We Are Radical

Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)

Christian Growth

What is a house like that hasn’t been inhabited for fifteen years? The hardwood floor is buckling. There is moss growing on the roof. The porch swing has fallen and broken. Insects are eating the foundation. Vandals have broken the windows. You probably couldn’t notice these things due to the overgrown bushes in the front and the field of grass for a front yard. Does anyone with any sense expect a car to start that has been parked in a field for twenty years? I doubt it.

When Jesus addressed some distressed Christians in Smyrna, He said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). He also said to the church in Sardis, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). It is obvious that Christ wants His people to continue in the Christian faith until death. How does a car stay on the road in good, working order? The owner must be diligent to give it regular maintenance. He must not neglect it, but drive it often. There should never be any such thing as a “stagnant Christian.” Water becomes putrid if left to stand still outside. Meat will rot if left out and never cooked. Our bodies will die if they do not get proper nourishment on a regular basis. If that is the case, why would anyone do that to his or her Christian life?

Paul told Timothy, “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). One of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced, and am still experiencing, is the fanning of the spiritual flame inside. What about a Christian who has “lost” his or her flame?

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:15-16.

Jesus claims that a “lukewarm” Christian will be spat from His mouth! I cannot imagine anyone desiring that. The flame must exist and grow! If you have lost your flame, you must “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you!”

The author of the Hebrews epistle was hoping to teach his audience about an advanced Christian subject (the high priesthood of Christ). Unfortunately, those Christians had not grown in their faith the way they should have.

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:11-14.

There are some parts of the Bible that are obviously more difficult than others to understand. For instance, 1 Peter 3:19-20 is a little bit more difficult to explain than 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Do you long to understand a certain Bible passage? You must first graduate from the milk stage of your faith to the solid meat diet. When does that happen? I couldn’t tell you. I still need spiritual milk from time to time. A Christian never ceases his or her study the Word. However, there is a time in a Christian’s life when he or she gains the ability to teach as well as learn (Hebrews 5:12).

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9.

Growing in our Christian faith will help us to be useful and fruitful in God’s kingdom. Lacking in these qualities will produce the opposite result, and Jesus said, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19).

Be warned, though. Yes, growing in knowledge and faith will help you to produce fruit for Christ, but He also says, “[E]very branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Many of us want to bear fruit for God, but are we ready for God to prune us? Sometimes the only way to grow is to persevere through tough times. Always remember, however, the encouragement from the Spirit of God.

[L]et him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12.

It should be every Christian’s goal to always become more Christ-like.

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52.

Here are some quick tips for Christian growth:

  • Study God’s word every day.
  • Communicate with God through prayer every day.
  • Worship God on a regular basis.
  • Participate in Christian fellowship as often as possible.
  • Serve others daily.
  • Teach according to your knowledge and ability.

Christ’s promise to you and to me is, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The old question is applicable: “If you’re not as close to God as you used to be, ask yourself, ‘Who moved?'” If you have forsaken your duty as a Christian to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and fear of the Lord, pray with David, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Psalm 51:12).

I love you with the love of the Lord,

Lance

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This entry was posted on 02/07/2013 by in Christian Living and tagged , , , .