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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

Growth: Planting the Seed

True growth which comes from Christ is pure, peaceful and never truly stops. GB



Hi friend! And welcome back to another week.


If you have read any of the posts on this site for any amount of time, then, you know that spiritual growth is a big deal to me. I am not a perfect Christian [and will never claim that title]; but I strive to be a progressing believer who is always aiming to lead a better life each day. My heart's desire is to please Christ more and more as I get to know Him.


With this intent in mind, I've been prayerfully seeking God for contents for this site and felt led to do another series. This time, on the subject of Growth.


While I realize growth is such a complex word, I still encourage you to bear with me the next several weeks as we explore this subject together.


This week, we will start with just an introduction to Growth - Planting the seeds.


A simple search on google defines growth as "the process of increasing in physical size".


However, there is so much more to that word. One of Webster's definition of the word growth is "a progressive development". The reason why I prefer this definition more than google's definition is because growth isn't always just physical. Sometimes, its mental, and other times its spiritual, financial, educational, marital, relational... etc.


In today's culture, there is always the strong push for people to be better; yet, we are never showed or taught how to do so. Everyone is encouraged to grow, but no specific outlines or directions are provided. Thankfully, this is not the case for spiritual growth.


The Word of God provides us with multiple guides, standards and examples of growth. The character in study today is none other than the apostle Paul [formerly known as Saul].


When, I think about a person that grew up fast spiritually, I definitely think of Paul. From the end of Acts 7 to chapter 9, we see a man that undergoes a 180 degrees change and continues to grow from there.


At the end of Chapter 7 (Acts 7:58), he is involved in the stoning of Stephen and then in chapter 8, he is recorded as a persecutor of the Church. But by chapter 9, his conversion happens and before the chapter ends, he is found in the temple proclaiming Jesus.


If that isn't growth, I don't know what is!


Acts 9:20-21 states: "And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God. And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?


Two things I'd like to leave with you today

  1. Real growth first comes from Christ.

The problem with society's growth mindset today is that it is Christ-less. People want to change and be great. However, what they don't realize is that without Christ we are nothing. Without Christ, you and I are selfish, broken sinners in need of a savior. And yes, while physically, we might try to change things, because of our sinful nature, the change or growth that we seek, do not last. However, the growth that comes from Jesus is isn't influenced by this world which does make it last.


James 3:13 -17 states: Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."


While I realize the verses are primarily talking about wisdom, let me quickly say that I believe that wisdom is what leads to growth. And the growth that comes from Christ is pure. It is not selfish, or self-seeking. It is indeed peaceful.


2. Real growth never stops.

Another issue I have with a lot of people in today's society is what I call the "I-have-arrived-mentality". The truth is, as long as we are on earth, there will always be room to grow; which means, none of us have truly arrived regardless of your status or position.


As a Christian, the closer I try to get to Christ, the more I realize how much more I need Him. The more time you spend in His presence, the more you will realize just how much more you need to grow.


Conclusion

Paul wrote in Philip 3:12-15 these words: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."


Paul, the man a lot of us aspire to be like, knew that until the end of his race, growth was a continuous process.


What does your life look like at this moment? Are you growing, or stagnant? When was your last conviction or awareness? What ways have you grown the last 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 8 months, 6 months, 3 month, 1 month or even 1 week?


True growth comes from Christ and is pure, peaceful and never truly stops. So if the growth that has taken place in your life over the last few years, months or even weeks, do not line up to God standards, was it really growth?


Challenge: Planting the Seed

1. This week, ask God to reveal to you areas that need growth in your life.

2. Write those areas down.

3. Start working on one of those areas.


Stay Blessed

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