Good Afternoon Dear Church,
I hope and pray that you all are doing wonderfully! This week I've been thinking a lot about how Spiritual Growth works. It can be confusing sometimes. There are a lot of words Christians use to talk about Spiritual Growth (sanctification, discipleship, holiness, the Christian walk, "etc."), but when it all comes down to it, it is all a matter of following after Jesus. It is a matter of having an intense, intimate, personal knowledge of him. The more we know of him, the more we are overwhelmed with his goodness and his holiness. The more we are overwhelmed with him, the more we love him, desire him, and savor him. And the more that we desire him and savor him, the more that we start to live "like him." Jesus is an acquired taste. A good example is my "obsession" with coffee. The more I know about coffee, the more I like coffee. And the more I like coffee, the more I start making it part of my daily life. It is similar with Jesus. The more we know about him, the more we want him. The more we desire Jesus, the more we start to live like him.
But here is the clincher, this does not happen overnight. It is a gradual renewal, a gradual transformation (Rom 12:1-2). It only happens inch by inch.
We are instantaneous people: we want internet NOW, we want pizza NOW, we want to grow up NOW. But those things don't happen right away. Instant works well with neither coffee nor Christlikeness. They take a long time. A lot of prayer, a lot of obedience, and a lot of pondering Jesus.
Which means, that the chances that I have to ponder Jesus today make me look like Jesus tomorrow.
How well I know and look like Christ today is a cumulative result of how much I have considered him in my life up until now. All the thousands of sermons I have heard, the groggy mornings in God's Word, the times praying on the way to work, the "I don't know, what do you think this passage means?" questions over lunch, or coffee, or at Bible Study have all added up until now. How much I look like Jesus today is simply the cumulation of how much I have thought about him, prayed in his name, and savored him yesterday.
It also means that when I miss those things, when I sleep in instead of go to church, when I forget to read my Bible, when I allow myself to be too overwhelmed to pray or go to Bible Study, I am robbing myself of holiness tomorrow. How much I ignore Jesus today will accumulate in looking less like him tomorrow. It also means that I am robbing myself of joy, true, soul satisfying, thirst quenching joy when I ignore Christ. Just as a farmer's planting, a broker's investing, or an athlete's training, if I do not put in the hard work today, I will regret it tomorrow. But if I work hard today, I will rejoice tomorrow.
Looking like Christ takes a steady, day in day out, disciplined lifestyle of knowing, understanding, and desiring him. We gain the glory of eternity through inches, feet, and miles as we run the race that is set out for us, competing for the crown (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Southern Heights Christian Church
Come here for thoughts on how to follow Jesus in our every day life!