Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spiritual Growth...a devotion

First and foremost, the primary concern of every Christian must be his or her own personal conformity to the image of their Creator. But how is this rather distinctive aspect accomplished? The great Charles Spurgeon once said, for the way to stand is to grow; and the way to be steadfast is to go forward . This concept is taken directly from the pages of Holy Scripture. The fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians speaks largely to this topic. There the Apostle Paul is describing the role of leaders that God has given as a gift to the church. The purpose of these leaders is described in verse 12, namely, leaders are given for the equipping of the saints for works of service, to the building up of the body of Christ in unity, and no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming . This involves not only growing in Grace, but growing in knowledge.

The Bible regards spiritual growth as intimately connected with the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The more you know the Lord, the more you begin to love Him; the more you love Him, the more you grow. But what is the purpose of our growth? The short answer is this: we grow in the image of the Lord Jesus for works of service that glorify God and advance His kingdom. Consequently, the overflowing effects of this are a decrease in frequency of sin and an increase of the abundance of love toward God and toward the brethren. This is why personal Bible study, prayer, and church fellowship are so important. They edify us personally that we may be more effective corporately. These activities are the very heart of Gods plan for spiritual growth. This is why the Bible gives such commands to remaining in fellowship and gives warning against complacency. The writer of Hebrews understood the importance of this idea and urged the believers not to forsake the assembling of each other for this very purpose .

May we as Christians never forsake the very things God has given us to grow in our faith. Let us heed the words of the Apostle Paul's plea to us believers, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Phil 3:14-18)


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