How Do We Grow?

How Do We Grow? June 15, 2014

We can answer this question in ways that are true, butnot as helpful as they could be.  For instance, if we just say “pray”,we’re leaving out a lot. Let’s consider these ways to grow:

Prayer:   If we focus on prayer instead ofpraying to the Father, we risk being vague or legalistic.  Prayer isrelationship with God, not somehow a thing on its own.  We ought to havean agenda in our prayer.  Often it would be just spending time with ourloving Father, but if we are serious about growing there will be areas where wepray for understanding of our failures and success in blessing others throughobedience.  Is God more likely to show us our blind spots if we seek thator if we don’t? 

Preaching:  Most counseling the elders will everdo will be as we lift of the glory of Jesus Christ in his triumph over our sinby paying for it all and calling us to repentance and adoption into God’sfamily.  Everything that endures and grows will tie to the Gospel andGospel truths.  The best goals can’t stand if they aren’t organicallyconnected to the power of the Gospel.  We have no other assurance to give.

People:  We grow through people.  Think ofhow many times the Apostles pointed to growth in the New Testamentchurches.  They also encouraged them to grow in areas they were alreadydoing well in.  There was also, as we would expect, correction andexhortation.  We understood love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control so much better when we seethem.  A good example is invaluable.  Look at your fellow believersand be encouraged to emulate them in their obedience.  Know also thatyou’re a blessing to them.

Purposefulness:    God steers movingvehicles.  The Bible points to God’s actions and calls us to faith in Godbut also to action ourselves.  Some of the least likely people are used tobless the church greatly because they made a deliberate pursuit of godlyobedience and growth.  The quality God looks for is willingness, notalready being good at something.  The Pharisees had memorized much or allof scripture but their purposefulness was usually in demonstrating their ownrighteousness rather than seeking God.

God has given us a guarantee that he will continue thegood work he has begun in us to grow us into the image of Jesus Christ. Joyfully move forward in growth knowing that.