This week involves the making of lists for the upcoming two weeks. On Saturday we leave for Council in Orlando, Florida. We will be driving out with our Associate Pastor, his wife, and their two children. From Council, on Sunday, I will be taking a flight to Michigan to visit with my family for another week and then I'll fly home on June 11th. So, there's all that! How about you ladies? What's going on to start your summer? How about Memorial Day plans? Besides, of course, the recognition of those who've given their lives in service for our country. That IS the main point of this 'holiday,' isn't it? I'm not sure if I will do the devotions for those weeks, especially while traveling. I will try to keep in touch as I can, and you can always let me know if I can pray for you.
I think we can all agree that we have room to grow, no matter what age we are. I appreciate the words of this devotion today and am encouraged to still seek wisdom, healthy choices, and a closer relationship to God and others. Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY ladies!
“Room to Grow”
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 (NIV)
I love watching the natural world come to life each
Sometimes it seems like everything turns green overnight. But when I see a rose bush burst with red blooms or an apple tree heavy with fruit, I remember growth in nature takes time and requires ongoing nourishment: water, sun and nutrients from the soil.
Our spiritual growth works the same way. We require several key ingredients in order to mature in our faith.
This process is exemplified by the ways that Jesus grew: in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and others. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
While we don’t know the specific details about His growth in these three areas, it’s clear He didn’t just wait around for it to happen.
In order to grow in wisdom, Jesus likely studied His culture and faith on a regular basis, just like most other Jewish boys growing up. While children and teens often enjoy learning, as adults we need to sustain the same hunger for knowledge and intellectual curiosity. Too often, we’re satisfied with what we already know. We become complacent and stunt our own growth.
Wisdom is one of the fruits of growing in our faith. One of the easiest ways to stimulate growth toward wisdom is to learn from the wisdom of others. Being curious about people, observing them, respecting their different ways of doing things and their different perspectives — all of these help us stretch ourselves. Spending time reading and studying God’s Word is also crucial to cultivating wisdom.
We notice that Jesus also grew in stature, becoming taller and stronger as He passed from childhood into adolescence and adulthood. While physical growth may seem natural, it also requires practicing habits that keep us healthy. Our bodies require nutritious food, clean water, regular exercise, fresh air and plenty of sleep.
Once we reach adulthood, we may be tempted at times to ignore our body’s needs, especially for proper nutrition and adequate rest. We eat fast food on-the-go and push through our exhaustion. But over time, our bodies always remind us of our physical limitations. While they’re resilient and amazing, they’re also fragile and temporary. If I want to grow in all areas of my life, then I have to take care of my body.
Healthy physical growth requires taking control of my schedule. Not everything that’s doable is sustainable. We have to learn to discern between what’s truly important and what’s merely urgent. Physical health also requires obeying God’s command to take a sabbath, a designated day of sacred rest. While the sabbath doesn’t have to be the seventh day of the week, or even always on a Sunday, setting aside this time weekly allows me to recharge my soul and do things that refuel my tank.
Finally, Jesus grew in favor with God and man. This kind of growth implies that we’re designed to change and mature through our relationships. Growing “in favor with God” requires spending time with Him — through prayer, praise and worship, time in His Word and serving others.
To grow in favor with others, I must be intentional and invest in key relationships. It’s so easy for busyness to skate on the surface, even with people I love and want to enjoy. Healthy growth requires putting down roots and doing life together with others. If we’re not deliberate about nurturing close relationships, we can accidentally insulate ourselves and miss a crucial component of our personal growth.
If we’re not growing, then we’re resigning ourselves to stagnation and settling for less. But this is not God’s intention for His children! Jesus told us He came to bring us life to the full (John 10:10), overflowing with joy, peace, passion and purpose. No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, God always provides room for us to grow!
Dear Lord, I want to keep growing and becoming more like Jesus. Help me to pursue wisdom, healthy habits, and deeper relationships with You and others, so that I may blossom into the fullness of who You created me to be and produce good fruit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
TRUTH FOR TODAY
John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV)
1 Peter 2:2-3, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (NIV)