Friday, August 26, 2016

Spiritual Growth

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 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. II Peter 3:17-18
Today’s devotional is a continuation of yesterday’s study on Spiritual Growth.  It is a lifelong process.  We continue to grow from the time we become Christians until we never “arrive” until we get to Heaven. 
Spiritual Growth is Powered by PRAYER
Life is relationships!  Spiritual life is developed in relationship with God.  My spiritual nature will develop as I exercise spiritual speech!  Prayer puts me in the presence of the Master.  The difference in Christianity being a form and a force and is the element of prayer.  The single most important factor in growing to Christian maturity is prayer.  Its importance cannot be overestimated.  Our life is not to be lived at the mercy of moods, pressures, or crises.  Prayer brings heaven into earthly events.
Spiritual Growth is Tempered by TIME -
God has to have time to reveal ourselves to us and then Himself to us.  I will know the depth of my faith only at the end of my life.  God uses time to stabilize our faith for the next test.  One experience or series of experiences does not mean that you have arrived but that you have begun.
Spiritual Growth is Deepened by Dependency
The spiritual life is not a life of pride or self-sufficiency but humility and dependency.  Man, despite his pretensions, his sophistication and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence to a six- inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.  We are dependent on a sovereign God.  ”God pickles the proud and preserves the foolish.”  Life will bring you to your knees and hopefully you will be before God.  Need brings self-denial and consecration.  We must be in Jesus as a seed is in the ground.  Buried in the cross - dying to self - living in the nourishment of His power. 
Sign seen in a textile mill, "When your thread becomes tangled, call the foreman." A young woman was new on the job. Her thread became tangled and she thought, "I'll just straighten this out myself." She tried, but the situation only worsened. Finally she called the foreman. "I did the best I could," she said. "No you didn't. To do the best, you should have called me."
Don’t be ashamed to call on the Foreman. 
Spiritual Growth is Shaped by Service
All knowledge of God is directed at His purpose.  There is only so much you can learn sitting and listening.  At some point you must become an apprentice…a disciple.  What good is a resource without the ability to use it?  What good is a resource without the humility to draw from it?  The end of all growth and the purpose of all blessing is SERVICE.

Our spiritual exercises--Bible study, prayer, reading Christian books, listening to Christian radio and tapes--are also for a purpose. They're meant to strengthen our ability to build God's kingdom, not simply to improve our pose before an admiring audience.  Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and you will grow in faith and service as well…It is God’s plan.
Scripture to Claim
For I am} confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

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