To grow in Christ
August 31, 2015
by Pastor Matt Miklasz, Elim Mission Church, Cokato

I had a blast this past month experiencing my first Corn Carnival. It was great meeting new people and watching the kids experience rides, games, and, of course, the food. It was easy to see that the Corn Carnival experience was being enjoyed.

There were a few, however, who didn’t seem to be enjoying the experience or engaging in it. I could see it in their faces and demeanor. They were present, but not engaging, and thus missed out on a great time.

This makes me consider my experience in regard to spiritual growth. Do I miss out because I am not engaged in that which will help me grow? Are you?

We can hang around our churches, much like the carnival, but not really experience spiritual growth. As I look on the experience of what it is to be engaged in spiritual growth, Colossians 3:15-17 comes to mind:

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thanksgiving in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

The Apostle Paul is speaking to Christians. The thought he is putting forth is that there should be Christlike growth in all areas of the believer’s life. Complacency and stagnation are not an option for the believer. God is looking for growth that will produce fruit. This is not a subjective type of growth, but one that is to be personal.

Christian maturity means becoming like Christ in character and action. This is accomplished through the disciplines of prayer, study of the Bible, worship, meditation, fasting, serving, and other spiritual disciplines.

1John 2:6 affirms this: “. . . the one who says he abides in Him (Jesus Christ) ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

A disciple is one who personally learns from their master and begins to emulate what is modeled for them. No one can grow for you! You are called to personally follow and grow toward Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”

What are you experiencing in your walk with God? Are you spending time with Him? Reading God’s Word, the Bible? Are you learning from opportunities available to you such as community groups, Bible studies, Sunday morning sermon reflection?

Let us not be content to remain spiritually in neutral. The Bible encourages us as Christians to exhort, encourage, and admonish one another. This implies we are helping each other grow. I can’t stress enough how significant it is we encourage each other to take steps toward growth.

What step do you need to take? Do you need to find a Bible-teaching church and begin to attend? Maybe join in a small group study? I, along with the other clergy, would love to help you grow in your relationship with God. But ultimately, it is your personal choices which will determine whether you pursue spiritual growth or choose to stagnate.

Might each of us take steps toward a deeper walk with our Lord this week.

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