Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:2-5)
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)
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. (2 Peter 3:18)
Go back and read these texts again. Notice these words and phrases: increase, abound, be filled, grow up, supplement, , increasing, and grow. Read them a third time: “increase and abound in love,” be filled with the knowledge of His will,” grow up into salvation,” make every effort to supplement your faith,” “if these qualities are your and are increasing,” grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
God expects his children to grow spiritually. He will see to our growth as we pursue that growth. May the Lord make you increase fill you with knowledge. yet we have a part. Long for the pure spiritual milk, make every effort and grow. What are things that promote growth?
How can a Christian grow as God expects?
- Spend time in God’s Word. Scripture is the milk and meat for our growth. The diet of what we pour into our hearts either increases or inhibits our spiritual growth. We become what our hearts and spirits feed on.
- Spend time with Christ. He is the Water and Bread of Life. Keep your life focused on His will (see above) and follow Him as a disciple. Learn from His choices and behavior.
- Spend time with others who follow Christ. The Hebrew writer instructs us, ” . . . let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together . . .” (Heb 10:24-25) In other words, we stir each other to grow in love and good works when we are together to encourage each other.
- Spend time in prayer. Paul prayed for the Thessalonians and the Colossians to grow spiritually. Peter speaks of spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, that would include prayer as a fruit of our heart and lips.
- Set spiritual goals. Add to your faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control and so on. Evaluate your growth.
Are you growing? A friend used to say, “When you stop growing you start dying.” God expects us to grow.
What are things that you do that help you grow?