the kingdom.
focus on the kingdom of christ
Secondly, focus first and foremost on the kingdom of Christ, it is what is happening in this world. May I speak a word to those of you that are here who have never trusted in Christ? I'm urging you, don't be worried about your life, about your food, about your clothing, be worried about your soul. You may have come here today, and you don't know Jesus as Lord and Savior, you're not ready to die, you should be anxious about that. You should flee to Christ because His blood shed on the cross is sufficient for you. Trust in him, seek first his kingdom, his forgiveness, repent of sins, turn to him, turn away from evil, turn to God, and follow Him that you might know the forgiveness that only He can give. If you don't know how to do that, if you don't know what to say, if you don't know what to do, then talk to me after the service. It doesn't matter if eight people are waiting. Wait, it's worth it. Come and talk to us if you need to. Don't leave this place not sure whether you're going to heaven or hell.
But I say that those of you who have already made a commitment to Christ, seek first his kingdom as well. Seek it every day. You mean to do ministry, but Monday was crazy, Tuesday was worst. Wednesday, the car broke down. Thursday, your boss got all over you, Friday, the kids got sick, and 10 years pass by. Forget these things. Yes, you have responsibilities, but seek first His Kingdom, He's lying on your heart to do a ministry so do it. He's lying on your heart to expand your prayer time, to include unreached people groups, then pray for them. He's lying on your heart to memorize a chapter of the Bible. You thought of that four years ago, do it now. He's laying it on your heart to witness to your boss, or co-worker. You've been thinking about it for a year, do it this week, do it tomorrow. Seek first His kingdom, don't wait, don't put it off, pursue him.
beware of the yeast of the pharisees and sadducees
Thirdly, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Don't think for a moment that you're not susceptible to those two perversions: saving yourself, self-righteousness, I don't need Jesus, I'm doing well by following rules and regulations, or this world really in the end is all we have, and we need to just get as much gusto and as much pleasure and as much fun as we can in this world. Those two things are going to be screaming at you the rest of your lives. Beware of them, watch out for them. Seek first His kingdom and let God meet your pleasure needs, and comfort needs, and love needs. Do his work and realize you need Jesus every moment for the forgiveness of sins, you can never save yourself.
grow an active trust in the lord
Fourthly, grow an active trust in the Lord. Just feed on His word, strengthen your faith. Faith comes by hearing, apparently from this passage faith also comes from living in God's world and seeing the hand of Christ at work. I give pre-eminence to the Word of God to interpret our life experiences. But the two just go together, don't they? We see God be faithful, as George Muller saw God be faithful to feed 10,000 orphans over decades. His faith was strong thereby, he had learned how to trust God through all of those things. Grow in active trust in the Lord and daily life circumstances.