“…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.”- 2 Peter 3:18.
In every story in the Bible where someone meets Jesus, that person is changed. The story of Zacchaeus (Matthew 19:1-10) is just one example. The same is true today. Jesus meets us where we are, but once we know Him, we will never be the same. As Christians, growing in our faith simply means being changed and becoming more like Jesus.
God expects us to grow spiritually and His Word encourages personal examination as an element of growth:
- “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” – Lamentations 3:40.
- “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” – Haggai 1:5.
- “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” – Galatians 6:4.
- “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,” – Ephesians 5:15.
It is important to remember that spiritual growth is a process, not a program. And as a process, it takes time, but more importantly it takes active involvement. Unfortunately we will not grow by osmosis or by association. We need to evaluate where we are and decide where we want to be both short and long-term. We can start with some key elements in growth: going and serving in church and small groups, studying the word of God, attending the Growth Track classes, and reading books or listening to podcasts, etc. in the area of spiritual growth. In addition to those, here are a few additional thoughts to consider.
Ask yourself when was the last time you did something new, or at least different than what you have always done. What have you tried in 2015 that you have never tried before. Trying new things, and sometimes failing is one of the best ways to grow. If you attend church and participate in a small group, what have you learned and more importantly applied in the last few months? How intentional have you been about learning and making them part of your life. James tells us to be doers, not just listeners. (James 1:22)
What have you been doing to manage or facilitate your spiritual growth? It is hard to grow if we are on the sidelines. Take control of your spiritual growth and if you are not where you need to be, take the steps to get there.
And finally, pray daily. Prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Give thanks to the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with His Holy Spirit. It will help you grow spiritually.
- What person has most encouraged you in your spiritual growth?
- When you are growing in the Lord, what are some changes you have seen in your life as evidence of growth in your walk with Christ? What are some changes you have seen in other’s lives as evidence of that growth?
- What event/activity/season of life caused your spiritual life to grow the most?
- At what period of your life would you describe as the time when you were closest to God?
- What changes would you have to make in your life now in order to grow more spiritually?