Christ’s desire for our steady growth – Part 1
We must teach them the sound doctrine of God’s word so that they will not be “carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” The teaching we give them must be borne out of love so that they will “grow up into him in all things.” Growth causes joy in heaven and on earth. Earthly parents are happy when their child grows mentally, physically and spiritually. Owners of businesses derive joy when their ventures experience growth. Christ rejoices and is satisfied in the birth of spiritual babes to the Kingdom. Angels also rejoice for the repentance and conversion of sinners. Growth honours Christ, His atonement and sacrifice.
Food and water are necessary for our existence on the earth, physical growth, health, strength, happiness, concentration, progress and life in its fullness. But the physical food should be clean and good as these are essential for a desirable growth. In the spiritual sense, the meals we take, that is, the word we hear affects our spiritual lives. They either make us grow, remain stagnant, backslide or become weak. We must lay aside all kinds of diplomatic, direct, antagonistic malice and all kinds of deception at home, workplace and the church if we want to grow. We should be transparent in everything we do, especially regarding the ministry.
To experience real spiritual growth, we must “desire the sincere milk of the word.” Lack of the desire, passion and zeal to take in the word of God will make us cold, lethargic or lukewarm. When leaders in the church have desire to take in the word of God, the effect splashes on and spills over to new converts. To grow properly, we must listen to everything that represents the balanced diet in the word of God. We must not be selective in instructing young converts; rather, we should teach them the whole word of God.
Many people do not have time for God’s word because they are preoccupied with labouring for daily bread. But the Scripture says, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Although Job, a notable personality in the Bible, sustained some losses in life, he did not go back from God’s commandments. Challenges and trials of life should not make us desert the house of God or boycott church services. We must learn to esteem “the words of his mouth more than [our] necessary food.”
As we labour for what to eat and put on, we must labour more for the things of God. Those who are to impart others with knowledge must retain the knowledge themselves. As we feed the people with the word of God, we should remind them of God’s promises, power, goodness and mercy in order to dispel their fears. When we hear, know, believe, take in, have confidence in and live by the word of God, we will have no lack in our lives. Through Christ’s sacrifice, everything we need for soul, spirit, body, time and eternity has been provided.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Peter 2:2; Isaiah 53:11; Ephesians 4:11-15; 2 Peter 3:17, 18; 1 Peter 2:1-3; Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3; Job 23:12; Jeremiah 3:15; Proverbs 19:2; Jeremiah 23:4; Acts 20:28,32
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