Are You Growing?
We talk a lot about growing as Christians. Many people become a part of a congregation because they have found a place where they can grow. People leave congregations when they feel they are not growing. While we talk about growth, we often don’t know how to define it. Spiritual growth is the process by which a Christian, in all aspects of his or her life, moves from the beginnings of life in the Spirit to full maturity.
Spiritual growth is first and foremost the work of the Holy Spirit. Growth is SPIRIT – U.A.L. Growth is produced by the “Spirit Using And Leading” us. Colossians 2:18-19 (NASB) states, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.” Life in the Spirit is characterized by the empowering presence of God at work in our weakness to transform us into the image of Christ.
Spiritual growth involves: crucifying the flesh (Galatians 5:24); walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25); turning troubles into character building opportunities (Romans 5:2-5; James 1:2-4); engaging in spiritual disciplines (1 Peter 2:2, Mark 9:28-29); thriving in church membership (Heb. 10:24-25); taking risks (Matthew 25:20-21), and keeping one’s eye on heaven. (Galatians 6:8-9).
Growing Christians impact the lives of others in a positive way. As we empower one another through loving, exhorting, serving, teaching, admonishing and praying for one another, we grow ourselves. “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (RSV).
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Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.