The Biblical Norm Is To Be Growing Spiritually
I grew up in northern California where it’s usually hot and dry in the summer and fall, and cooler but not freezing with some rain in the winter and spring. In contrast the Midwest, where I live now, is hot and wet during the spring and summer and very cold in the winter. My wife and I have observed that in the Midwest the countryside is green in the summer and brown in the winter. In California it’s brown in the summer (unless it’s irrigated) and green in the winter.
Plants grow very well in both places but they have to be suited to the climate. It’s true that California has a longer growing season but the arid climate demands lots of water. Since California is in the midst of the fourth year of a drought growing things are difficult. Many things can interfere with the growth of plants and of people.
A healthy plant grows. So it is with Christians. The principle of growth is found throughout the Bible. Let’s consider four different aspects of what it means to be growing spiritually as a Christian.
4 Aspects of Growing Spiritually
- We grow by taking in spiritual nourishment 1 Peter 2:2. This is primarily by taking in the truth of God’s word. We do that by reading and studying the Bible and by listening to Bible teachers. If we don’t regularly take it in we stay like babies, only able to handle spiritual milk Hebrews 5:12-14.
- Spiritual nourishment leads us to grow in faith and love 2 Thessalonians 1:3. This is our ability to trust God and love others. The Bible teaches what God is like and what to expect from Him. As we learn that, we’re able to trust Him for more and more things. We also have a better understanding of how to love others.
- Growing in faith and love lead us to grow in grace and in how well we know Jesus 2 Peter 3:18. Through time and experience we learn how giving and forgiving God is. Especially when we don’t deserve it. That’s what grace is. Then our gratitude grows immensely! This helps us know the Father, Son and Spirit better and better.
- This all leads to producing fruit for God Mark 4:8. In the parable of the sower Jesus says Christians, the seeds that take root in good soil, grow and produce much fruit for God. This is normal and expected. Fruit is any good work we do for God Ephesians 2:10.
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Right now compare your spiritual life today to a year or two ago.
- Do you trust God more now than you did then?
- Are you loving more people?
- Are you more grateful to God?
- Are you doing more for Him?
If you are, give God thanks!
If not, it’s time to get growing spiritually. It all starts with a balanced diet of spiritual nourishment.