Willing to Grow in Christ

1John 1:5(KJV) says, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Light is love, liberty, and life. Darkness is fear, bondage, and death. Our Heavenly Father is light! And 1John 4:8 also tells us that He is love, and this is such good news for us! We are God’s children, and He only wants what is best for our lives. He wants to bless us. If you ask yourself, “What is God up to in my life?” The answer is that He is up to something good. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. He wants us to know His Word, and He wants us to have the desires of our hearts. All of these things rest on our commitment to follow the example of Christ. There isn’t a word in human vocabulary that can express the magnitude of how important it is that we follow the example of Christ. It is the key to unlocking the kind of life that God wants to give us all.

God has created us in His image, and He has given us what He is through Jesus Christ. We have life, and life is a very spiritual experience. Many of us don’t begin to wake up to life in the Spirit until we have some years on this planet under our belts, but even if we only pull back the layers a little bit, we can’t help but come to the conclusion that life is a very dynamic thing. It moves at a pace that none of us can speed up or slow down. It is helpful for us to understand that life is a gift from God, and it is a journey that never ends. God tells us in Revelation 1:18 that He is both the beginning and the end. He is infinite, and His love expands and grows deeper in us with the passing of time.

He created human beings because He wanted a family. He wanted children, and lots of them. He has made us in the image of of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 8:29(NLT) declares, “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” We are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, and God through His infinite wisdom, grace, and mercy, has granted us an enormous amount of time to rise up to the standard of Christ. Through His only begotten Son, John 3:16 tells us that God has given us the gift of eternal life. Therefore, you and I have no other choice but to conclude that our earth experience isn’t all there is, and our time on earth is integral to setting the stage for our continued journey forward.

This earth experience is extremely consequential, and it is very sad that most of us don’t learn this until much later in life. What we do here matters. Therefore, like any journey, we must be very mindful of where God is taking us, because if we travel outside His lane, trouble is imminent. God doesn’t punish us. 1John 4:18(NLT) tells us, Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” The love of God in Christ is the only perfect love that exists. Heavenly Father has assured us that there is no punishment in His love, and if we have any doubt of this, it’s because we need to learn of Him and get to know Him much better through His Word.

There are only two lanes in this journey of life, one of love and one of fear. Our choices and decisions determine which lane we’re in. Choices based on the love of God in Christ are those that will require us to be in continual communication and fellowship with God, and this is where some of us get off track. In the Book of Genesis, the first Book of the Old Testament, God gives us building blocks that will begin to lay a foundation for right believing. He explained to us that He made Adam in His image. He blessed Adam with free-will, and then He gave Adam responsibilities. Afterwards, God made Eve. Together, this first couple could have chosen to continue in perfect fellowship and communication with God, but this isn’t what they did. Adam and Eve made a wrong choice, and it was catastrophic. The first couple didn’t have to go down that road, and if they hadn’t, things for all of us would have been a lot different. But the truth is that they chose to deny God’s sovereignty because they wanted independence. Their disobedience was a wrong choice, and God allowed them to make it just as He allowed everyone after them to make it as well.

Adam and Eve started out believing in God’s goodness, but they allowed themselves to be talked out of right believing. They fell prey to the seed of doubt that the devil planted in their minds. They no longer wanted to walk with God and thought that continuing to be obedient to Him would cause them to miss out on something. Many people living today think and feel just as Adam and Eve did, but believing this way dishonors God. Believing that Heavenly Father withholds blessings is a lie from the pit of hell. Psalm 84:11(NLT) declares, For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Because of His goodness, God walks with us through all the highs and lows of this sojourn on earth, because that’s what a Father does. He doesn’t take away our lessons, He helps us learn them. We don’t get to rush the development of our spiritual maturity. We must be patient as He ‘fathers’ us through our issues and helps us to grow in Christ. He makes sure that we are able to handle the blessings we seek, and His Will is always to give us the desires of our hearts as we seek His Kingdom first.

As God’s sons and daughters, we must reject the choices that Adam and Eve made, and live our lives differently. John 10:10 tells us that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to give us a more than abundant life. This abundant life is on love’s lane, and Jesus Christ showed us the way to stay on it. In John 8:29(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” This is the confidence that Christ had in God when he walked the face of this earth. He knew that God backed his every footstep because he followed God’s Word, and God’s Word never fails. We must do this as well. God always wants the best for us, and He will give us the desires of our hearts if we will humble ourselves, be patient, and be willing to grow in Christ. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Willing to Grow in Christ” , written by JMack, 4theChristianMan.com© 2021. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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