Monday, October 2, 2017

Growing in Christlikeness

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Yesterday, my wife and I celebrated multiple birthdays with our grandchildren. While enjoying the party, I thought to myself, where did my little kids go? Now grown up with children of their own, I had a moment when I missed those days of cuddling and giggling and acting silly — well, if truth were told, I still act pretty silly!

It didn’t take long to be snapped back to reality. It got me thinking that if my children had remained children, I would not have enjoyed yesterday as much. There are many benefits of growing up.

The same it true in the spiritual realm. Baby Christians are a wonderful gift to the church, but not if they remain babies the rest of their spiritual lives. Change — growing up — is essential to spiritual health just like our physical health. 

One of my seminary professors was fond of saying, “It’s God who made you. Ask Him to keep re-making you.” That’s great advice, right there, but too often ignored.

Spiritual maturity lasts a lifetime. Each and every Christ follower should follow Paul’s encouraging words to keep growing in the love and knowledge of our Savior as long as we live [Philippians 1.9]. Oh, what we forfeit when we cease to grow spiritually. That’s why we study the Word of God and obey it. That’s why we talk to the Lord constantly through prayer. That’s why we strive to live in the center of His will. Doing these things will keep us growing and maturing, becoming more like our Savior, Jesus, which is God’s desire for us in the first place. 

Just like my children and, now, grandchildren, I’ve watched their growth. They didn’t just wake up one day to maturity, it was a process. They went from infants, to children, to adolescents, to men and women. The same is true spiritually, like it says in the children’s song we sang so long ago…

Little by little every day
Little by little in every way
Jesus is changing me

Little by little, step by step, bit by bit we’re growing in Christlikeness. Keep growing.

C. S. Lewis said, “The process of growing up is to me valued for what we gain, not for what we lose.” Amen to that!

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things 1 Corinthians 13.11

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