ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY? HERE’S HOW TO TELL – 1
Are you growing spiritually? How can you tell? When my children were young, we measured their growth every 6 months. We would mark on a chart how tall they were and we could see how much they had grown since the last time. We don’t have that kind of measuring stick to tell if we are growing as Christians, but we do have some standards in God’s Word which can help us measure growth. I want to give you 10 of them. See how you are doing compared to them, and see how your church is doing as well.
- Do you yearn more and more for heaven, think about it, etc? (Philippians 1:21-24; Titus 2:11-13) As you grow spiritually, you will think more about heaven and look forward to it more and more. When we are new Christians heaven is a nice but vague place, but the closer we get to God the more we look forward to being in heaven with Him. As we become more like Jesus this world and the things of it are less important. The sin and suffering become more and more distasteful to us. We think often of heaven and being in perfection with God for all eternity.
- Are you becoming more loving in how your treat others? (Matthew 22:36-40; 1 John 4:20-21) Do you find you are becoming kinder to people, more patient and compassionate than you were? Are you more sensitive to the needs and hurts of others? Does your heart ache for the trials and difficulties others face? As we become more like Jesus, we love others as He loves – totally and unconditionally. That’s how He loves us. It’s only natural that as we grow to become more like Him we find ourselves loving people more like He does.
- Are you more aware of God’s work in your life? (Philippians 3:10; Galatians 2:20) As we grow we will recognize God’s hand in our life more and more. At first, we see the big things He does, but as we grow closer to Him we start noticing that everything that happens is because of Him. Do you give Him credit for the little things as well as the big things in your life? Are you more aware that He is in control of all that happens, the difficulties as well as the good things? Are you less willing to give yourself credit for what you accomplish and quicker to give God credit?
- Does God’s Word have a greater place in your life than it used to? (1 Peter 2:2-3; Psalms 119:9-11; Hebrews 4:12) Do you find the Bible is more important to you than it was in the past? Do you appreciate it and turn to it more than before? Do you remember God’s promises and think of them during the day? Do you have an increasing number of favorite Scriptures you turn to in difficult times? As we grow so does our appetite. That is true of children, and it’s also true of Christians. All growing things need a source of food, and the Bible is the food source for our soul.
- Is your worship more God-centered and frequent than it used to be? (Job 1:20-21; Psalm 100) Do you find yourself worshipping more than you used to? Does praise to God naturally come to your mind throughout the day? Do you feel closer to God than you used to when you worship? When we are new Christians, we enjoy worship because it makes us feel good. Praising God is great and very enjoyable for us. But the purpose of worship isn’t so that we feel good. It’s so that God feels good! Worship is all about God, not all about us! As we grow, our worship focuses more and more on Who and what God is. We worship when walking outside, sitting at home or lying in bed. Worship becomes a part of our everyday life. It isn’t just something we do when singing on a Sunday morning.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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