February 2, 2019 ● 19-10
Ps. 119:12: Blessed are you, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.
Eph. 4:15: but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.
2 Tim. 2:22: Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Peter 3:18: but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Six years ago I lost thirty-five pounds. During my annual physical the doctor told me that my cholesterol and blood sugar were telling me it would be easy for me to become a Type-2 diabetic. I did not consider myself heavy, but the doctor told me for my health to lose the weight. So my wife and I did some research, bought a book (of course!), and pursued a course of action that worked! I lost the weight and have kept it off to this day. I have a target weight and I still struggle with three pesky pounds, but it’s my own fault; I’m not as strict with my eating as I should be. The point is, I was told what I had to do and I did it. When it comes to weight loss, simply losing the weight will not work if there is not a corresponding life change. Unless you commit to a change in lifestyle, simple weight loss will not last. As an aside, there are five words you need to understand when it comes to exercise if you are trying to get in shape as part of losing weight; e-mail me if you would like them.
The same is true of growing in spiritual maturity. In verse after verse, the Bible instructs us that we are to grow in our knowledge of Christ. This growth does not happen automatically, it is something we have to pursue. We have been given the ability to pursue it through the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God helps us understand God’s word and how to apply it. The Spirit of God gives us wisdom in making choices that honor God. And just like losing weight, spiritual growth and maturity require lifestyle change as well. But here’s the deal, it is the Spirit of God that leads you and sustains you in that lifestyle change for the glory of God.
The moment a person places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ they become disciples of Christ. A disciple is a pupil, a follower, a learner of Jesus Christ. There is no such person as a Christian that is not a disciple of Christ; we are either growing as disciples or we are not. God has designed us to grow (spiritually) and expects us to grow; to not pursue spiritual growth is to misunderstand salvation in Jesus Christ. The more we grow, the more we come to know how God works and we see how God works, and the more God grows us the more we want to grow.
I lost thirty-five pounds because the doctor told me it was for my physical health. I pursue spiritual growth daily because that’s what God expects, it helps me grow closer to the Lord. Here are some easy steps to use in growing daily in spiritual maturity:
- Read God’s Word daily;
- Study God’s Word seriously;
- Apply God’s Word practically;
- Pray God’s Word thoughtfully.
I want to encourage you to allow God’s Word to equip you in spiritual growth and maturity. Think on, pray through, and study these passages of Scripture that will help you:
2 Tim. 2:15; Ps. 1:1-3; Ps. 119:1-8; Matt. 6:33; Col. 1:9-10