After we become one in Christ, God wants us to develop or grow. Peter exhorted, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As we do develop, we are effectively going “on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1) so that our “love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment” (Philippians 1:9).
But knowing that we need to grow and knowing how to grow are very different. We want to encourage growth, and that means not only communicating that you should grow, but also giving you suggestions on how to grow. The following are seven suggestions for you to mature in Christ and expand your work for God:
- Live and work to reach others each day as if you knew the world was going to come to an end next Sunday night. Think of that urgency and priority (2 Peter 3:1-12).
- Be as enthusiastic about the church and its assemblies as you would be if there were overflowing crowds each time. Think of the interest, anticipation, and excitement of an overflow crowd.
- Count your blessings. Make a list of the things you are thankful to God for, and thank Him for them one by one as you pray in your closet. This will help you to be grateful (Philippians 4:6). It will also help you to realize your dependence on God (John 15:5; Acts 17:24-28).
- Make and maintain a list of your faults. In addition, pray for forgiveness and help to overcome faults as you really work to overcome them. This will help you see that you’re really not as good as you think you are, and how very much you really need Christ. It will also help you to sympathize with the faults of others (Galatians 6:1; James 5:16).
- Keep a quiet time. Set aside thirty minutes every day to spend with God in prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. If you really love someone or a game, you want to spend some time with them. Likewise, if you truly love God, you will want to spend some time alone with Him (Psalm 1:2; Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). First century Christians kept an “hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1).
- Visit someone for Christ each week. Visit some member you don’t know very well, a sick person, a visitor to our assemblies, a weak member who needs encouragement, or someone who needs to become a Christian.
- Reach another person. Hold a Bible class in your home once a month and invite your relatives, friends, and neighbors to attend. The preacher or elders will assist you if you want them to (Matthew 5:12-15; James 5:20).
Before we think that these suggestions are overwhelming, or impossible to obtain, remember that there are 168 hours in a week. If you were to attend Sunday morning Bible study and worship, Sunday evening worship, and Wednesday evening Bible study, along with 30 minutes of Bible reading, prayers, and meditation six days a week, and then conduct an hour-long Bible study once a month, you’d be giving God less than ten hours a week.
Adapted from Grover Stevens