Day Twenty Three - How We Grow
God wants me to grow up. It is God's will that I mature as a Christian, becoming more and more like Jesus. We see that in the Christian world many people never do grow up and much of the reason for this is that people do not dedicate themselves to spiritual growth. Growth is not automatic. It takes dedicated effort and every Christian needs to make a conscious decision to grow spiritually.
Nothing shapes my life as much as the commitments I make, so I need to wholeheartedly commit to spiritual growth. Part of this decision is realizing that I will need to make changes in my life. I may need to act different in certain ways or get rid of some old routines or habits. When I do my part God will do His part and will work in me.
To really change my life I need to realize that my will alone is not enough. I can't force myself to change. I need God's help to do this. The first step is for me to begin to change the way I think because the way I think determines the way I act. I need to think maturely, focusing on others more than myself.
Warren quotes the Bible twelve times using five translations and paraphrases. He quotes with reasonable accuracy and within the proper context.
Point to Ponder
Today's point to ponder is "it is never too late to start growing." It occurs to me that at the age of twenty seven perhaps I do not have much I can say about this. After all, if I live an average lifespan I should have another 50 years in which to grow spiritually. Yet sometimes I look back at the twelve or so years I have been a Christian and wonder what I have been doing this whole time. Have I really been making a conscious and deliberate effort to grow in my knowledge of God? Sure there are times when I devour book after book and spend hours reading the Bible and during those times I see some exciting growth. Yet it seems that the bulk of the time I am content to sit back and just let life slide by. I suppose that most people face a similar truth at some point in their lives, whether it is in regards to God, their family or their jobs. Time seems to go by so quickly and we do so little of what we really want to do.
I had a discussion this morning with a friend of mine about the importance of growing spiritually. I was asking him how he viewed the importance of spiritual growth. After all, if a person who has been a Christian one day and knows absolutely nothing except that God has forgiven him can go to heaven, why would I spend my whole life trying and trying to be more like Christ when I could just do the minimum and still get to heaven? Is it really worth expending time and energy in becoming like Jesus? Now I know there is the element of obedience where if God says I should do it, I need to do it! But it seems God says less about why I should do it than about the fact that I need to. I do not doubt that I should do this, but would like some more insight on the importance. I have some ideas that I will share at another time, but if you have some ideas I would love to hear them.
Tomorrow's topic is Transformed By Truth