On this past Saturday morning, I asked the guys in my Men’s True North Discipleship group if they would say they are closer to the Lord right now than they were one year ago at this time. I think that is a good but convicting question to ask. And, how do we measure it? Some of it is subjective. But there is a good precedent for gauging our growth in Christ given to us in God’s word.
In 2 Peter 1:5-8 Peter urged the Christians who were living about 30 + years after Jesus’s death and resurrection to “make every effort” to supplement their faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. He then said, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Last September, I preached from this passage. And, our brother and one of our elders, Gary Reed urged me to have you think about “Take One Step Forward”. How have you been doing? We had little magnets to use as a reminder. I have more if you’d like another one (just let me know).
Can you look back over the last year and see growth? Look back at that list Peter gave to us. If they are increasing in your life – you are closer to God. But as we talked about, the Christian faith is an interesting mountain climbing experience. It seems like the more you climb – the farther you realize you have to go. That can be discouraging until you look back at where you were and you see growth. That’s what we are called to do – GROW. We will never arrive until the Lord returns or calls us home.
So – what are you doing to grow? Make the time to get into some activity, ministry team or study group to help you in your growth. Ask God to give you that hunger and thirst for righteousness that will cause you to get involved. And if you are involved already – take stock and evaluate specifically how God has given you growth over the last year.