July 14, 2021
Do you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ better today than you did last year or last week? Are you a growing Christian? If you don’t love Jesus Christ more today than you did yesterday, you’re backslidden.
Some Christians are saved, but they’re not growing. Unlike that tree Psalm 1:3 talks about, planted by the rivers of water, growing, flourishing, bearing fruit—they’re like a stump. They don’t grow.
You will never know the kind of victory and joy God has for you until you learn to be a growing Christian. When you think “growing Christian,” think “maturity.” You grow on toward maturity. You can be young only once, but you can be immature for a long time. You can be 50 and still be spiritually immature.
I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:12-14)
Are you growing? Here are some ways you can tell.
"I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake" (v. 12). One of the first signs that you are growing in Christ is that you think about what Jesus has done on your behalf. You reflect upon it and you praise Him for it. Your sins are forgiven and you’re on your way to heaven. What a glorious thought!
You’re saved, but you don’t stop there. You develop muscles and become a strong warrior to the glory of God.
"...You have overcome the wicked one" (v. 13) and “you are strong” (v. 14).
You become an active member of the Lord’s army. Let me ask you: Is the devil afraid of you? Are you an overcomer or are you overcome?
If you are saved and still sitting on the sidelines, shame on you! Indeed, shame on all of us if we’re not exhorting and encouraging one another to lay down our lives to get into active service for our Lord!
"I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning." (vv. 13-14)
A father is one who has children. Do you have any spiritual children? This is a mark of a growing Christian—that you are multiplying yourself (what God did in you) by sharing it with others. When you appear before the throne of God, will you be standing there alone? Or will you be standing with children you have “parented” in Christ?
Do you know why we have so many flabby Christians? They come down the aisle of the church, get baptized, then come Sunday after Sunday and just sit, soak, and sour. They do not exercise. They don’t have daily quiet times; they’re not sharing Christ in their communities and neighborhoods; they’re not ministering in their church.
Here are some practical suggestions to get those spiritual muscles in shape:
Take inventory now. Your goal is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian who can reproduce, has fatherly wisdom, and as a father, meet the needs of others.