The Christian Life - A Process of Growth
In the life of a Christ follower all is not accomplished at once. Christian character becomes ours through the process of growth — first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:26– 29 reveals this process:
"He (Jesus) also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.
It is the Spirit of God in us that brings the promise of the Spirit of Christ being lived out through us, and we “grow up in all things into him who is the Head” (Ephesians 4:15). We will read Ephesians 4:11–16 and take special note of verse 13:
“And He (Christ) gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."
May we each inquire of ourselves as to whether or not our spirit is alive to the Spirit of God. Have we given Him first place in our hearts? Is the Spirit of Christ being revealed through us? If not, we now know the reason. Either we have not received the Spirit of God with the Power and Light and Life that He brings, or we have quenched or resisted or ignored or grieved the Spirit of God that lives in us.
The Bible calls such people “carnal Christians”. We find a description of such people in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3:
“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”
May we not only welcome the Spirit of God, but may we also crown Him Lord of our lives. As our lives demonstrate the Spirit of Christ, may we fulfill God’s purpose for us in becoming day by day more like Jesus.
REFLECT ON THE FOLLOWING:
1. What are some NEW WAYS that I may welcome the Spirit of God into my daily
2. What are some areas in my life where I still try to choose for myself, make my own rules, and follow my own desires rather than crowning Christ as Lord over EVERY CORNER of my life?
3. Looking back at my life over the past year, how can I see that I have GROWN MORE CHRIST-LIKE as a result of the Holy Spirit at work in me?
BIBLE VERSE TO MEMORIZE:
"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Ephesiians 4:14).