There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions that keep people from growing in spiritual maturity of Jesus Christ. Here are seven ways you may not have considered that can grow you spiritually.
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There are many things that we can grow in. We all exert ourselves in one way or another to become better at something: careers, parenting, marriages, sports, music, instruments, video games, fitness, dieting, theology, bible study, friendships, bank accounts, and more!
The question we must ask ourselves is, "What am I growing in?" We want to be sure we're growing in what matters most - into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ by our character and nature.
If becoming like Jesus Christ is our bullseye to growing, then we need to now "HOW" we can grow.
Here is the third of seven ways we can grow to become more like Jesus that you may or may not have considered . . . .
Way 3 - LOVE GOD
WORK "FROM" NOT "FOR"
“The most important is . . . You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
- Mark 12:29-30
Growing is initiated by a love of God. Unlike all other major world religions, Christianity is based on a loving relationship. Whereas other religions are based upon earning and working for eternal life or salvation. Christianity is acceptance then action. Other religions are action to gain acceptance.
Christianity is acceptance then action. Other religions are action to gain acceptance.
Christianity is upside down compared to the rest of the world. We don’t work "for" salvation. Rather, we work "from" salvation. It looks like this:
We don't work "for" salvation; we work "from" salvation.
Unfortunately, everyone has felt the need to work “for” eternal life or salvation. It is a very natural and earthly way to go about life. However, that’s not how we receive the fullness of life, joy, and life everlasting.Rather, it is by faith. Simply by believing one will be made new and granted eternal life. Now, this is unlike any other faith as said before. Not only is this religion based upon faith instead of works, but it is also primarily based on love and not fear.
When a right relationship to God is based upon works instead of faith, earning instead of receiving, it leads to a person being everything on the left side of the cross. The person is motivated by fear, focused on self, needing something in return (salvation), insecure in their identity, and left feeling empty if they do not achieve a right standing and relationship with God. They will stunt or even regress in their growth of Christlikeness.
On the other hand, when a right relationship to God is based upon faith not works, receiving not earning, then it leads to a person being everything on the right side of the cross. The person is motivated by love, focused on others, needs nothing from anyone in return to have peace, secure in their identity, and feel full so they can work out of the overflow from their salvation for the benefit of others.
Work "from" love, not "for" love because God has already given you every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Love God. Daily, make a conscious effort to love God and not fear him. Work "from" love and not "for" love because God has already given you every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph. 1:3 As your love (not fear) for God grows daily, you will grow more.
Look for Part 4 of 7 Ways We Grow.
Want more? Purchase "How We Grow: What is a Disciple?" by Adam Erlichman for more ways to grow in your spiritual maturity to become more like Christ day in and day out. A series of short reads for Everyday Christians answering common questions for the Christian life.
Executive Director of Build Groups in North Dallas, TX. Former Life Groups/Discipleship Pastor at Midway Church. Author of the newly released short reads series for Everyday Christians How We Grow. Now available for purchase on Amazon.
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