When I received Christ, I was an adult. Going to church, I found I did not know how to follow the music minister back when we used hymnals. I knew people gave money, but I didn’t understand why. I had a basic understanding of communion. At this time, all I knew was this saving grace came upon me, and I stumbled along, trying to figure out how to grow in my relationship with Christ. Since then, I have gone through cycles of growth, stagnation, and then increase again.
I came to realize it is ultimately my responsibility to take action, to learn, and to grow in the Lord. What I have already received should feed my desire to know more. When I looked around, I found those who made progress in their relationship with Christ were industrious in their effort.
Why put forth the effort? If not, you will be aware of this world, but unaware of the One to come. Those who grow in grace and abound in the work of the Lord shall have an abundant joy from their Lord, and shall reign with him forever.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (MSG)
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
1. We are responsible for renewing our mind
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going- to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
2. Admit our failures and assume responsibility
1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)
If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradicts God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
3. Embrace obedience
Acts 26:19-20 (MSG)
“What could I do, King Agrippa? I couldn’t just walk away from a vision like that! I became an obedient believer on the spot. I started preaching this life-change—this radical turn to God and everything it meant in everyday life—right there in Damascus, went on to Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside, and from there to the whole world.
4. Be challenged
Be challenged to cooperate with God by diligently developing yourself.
Set your mind on what you already know to prevent you from forgetting.
Improve your knowledge and make this a daily practice.
Establish yourself in truth, so that every wind of doctrine may not shake you.
Boldly lead, advise, and present the truth as it is.
Your body is a tabernacle of the soul, and your time is short.
Do not give up, but remember this is a process much like a seed planted, and then comes growth.
God has given us all we need, but these resources require time before they become visible to others.