By Deborah Nayrocker, M.Ed., Crosswalk.com
Have you ever heard someone say, “Get a life?” That statement has different meanings to different people.
Yet the real source of having a life is Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
To grow, life is the first requisite. Salvation in Christ brings life to every believer. This is only the beginning.
1. Continue in a Right Relationship with God
The first key for growth is to continue in the things we have learned for right behavior. Right beliefs are connected to right behavior. God intends for His believers to grow in the most holy faith.
Sin once separated us from God. Now sin has lost its grip on us and we are no longer slaves to sin. We have been reconciled and made blameless through Christ’s death on the cross.
Since we have been set free, we desire to learn more of God’s ways.
When we see things clearly, we choose God to be in the center of our lives. We say “yes” to God and to sensible, right living. We deny wrongdoing and worldly living.
The apostle Peter challenged Christians to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Jesus told His disciples to abide in Him – to stay connected to Him. He is the vine and His followers are the branches.
Those who abide in Him bear much fruit. Jesus said, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Live in obedience to Him. Obedience proves the reality of our love for Him.
We keep ourselves in the love of God. Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:10). Our behavior bears out our beliefs.
2. Feed on God’s Word
Another key for steady growth is to desire the spiritual food of God’s Word. It offers the nourishment that is needed so life in Him is not lacking.
The Creator God is a real and awesome person. The word awesome does not fully and completely describe Him. When believers have a reverence and love for Him, they want to follow His Divine truths and instructions.
We will gladly receive the Word, for it is the authoritative and inspired Word. When we read our Bible, the Bible comes alive to us. We are encouraged to study and search the Scriptures.
The gospel comes “in power and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). It leads to an empowered life with full conviction.
The Word of God is the sword of the Holy Spirit. It sets people free from the deceptions and the lies they believe. The knowledge of God casts down false knowledge.
3. Pray to the Heavenly Father
Another key for growth is to pray. Praying happens naturally, like breathing. There’s a natural desire to have fellowship with the One who has given us new life.
Apostle Paul wrote to the new believers about their Christian conduct. He encouraged them to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We can have an attitude of prayer all the time. Prayer is talking with our Father and communing with Him during our waking hours throughout the day.
Jesus is our example. He communed with His Father, friend to friend. He called upon the LORD for help and direction.
When we spend time in prayer we show we want more of Him.
4. Fellowship with Other Christians
Having friendships with other believers is an important key for growth in the Christian life. Our friendships influence how we live. The fellowship that takes place among believers is genuine.
Last Sunday I saw my new friend at church. I hadn’t seen her for a year. She said she hadn’t been attending church, but recently she decided to attend again.
She had been talking to her daughter about a Bible verse. Then she quoted the verse to me saying, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25).
My friend said she had been neglecting to meet with other believers. She missed meeting with others and worshipping the Lord at our church. I told her it was great to see her again.
With gladness, we gather together and worship the Lord. We desire to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
5. Share the Gospel Message
Lastly, a key that encourages growth is to share the good news with others.
God loves every person He created. He wants everyone to know of His great love and compassion for them. He wants them to know that His only Son came to give the world meaning and purpose.
The apostle Paul said we are the salt of the earth. We are to be the preservers of society. Paul said he was “not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
Jesus talked about the meaning of discipleship to His followers. He told them, “Therefore everyone who confesses [acknowledges] Me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). This is an awesome promise.
Before Jesus left His disciples and ascended to heaven, He told them that they will be His witnesses.
Some people think that only the pastor or Sunday School teacher can serve the Lord within the four walls of the church. That type of thinking hinders the spreading of the gospel into all parts of the world.
We live and work in every part of society and in many places of influence. These seven areas are family, education, business, government, church/religion, media, and arts/entertainment.
These areas in our culture are bridges for sharing the gospel. God uses His people as they engage with others in many different positions of influence.
We are co-laborers with God. We serve where we are placed and do what we can.
When we plant the seeds of God’s love, He does the rest of the work. We do our part and He does His part.
When in a conversation, have a “bridge” to your personal testimony and to the gospel message. Tell of God’s goodness and how He makes a difference in your life.
Pray for opportunities to share. Ask Him for spiritual courage and boldness. At opportune times our conversations can be oriented to the gospel.
I shared the good news with my neighbor friend. She asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. She received God’s gift of eternal life.
Jesus changed my friend’s heart and life. She told me how Jesus had made a difference in her life.
She had spent many years not knowing the true Source of peace and joy. She had religion, but she didn’t have a real relationship with the Lord.
My neighbor became a new person. Before she passed away she would often tell others, “God is good!” I enjoyed watching her life change.
Is God awakening a passion and direction in you that influences others for good? Will you accept the opportunities to serve?
The church of believers is salt and light to every part of society. Serve Him wherever you live and in ways that are unique to you.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AndreyPopov
Deborah Nayrocker is the author of Grow in Faith toward Maturity: 31 Days to a Closer Walk with God (Credo House). A practical guide for growing Christians, the book has thirty-one brief chapters for daily devotional use. The book is available in e-book and paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Deborah is also the author of the Bible study Living a Balanced Financial Life (AMG) and The Art of Debt-Free Living – Living Large on Less than You Earn (WinePress). Her Website is www.DeborahNayrocker.com