Devotional

Robert Oliver - Baring Baptist Church

2 Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen”

I’ve been thinking a lot about newborn babies lately.  My wife and I are expecting our fourth child, a boy, any day now!  When he’s born though, there are many things he’s going to need to learn over the years.  As a newborn, he’s not going to know how to walk or talk.  He won’t be able to read or write.  He’s not going to be able to go get a job or find a spouse.  He’s going to go through several development stages over the years as he learns and grows.

The Bible says that when a person receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are “born again.”  This is a spiritual new birth.  Jesus saves us from our sin, gives us a new life, and we become part of the family of God.  This salvation is freely available to everyone. 

When a person becomes a Christian though, just like a newborn baby, there are many things we’ll need to learn over the years.  The Bible is full of wonderful truths that God has given to help us learn more about Him and grow closer to Him.  As we grow and mature as Christians, we’re able to use what we’ve learned to help others.  We learn how to get through life’s difficulties with more ease.  We learn how to listen to God.  We learn how to talk to God.  We learn how to follow His will for our lives.

It’s important for us to realize though, that Christians aren’t supposed to remain babies.  We’re supposed to grow and mature in our walk with Christ.  This can only happen through prayer and study of the Bible.  Christians should also be connected to a local church.  There, we learn more about God through the teaching of the Bible, but also by connecting with fellow Christians.  We’re able to help each other through struggles, encourage each other, and also hold one another accountable. 

As we grow in our walk with the Lord, we look forward to getting out of bed earlier to spend time with Him, we find it easier to say no to temptation, and we learn to be patient, kind, gentle, loving, peaceful, and faithful (fruits of the Spirit).  We will continue to grow until we go to heaven.

Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" The old man replied, "Nope, only babies."

There are no instant “super Christians.”  Growth takes time.  I want to encourage you today to continue to grow closer to Christ every day.  It’s a lifelong process and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s worth it!