Our Christian Development and Growth

Our Christian Development and GrowthBefore an individual can grow as a Christian they must first be free from sin. Peter writes: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:1-2). Later he says: “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). Many Christians seem to be “spinning their wheels” when it comes to Christianity. They want to be an active Christian, yet they also want to continue to entangle themselves with worldly things. We cannot develop and grow into the Christian that God wants us to be if we are not willing to give it 100% effort! Only when we truly “desire” for the righteousness of God will we become a mature, seasoned, responsible, and respected Christian in His service. We must be determined to escape the world’s lusts and have a living faith toward Christ. James writes: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Our true character, development and growth as a Christian will be evident to all based upon our works. Our Christian growth will be seen by all without us having to ever say a word. Remember the words of Paul? “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:12-15). A Christian’s development, growth, and progress will be evident to all that see him.

 Conditions of Growth

We can only grow in Christ when we place our trust and cares on Him. “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus pleads with each of us to “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). When we cast our cares on Jesus, and lean on Jesus, then we are on our way to developing as a Christian ought to.

LIFE’S ROAD

LIFE’S ROADLife is but a circular journey

Our works are many, our trials a tourney

Our pilgrimage here is as the life of a flower

Put our trust in the Lord who has all power

It is not in man to direct his own ways

Lean on the Lord and you will see good days

Search our hearts and be sure we find

A spirit that is loving, gentle, and kind

Along the way if our brother stumbles

Go to him and be ye humble

Talk to him about his weakness

In all humility and meekness

If he will but listen we have gained our brother

Taking him under your wing as would a loving mother.

Nothing is more delicate than the soul of man

Let’s work for the Lord and do all we can

Life’s road we all travel down in time

At the end of our journey may I claim the Lord as mine.

Sarah Caldwell

A Culture of No Consequences

A Culture of No ConsequencesIn the beginning, The Lord blessed man with a paradise garden to keep, trim, and enjoy. Only one prohibition was mentioned. Adam and Eve were not to eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen.2:17). If they ate they would lose their place in garden and forfeit their right to the “tree of life.” They would lose their lives and their special relationship with The Lord. This was the consequence. Sadly, they ate of the prohibited tree and paid the consequences. Have you noticed the singular lack of consequences in almost every system of American culture? God’s plan of behavior management for children (the rod of discipline Pro. 22:15) has been set aside by parents and schools. Athletes, stars and politicians are seen to break laws with impunity. Bad manners and rudeness are tolerated if one is popular or famous. Coaches throw chairs, athletes sling helmets, and parents attack other parents, all clear violations of team rules and rules of appropriate behavior. Yet, rarely are those actions held to account. Proverbs 19:19 tells us the truth: “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again”. Priests and teachers have abused children without penalty. Presidents lie, congressmen take money, etc.

Human beings require structure and discipline. Fortunately for us, our Creator planned for our growth and happiness by holding us accountable. God is honest with us: sin brings death. The Word clarifies His expectations and holds us accountable. God is predictable, consistent, and fair. And aren’t we thankful for that!