TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, February 28, 2019:
The act or process of growing; the development from a simple to a more complex stage; development; advancement; improvement.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory now and forever.
II Peter 3:18.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Very few people are counseled when they accept Jesus as their Savior as to how they are to grow spiritually in their Christian faith. God wants us to conform to the image of Christ but He cannot make us conform. We must desire to be like Him. Unless we know what Christ is like how can we conform to His image? We must do as Peter teaches us in II Peter 3:18, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” True knowledge of Jesus comes through seeking Him in prayer, faithfully studying God’s Word, meditating on what you have read and then obeying God’s commands.
Here are several thoughts that we have learned through almost 62 years of marriage and in the challenges of raising six children which helped us grow spiritually.
First, we are responsible for renewing our mind as we are told in Romans 12:2. God saves us and gives us a new spirit but He does not give us a new brain. Our minds, prior to knowing the Lord as our Savior, have many trenches that have been dug or worn by rebellion, self-focus, or habit. To overcome these trenches one must learn to meditate on the Bible because the Bible expresses the thoughts of God. Meditation is more than reading. Meditation involves thinking about what the words mean and then applying the truths of God’s Word to our life. There is no way to grow spiritually without absorbing Scripture into our minds and hearts.
God does not change His mind but we must be willing to change our minds so that our thoughts conform to His thoughts.
Secondly, in order to grow spiritually we must be willing to admit and assume responsibility for failure. When we fail to recognize sin in our life, we deter spiritual growth. As we learn to confess our wrongdoings, we will acknowledge our spiritual failure, and recognize what we must change.
Thirdly, after confession comes repentance. This is more than an acknowledgement of wrongdoing or a promise to try harder. Repentance means that we commit to make an about-face and head in the opposite direction from our sin. When we are truly repentant, we will not repeat doing the same sinful things.
God’s goal is for all of us as believers to continually make progress toward Christ-likeness and to draw near to Him and deepen our relationship with Him. God seeks us and is waiting for us to come to Him.
We will grow spiritually stronger when we learn to serve God by serving others. Getting involved in another person’s life can help us learn patience, acceptance and love. Jesus came to serve others. He set the example for us. When we follow His example, we are conforming to His image and growing in Christ-likeness.
If you really want to move ahead in your Christian walk, it will require your time, your attention and your commitment. When you choose to walk down God’s pathway to growth, you can expect to become convicted about changes you need to make to be more like Christ.
No matter how far any of us has come in our spiritual walk with the Lord there is always room for growth. The more we grow in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word the less likely we will be led astray by false doctrine. The closer we grow to Jesus the greater our joy is in knowing Him.
Our memory verse today is found in Psalms 32:8.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye.
Help me to renew my mind by reading and meditating daily on Your Word. Teach me to admit and assume responsibility for my wrongdoings. By Your Holy Spirit convict me of my sins and give me a repentant heart so that I may be more like You every day.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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