Seek spiritual growth – Part 1
The desire of every parent is to ensure the balanced growth of his children. This involves providing all the imperatives that will facilitate the development of the children. Where growth is impaired or non-existent after all efforts, it throws the parent into confusion, crisis of confidence or even frenzied actions.
Spiritual parents are no less concerned with the development of their children. All their efforts are geared towards preparing their congregation for heaven. Towards this end, they spend time instructing their congregations on God’s requirements for heaven. They teach all the commandments and precepts of God. They counsel church members to scrupulously heed God’s word, to live in a manner that will please God at all times, and walk in the steps of Jesus Christ.
This explains why Apostle Paul, for instance, expressed his commitment and concern for the growth of the Christians in the city of Thessalonica. Although he acknowledged their work of faith, labour of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, he still needed to “perfect that which is lacking in [their] faith”. His effort produced the desired result and he was pleased that their “faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of [them] toward each other aboundeth.”
Man has three parts: the spirit, soul and body. Most people do whatever it takes for the body to keep alive and growing. Only few people think about the growth of their souls and spirits. The soul is the centre of affection, feeling, desire, courage, emotion, intellect, knowledge, passion and will of a person, while the spirit is the part with which he contacts God.
Prior to being born again, our souls and spirits were dead and could neither relate with God nor respond to His call. Quickened in the spirit, renewed in the soul and restored in the body, we became new creatures in Jesus Christ. As members and ministers, we should be committed to our spiritual growth. The Lord expects us to grow physically, mentally and spiritually.
The Lord has commanded His people and preachers, sons and servants, daughters and disciples to grow. And He has made adequate provision for our growth. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ… According as his divine power hath given unto us all things… that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust…” (2 Peter 3:18; 1:3,4). There is no room for stagnancy in God’s Kingdom. Having come into the Kingdom through the new birth experience, we must grow and bear fruit in Him.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24; 2 Peter 3:18; 1:3-8; Ephesians 4:13-16; Exodus 9:34,35; 1 Kings 16:25,26,30,31; Psalm 78:12-17; Matthew 12:43-45; 23:15,33; 2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Peter 2:20; 1 Peter 2:1,2,5,9; Ephesians 4:12,15; 2 Corinthians 7:1.
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