When people have the inspiration to become healthier they will follow various diet and exercise guides to help them stay on track. The food pyramid was the most popular plan when I was growing up. Sweets were the top of the pyramid and the tiniest portion we were supposed to partake in. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy were in the middle of the pyramid diagram. Wheats and grains were on the bottom and were the largest portion we were to eat to have a healthy balanced diet. Now there are diets that have an emphasis on not eating wheats and grains at all. There are also dairy free and meatless diets that have a major following. Typically, one usually does grow healthier as they follow a guide, as they are being more conscientious of what they eat. However, the top recommended diets are constantly in a flux. They’re always changing. The same is true with exercise plans. As important as it is to eat healthy and to exercise, we should take heed that we don’t neglect growing in our spiritual health.
1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Here is a guide you can follow to help stay on track in growing spiritually. And this type of plan won’t change in a decade. They are components of growth found in a healthy Christian yesterday, today, and t.
Growing in Grace
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Without any regard to any of our works or our merit, it is the grace of God that saves us through faith in Christ. Yet as a born again Christian we ought to continue to “grow in grace.” Grace means “favor.” We grow in God’s grace, in his favor, when we are walking in the Spirit.
It is due to the grace of God we are able to have our sins forgiven. The grace of God doesn’t give us a desire to continue to live in our sin either. Romans 6:1–2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? While we will still struggle with the sinful nature while we are in this flesh, the grace of God continues to help us overcome sin. If we grow in grace it will reveal itself through us getting victory over sin.
Titus 2:11–14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Another aspect we are to grow in grace is by showing grace towards others. We are not deserving of the grace of God, yet God still revealed his grace to us. Therefore we ought to follow his example of showing grace to others. Others should be able to come to us and see hope. We should increase in our graciousness towards others; to show favor, to care for, and manifest goodwill. To grow in grace is to grow spiritually; it is to increase in God’s favor.
Growing in the Word
II Peter 3:18 revealed to us the importance to “grow in grace,” and it also tells us of the need to grow in “the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” We grow in our knowledge of Christ by reading the word of God. The Apostle Peter said in his first letter, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). A newborn baby would die if it had no source of nutrition. This is the same with older children and adults. If we don’t eat for a long period of time, then we would die sooner rather than later. We need the milk of the word of God to grow spiritually. As we mature spiritually, as a baby does physically, then we are able to digest and understand more of the word of God (Hebrews 5:14). For growth we must make the word of God a priority to us as Job did. The Bible says that Job was a man that was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Job had this to say “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).
Growing in Communion with God
In order to grow closer to the presence of the Lord we should make our prayer life a focus. Most of us probably can increase the time we spend in prayer, all of us ought to improve the quality of our prayer. I’m not talking about making fancy and eloquent prayers. I’m speaking of making sure you are actually engaged when you’re praying. Take heed that when you pray that you’re not just mumbling off a few words without any thought to it. Don’t pray simply out of routine. Don’t pray without faith. Have confidence and believe that God is actually going to answer your prayers. Jesus said “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:24). The Apostle John wrote “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (I John 5:15). After all, God desires to show his children the miraculous. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Be truly connected to God in prayer and he will draw nigh in presence. Psalm 145:18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth. Growing in our prayer life certainly brings us closer to God when we seek him with all of our heart. Jeremiah 29:12–13 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Growing in Faith
Having mentioned the importance of prayer in a Christians life, let me reemphasize that prayer without faith is meaningless. It would simply be words thrown in the air. Our faith isn’t supposed to cease after we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation from our sin and the consequences of an everlasting lake of fire. We can’t even please God without having faith. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We are to grow in our faith in our God. II Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
It will do us well to learn to trust Him in our prayers, have faith that God will fulfill the promises he’s revealed in his word, and have faith in following the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are to be faithful in giving of our tithes in our local church while applying good financial stewardship overall, and have faith to trust him to provide for all of our needs. I believe one of the main reasons God even teaches us to give is to increase our faith. It is the only time I’m aware of where the Bible ever says to test him, to prove him (Malachi 3:10). How has your faith been lately? Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and he will provide for us all physical and spiritual needs.
Growing in Love
Ephesians 3:17–19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
If we’re going to be sincere followers of Jesus then love is going to be a staple of our life. To know the love of Christ results in us loving God and others. When we stop dwelling on the love of Christ, then our love cools off. Have you dwelt on the love of Christ lately? Let his love flow through you. Jesus said that all men would know who his disciples are by their love for one another (John 13:35). The two greatest commandments, the two that all the law and prophets hang on is based on love. Foremost to love God and secondarily to love others. There is no law against love. Let love be a trait you’re diligent to grow in. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.
Growing in Involvement at Church
For Christians to be healthy in their spiritual life they need to be involved in a local Bible believing church unless they’re providentially hindered. The local church is foundational in importance to a genuine follower of Christ. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
If you’re a Christian that is or is not currently part of a local church, ask God to help you grow in what Christ loves. Christ loves the church. He died for the church. Most of the New Testament was addressed specifically to local churches. It’s in the church that Christians are to be accountable to one another. It’s where Christians are to participate and get involved in serving God. It’s where we are to gather to worship the Lord together. It’s where we are commanded to care for one another’s needs, those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). We aren’t to treat church simply with a consumer mentality, but rather in the fashion of how can I personally get involved and be a viable member of the Lord’s church?
I Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Growing in Sharing the Gospel
Healthy fruit trees bear fruit. Healthy Christians are also going to bear fruit. They will bear the fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. They are also to bear fruit through sowing the seed of the word of God. Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven he told his disciples to preach the gospel to every creature. We ought to make his last command one of our first priorities. Jesus said that his Father was glorified when we bear much fruit. How has your evangelism been? Who was the last person you told about Jesus? Is it recent or has it been too long ago? Work on growing in this area in your walk with the Lord that he might be glorified. It will also bring you much joy when you introduce someone to Jesus Christ as their Saviour. 1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. Those that lead many to Christ are going to be rewarded by the Lord for all of eternity. Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
These are seven components of growth found in a healthy Christian. May this be a guide you can use to track your own spiritual growth and walk with the Lord. Pursuing Christian maturity will also lead to doctrinal stability and prevent a Christian from easily being led astray.
2 Peter 3:17–18 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
- Growing in Grace
- Growing in the Word
- Growing in Communion with God
- Growing in Faith
- Growing in Love
- Growing in Involvement at Church
- Growing in Sharing the Gospel