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I Need to Constantly Seek Improvement

My oldest son, Lyzander, is in archery. He absolutely loves it, even though he's only done it two years. Tournament season for Archery began with a rocky start, we were out of state for the week of practice, then had to quarantine right before the tournament. He scored a 146 out of 300 possible points. Each week, however, Lyzander has been attending practices three times a week, and on Thursdays, he practices two hours. Each tournament, he has improved by leaps and bounds (20 points each tournament). Today, he scored a 219 (my wife says he scored 220, she may be right, but my addition stated 219). That is nearly 60 points improvement from the first week of January to the first week of February. Watching his grouping, he's hitting close to the mark each time. I can only `assume that, if he keeps this drive up, he'll only get better and better as his muscle memory improves, and he finds his niche.

Why do I bring all of this up? Because this is how our faith should be put in practice. James, the brother of Christ, says "draw near to God and He will draw near to you." If we are finding ourselves missing the mark (and sin is an archery term for just that), we need to do all we can to improve our walk with Him. We need to seek His word daily, measure our lives against it, and constantly seek improvement. We will never be perfect and sinless this side of heaven, but we can seek to sin less through Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. We will know what pleases God as we seek his word, and, daily picking up our crosses, we can follow Jesus in doing the Father's will. It just takes intentionality, practice, and training, and all of this can come from God's word and walking with other believers.

Colossians 2

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

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