Grow! A Transformed Life
Grow! A Transformed Life
Spring is here! The trees are blossoming and my four year old is excitedly picking me beautiful wildflower "presents", as he calls them. I sit in awe of our wonderful God who made the seasons. Seasons which come and go, ever-changing, much like our lives. Yet He remains the same and is ever-faithful. And just like each season features various plants that bloom and grow, we also bloom and grow, the culmination of God's creation, His image bearers. What a beautiful thing to meditate on!
In fact, there are so many analogies in nature that point us to this truth. Part of how God makes himself known to us is through creation; Romans 1:20 tells us "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
Have you ever thought about the intricate detail of a seed? Inside this tiny little house is hiding the code that details what the seed will become. With nutrients, water, and sunlight, it will grow! As it does, it will be a unique specimen while at the same time replicating what it was designed to be. We are similar to that seed: we are made to grow, of course physically, but even more amazingly we are made to grow spiritually, to be made new, to be sanctified, to transform. He has made our old hearts alive in Him, and transformed us into a new creation and we now long for the things of Him. As we grow, we will be both an individual image bearer of God, and also increasingly what we were designed to be: conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). He fills us with the Holy Spirit and gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). In Christ we are given rich nutrients, living water, and Sonlight.
God has not left us alone in this task of transformation. He first and foremost has given us the Holy Spirit, our great Helper. The Holy Spirit enables us with a supernatural empowerment to do what we cannot do on our own. Our works on our own are futile, as lasting as hay, wheat, and stubble. In Philippians 2:12-13 it states " Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Our sanctification, our growing more and more like Christ, isn't just our work, just the Holy Spirit's, or even just cooperation between us. We work at it, in His strength and only able to grow because of the work He's doing in us.
In 2 Peter the author tells us,
"His Divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:3-8).
We are to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) longing for deeper things beyond the milk of infants. Instead we are too long for rich nutrients, the meat of the Word (Hebrews 5:12-14). We are to be like trees planted by streams of water that have deep roots, that will not wither or be tossed in the wind (Psalm 1 and Ephesians 3:14) . Growth and bearing fruit are the sure result of, and the evidence of, our salvation. This fruit is how we affect the world around us, and it both blesses us and those around us as well as protecting us like a hedge.
I want to be fruitful and effective for God's glory, don't you? We are so blessed to live in a time and in a country where there is so much available to help us learn and grow in Christ. Here are some thoughts and ideas to help us grow:
- Have daily personal time in God's word. In different seasons of life it may look different, but stick to it.
- Listen to sermons and relisten to our church sermons.
- Find an Equipping Hour class.
- Get connected to a Life Group or a Bible study. There are many opportunities throughout the week.
- Pray! Beg God to change your heart, ask him to reveal what needs to be changed and to transform you.
- Don't water the weeds. Think on things that are true, noble and pure.(Philippians 4:8)
- Be in fellowship with other believers and talk about Christ and spur each other on towards love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Read books on biblical topics: marriage, parenting, singleness, theology. If you don't know what to read our church has several books out for recommendation and purchase in the foyer.
- Do a book study with another person or a group.
- Study hymns or prayers of past saints; The Valley of Vision is a great book of prayers from Puritans and Happy Hymnody is a curriculum for families that has catechism and hymn studies.
- Seek out someone to learn from that has "fruit" and come alongside them to learn from them. Titus 2 tells older women to come alongside younger women, to teach them. It's not just for women, it's for men too. :)
"If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great."
Let's drink deeply and be satisfied!
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