May 12: Growth

Read 2 Peter 1:1-11

As the Vine, Jesus promises growth and fruitfulness to those who remain in Him.  Now, I have no propensity for biological terms, no natural tendencies toward physiological studies of any kind. Just ask Mr. Stewart, my 10th grade biology teacher. I do, however, understand that each of us is born with a sort-of program called DNA that holds all it needs for an entire lifetime’s worth of growth. That DNA will not multiply or change according to our age or our maturity. We have it at birth.

In a very real way, the same can be said of our spiritual DNA. According to the Apostle Peter, we already have “everything we need for life and godliness (v3).” In fact, the very God Whose goodness and glory called us to this new life in Him through faith. And the very God Who makes us righteous when we trust His Son Jesus Christ and follow Him in faith, He wants us to live in the divine power that He has given us. He gave us everything we need when we gave our lives to Him. So now He wants us to live in the truth of that power.

That’s why He wants us to grow. For in the growing, we live and act and react according to the divine power which He has given us. It starts with the faith that God Himself gives us. It grows, then, in goodness and knowledge and self-control, in perseverance and godliness and brotherly kindness and love. When we grow in these, we can’t help but share the truth and character of Jesus Christ because we become more and more like Him, thus, following God’s purpose for our lives.

In growing, we fulfill our part of covenant relationship with God. The one we entered into when we asked Him to save us from darkness and sin-living and give us new life. When we asked Him to be the Lord of our lives Whom we would follow wherever.

Here’s the thing about growing: we have everything we need in order to mature in our faith and become Christ-like. But we can’t be complacent with that and not seek to know God more. If we do, we will soon forget the amazing gift of new life, of salvation, that God has given us.

It’s not easy. Just like the pains that my daughter sometimes gets in her legs when she goes through growth spurts, spiritual growth sometimes comes with growing pains, too. But, just as my daughter doesn’t want to be the size of a 12-year-old all her life, neither do we want to be spiritually stagnant.