Hi! How’s It Growing?
So, how’s it growing?
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Peter had it right. If we’re growing stronger in our faith or learning more about Christ every day, we’ll produce spiritual fruit and be effective witnesses for Him. If we’re not growing ... we know how painful the pruning process can be.
But what does it mean to grow spiritually? The last thing we want to do is throw a bunch of super-spiritual words around to make ourselves look good. The word Peter chose here is a prolonged form of the word grow, which simply means it’s a verb that is continually happening. It’s growing continuously over a period of time. Grow means to enlarge, to grow up, to give the increase. It makes perfect sense when you think about a plant growing - it enlarges over time, it grows upward and it eventually gives the increase of its fruit or flowers. And as long as it has the proper nutrients and space, it never stops growing. Trees that are now hundreds of years old are proof of that.
And it also makes sense when we think about our spiritual lives and growing in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Plants that are healthy and nourished are big and beautiful and full of yummy fruit. If we’re filling ourselves with the right stuff, putting ourselves in the right places and actively learning as much as we can, we’ll have a healthy faith. Happy, healthy plants don’t usually just happen - the same is true of our spiritual life.
So let’s get practical. How can we make growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord part of our daily growing?
1. Read Scripture. Read Scripture. Read more Scripture. This is such an obvious one and we’re likely to skip over it, but it’s also the most vital for our growth. We can’t know who Jesus is unless we read eye-witness accounts of who He is. Everything God wants us to know about Him, and about His Son, are written in Scripture, with nothing hidden or held back. Even if it’s only one passage or one chapter, read Scripture every day.
2. Do a Bible study. Pick a word and follow it all the way through the Bible. Read a book on a topic you love. Join a small group Bible study. If you want to start a in-depth study, ask me about some tools I use to dig in to God’s word. Think you’re too busy for all that? A few minutes a day will fill your brain with good thoughts and make you hungry for more.
3. Be in church. The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us physically, mentally and spiritually, but being in church is so absolutely critical to our spiritual growth. Using whatever safety precautions make you feel safe and comfortable, it’s time to be back with your congregation of believers. Listen to sermons, join in singing, fellowship with other Christians and spend time together in prayer. God works and speaks through His ministers and pastors, giving them the words to speak that are vitally important to our souls, so sitting under their preaching is essential.
4. Be in Sunday school and youth group. This may be self-serving as I am a Sunday school teacher, but these few minutes on a Sunday morning can plant so many seeds in your life. It’s an opportunity to learn from someone in addition to your pastor, a teacher who has studied and prayed and prepared a lesson with the sole purpose of helping you grow. Your attendance is an encouragement to the teacher, and your participation helps everyone in the room - teacher included - learn more about their faith.
5. Saturate your life with Jesus. Hang Scripture on your walls. Make your favorite Christian song the ring tone on your phone. Listen to preaching while you drive. Memorize Scripture while you get your steps in for the day. Spend time in your prayer closet and ask the Lord for more opportunities to learn about Him. But be careful ... He may just answer you!
So, how’s it growing?