“But GROW!”

Growth brings JOY!

 

Think of how unspeakably pleased our Heavenly Father is when He watches us grow up in all things in His Son. Click To Tweet

 

There’s something about good, natural growth that is satisfying and encouraging.  After planting seeds, seedlings, or saplings in late Spring our hearts rejoice to see the green shoots popping up out of the ground.  When we see a child for the first time after many months and observe how he or she has grown physically and socially (e.g. can communicate effectively and converse with us), it brings joy to our hearts.  As caretakers of children – for example, parents, teachers, coaches – we are thrilled when we see progress in our charges, whether in athletic ability, academic discipline, or integrity of character.  Joseph and Mary undoubtedly were blessed to watch their Son  “increase [grow] in Wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52);  likewise Zacarias and Elizabeth with their son John, who  “grew and became strong in spirit …” (Luke 1:80).  But now let’s think of how unspeakably pleased our Heavenly Father is when He watches us grow up in all things in His Son (Ephesians 4:15), receiving abundance of Grace and growing strong in faith.

 

“But grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

 

We often see in the Scriptures that growth and fruit-bearing are directly related to receiving Grace. Click To Tweet

 

What are some specifics in which the Lord delights to see us grow?  In Isaiah 37:31 the Lord promises a remnant from out of Judah that they will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.  The stronger the root system the more abundant the fruit will be – which glorifies the Father (John 15:8).  Furthermore, the Lord promises to those older in age, “Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.  [Growing in Grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age …” (Psalm 92:13,14, Ampl).  We often see in the Scriptures that growth and fruit-bearing are directly related to receiving Grace.

In I Thessalonians 4:1 Paul implores the believers in Thessalonica to increase more and more in obedience to and walking in the instructions that the apostles had given them regarding living in a way that pleases God.  This increase begins with the soil of the heart being softened, ready to receive the Incorruptible Seed, not only for salvation but also for growth in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, resulting in much fruit to the glory of God.

 

” … [that we], speaking the Truth in Love, may grow up in all things into Him Who is the Head – Christ …” (Eph.4:15)

 

Every single member of Christ's Body is needed for the effectual growth of the Corporate Organism. Click To Tweet

 

Body Life!  Every single member of Christ’s Body is needed for the effectual growth of the Corporate Organism;  ” … Christ – from Whom the whole Body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the Body for the edifying of itself in Love.” (Eph.4:16, emphasis mine).  Paul had much to say about Body Life in his epistles.  Philippians 1:9 begins  with his earnest desire and prayer for these believers:  ” … that your love may abound still more in knowledge and discernment.”  Then in I Thessalonians 3:12, 13, he prays that the Lord would make the believers in Thessalonica “increase and abound in Love to one another and to all, just as we do to you.”  The apostle commends these same believers in I Thess.4:10 for loving the brethren throughout all Macedonia, but he urges them to “increase more and more” in loving one another.  Perhaps this is because there is simply no – or, at best,  slow – growth (personally, corporately, or in missions) if agape love is not  shared among Body members.  “Herein will the world know that you are My disciples in that you love one another.” (John 13:35)   When we truly love one another, the Lord is manifested and the works of the devil are destroyed (I John 3:8).   Body members are  free to grow and eventually go out to reach the lost, ultimately bringing forth fruit the delights the Father and all of Heaven!

 

“God desires that we grow into something deeper than the place where we are right now.” (Pastor Carl H. Stevens)

 

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When our roots grow deeper into God’s Love, and when we are grounded securely in it, we will want to grow in its breadth, depth, length and height in our relationship with Him.  We will cry out to God like Jabez did in I Chronicles 4:9, saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil … “.  We will “Amen” Amy Carmichael’s prayer-poem:  “Give me the Love that leads the way, the hope that nothing can dismay, the faith no disappointments tire, the passion that will fuel the fire.  Let me not sink to be a clod;  make me Thy fuel, Flame of God!”  We will thus be willing to receive Grace to walk by faith in Isaiah 54:2,3 – “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;  Do not spare;  Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.  For you shall expand to the right and to the left …”.

His Grace will certainly be sufficient for us to “grow into something deeper than the place where we are right now” as we go from faith to faith, receiving grace upon grace, enabling us to go from strength to strength and be changed from glory to glory.   So, “let us have Grace by which we may serve God acceptably”,  Grace in which we may grow, and ultimately, by which we may GO!