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THAT GROWING UP THING

February 11, 2015

 

Text: “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”. II Peter 3:18

My father got a pencil and took me to the doorframe. He backed me up against it and told me to stand up tall. Then the pencil was held on the crown of my head and a  mark was made horizontally on the doorstop. This happened about the first grade. The measurements were made from time to time and definitely indicated I was growing.  Most of the kids at school were elated about progress toward being a “big kid” or a “teenager”. Boys seemed especially interested in sports and body building as the means of getting to maturity quickly. I had no sports talents and, try as I might, body building did little to promote muscles and nothing to elevate my height. I was stuck being short and dumpy, the perfect victim of “bullying”. (I did not earn my letter on the football field or baseball diamond. I earned my letter writing about the jocks as sports editor of the school newspaper.)

Growth is as essential in our spirits as it is in the material realm. Some folk are interested in growing fruit or vegetables of largest size in order to win a prize in the state fair. In 2014 a Swiss farmer named Mainz Meier displayed a pumpkin weighing 2,096.6 pounds! I wonder how many times he has been queried about what growth agents he used to fertilize it.

Since advancement in the growth of our spiritual selves is our calling and aim, we must find and use those ingredients to augment our spiritual selves. You can’t buy these growth enhancers at the vitamin shop or drug store.  Spiritual strength cannot be gotten by eating a diet of certain vegetables and reducing fatty foods.

However, there are spiritual victuals that are necessities for the growth and well-being of the soul of a Christian. Growth of the spirit is not certain just because you  were immersed in a baptistry . It is not something that comes by osmosis or arriving at an advanced age. It must be obtained by a Christian exercising diligent effort to rid himself of evil and nourish himself  with holiness.

There are plenty of Biblical examples and encouragements for one to exert his entire life to perfecting spiritual maturity. Let’s bring forth some of these for our own stimulant.

Our greatest example to this end is Jesus Christ. This is the first record of Jesus’ career as Luke begins his account. “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of  God was upon him.” Luke 2:40  Don’t let this statement slip away from you. Think how early in life  Jesus had immersed himself in the pursuit of righteousness. We think about youth being a time a child can neglect spiritual  advancement. On the other hand, it is the best time in life to build the needed righteous foundation of Christian living.

Another spiritual giant whose life provides an illustrious path for us to emulate is Abraham. Though his record is dotted with some stains he is always regarded as having a well bonded relationship  with God. However, his indiscretions were more exceeded by his righteous deeds .  The epistle of James  relates that Abraham’s righteous behavior secured a wondrous relationship with God. “…and the scripture  was fulfilled that says,  “‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”‘  and … he was called a friend of God.” James 2:23 Build your friendship with God by basing your behavior on the lives of godly men and women.

If you need some specifications regarding the elements of righteousness and holiness, we will direct you to them now. There are many throughout the Bible, so read with attention to points for holy living. Yet there are others that  are bunched together in formal lists. The fruit of the spirit is itemized in the letter to the Galatians.  Galatians 5:22-24 (A lofty specification of elements of the Christian life.) The whole armor of God  (Ephesians 6:10-20) is a rousing call to strengthen your defenses against Satan.  And Peter gives some lofty behaviors  he calls supplements to faith in II Peter 1:3-8
 
Get busy.
 
 
REM
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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