August 29, 2007

Testing Our Spiritual Growth

(Taken from Charles Stanley’s monthly devotional “In Touch” magazine Aug 2007)

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

Kids are excited by their physical growth. They will stand back to back to see who is taller, and most probably know how they compare in height to their parents—“I come up to my dad’s chin!” Adult believers may be finished with physical growth but are still maturing spiritually. And checking progress is still an exciting experience. Here are three ways to evaluate growth.

1) We know that our relationship with God is growing when we can see our true nature clearly. As the Spirit gains greater control of our life, we become increasingly aware of our own sinfulness and weakness. We realize we cannot live the Christian life on our own.

2) We know we’re growing when our response to sin is quick—the prick of conviction brings about immediate and genuine repentance. Ignoring our sin is rebellion against God, and disobedience halts spiritual growth.

3) We know intimacy with God is deepening when we guard our devotional time. Private moments spent in prayer and scriptural meditation must be a top priority for maturing believers. By listening to the Lord and talking with Him about our needs, we stay connected to His will and are reminded of His love.

Seeing spiritual growth within ourselves should give us joy! Why? Because our spirit is looking more and more like that of our perfect Savior, Jesus Christ. And we do not have to stand back to back with people of the world for them to see that we are “children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Phil. 2:15)

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