Friday, March 18, 2011

Character: A Spirit of Growing

Growth is not something we commonly associate with our divinely perfect Lord. Yet scripture tells us Jesus grew strong in spirit (Luke 2:40) and increased in wisdom, stature and favor with man and God (Luke 2:52). Christ, fully God yet fully man, demonstrated growth; it is our privilege to do so as well!

God’s Word is our primary nourishment for growth; we must feed His life within us. Our salvation rests upon the completed work of Christ, but our growth allows us to enter into the life He has prepared for us now! God’s Word opens our eyes to the riches we have already received in Christ. All of those riches belong to those who have entered into eternal life by faith in Jesus’ work. Consider these verses from the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11):

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:33-34)

Faith has some awesome power; we must feed on the Word and exercise our faith that we can ‘wax strong’ like Jesus!

Grace and knowledge are important aspects of growth (2 Peter 3:18). We can read that verse as telling us that we must exhibit more grace and knowledge (and we will as we grow). Yet the verse also reminds us that God’s grace and knowledge nurtures growth. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners; He has drawn us with cords of loving kindness—He will not suddenly turn on us and begin whipping us into shape.  He knows us perfectly and will use that knowledge to grow us perfectly!  The enemy, though, will make us think God is being unjust and is dissatisfied with us. Satan uses shame and guilt to drive us away from Jesus. Our Lord calls us to Himself that His very presence will transform us into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Conviction is a gentle nudge toward Jesus; guilt is the sword of the enemy to drive us away from Christ. Do not be deceived:  tune your ears to the loving concern of Christ.  His sheep know His voice!

Growing is such an exciting characteristic; the fruit is so beautiful, I must force myself to stop this little devotion. Colossians 1:9-13 offers us a beautiful prayer to lift up for each other. I will leave those verses and some chat options below.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  (Colossians 1:9-13)


What is the foundation for all spiritual growth? Hebrews 6:1

Who began a spiritual work in us? Philippians 1:6

Who gives spiritual growth? 1 Corinthians 3:6 (What if we are complaining about another’s growth—whom are we really complaining against?)

What are some ways we can grow? Luke 17:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 2 Peter 1:56 (and many more!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment