.

Growth

All kids want to grow in some way. You may want to grow taller, or stronger. You may want to grow more popular or perhaps smarter. It’s a natural part of getting older – but there is a way of growing that is more important that all of these. It is growing in Jesus. Let’s open our Bibles and discover the most important way to grow.

Why should I want to grow in Jesus? There are several very important reasons: 1. He created us. It’s in the Bible, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his” (Psalms 100:3, NIV).  2. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1John 4:19, KJV).  3. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, KJV). Always remember that no one will ever love you as much as God. It’s in the Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

How can I grow to be more like Jesus?  It’s in the Bible, "But grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18, TLB). Getting to know Jesus and opening your heart to Him is the first step. The more you know Him, the more you grow in His love.

How do I get to know Jesus? Believe in Him by faith. It’s in the Bible, “Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him” (Hebrews 11:6, TLB).  Reading the Bible is a good start. “You search the Scriptures, for you believe they give you eternal life. And the Scriptures point to me! (John 5:39, TLB).       Prayer is another good way to become acquainted with Jesus. Talk to Him just like you would a friend. It’s in the Bible, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NIV).

Stay Connected! Just like an apple tree produces apples because it is an apple tree. So a Christian will grow to be like Jesus because he is connected to Jesus. It’s in the Bible, “Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can't produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing” (John 15:4-5, TLB).

Troubles and trials in life help us grow spiritually. When we have struggles in life, it drives us closer to God. When you’re facing tough times, don’t just run from them. Run to Jesus’s open arms! He is ready to lead you and give you the strength to walk through the storms of life. Romans 5:3-4 says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” What’s amazing, is not only will Jesus get you through those hard times, but you’ll be stronger than if you never went through that trial!

Like training for an Olympic game, our spiritual growth requires discipline. "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." (1 Corinthians 9:25, NIV).

Does God promise to help me grow until Jesus returns? Yes! "And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns" (Philippians 1:6, TLB).

How do I know I am growing? As you become closer friends with Jesus, you’ll see the fruits of the Spirit in your life! It’s in the Bible, Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”