Growing in the Lord begins when we read, meditate and study God’s holy word, the Bible. All our knowledge of God and his plans for us is found in this wonderful book. It has all the directions for living a righteous life before the Lord.
It begins in the Old Testament —
Joshua encourages the Hebrew nation as they begin to enter the Promise Land in Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
God’s word is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).” It is full of God’s power that he works through us when we are abiding in him through prayer and study of his word.
The books of Pslam and Proverbs are filled with wisdom and God’s love and promises.
It continues with Jesus teachings throughout The New Testament —
Jesus teaches us in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:1-48, to be humble, thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and to understand that we will be persecuted because of our stand for him. These are all characteristics of a Christian.
Spiritual growth is an active and challenging journey. It takes commitment, dedication and time to read God’s word frequently.
Paul and other writers of the New Testament continue the call to grow in —
Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Ephesians describes the Armor of God which provides us strength in his power. Ephesians 6:10-18.
Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Colossians 1:10, “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
All these scriptures in the Bible clearly show that our path to spiritual growth is our connection to God and his son Jesus. Only through prayer and reading, studying and meditating on the Bible do we come to know our Lord. His writings are the only way to clearly hear what he has for us and to clearly understand what he calls us to do when we accept his gift of eternal salvation.
This is but a small taste of the encouragement that God’s word brings to our daily lives. The Bible has so much more to share with us. Consider making time for God’s word daily.
Lisa Scarborough is director of Love In Action.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.