Grow up

I love the spring time.  It is a time of renewal, a time of growth.  I remember as a young man growing up on the farm, it was a time to plant.  By this time we would be putting fertilizer on the plants.  This was a way of feeding them to make them grow.  Even now as I sit in my study looking out over the backyard I can see strips in my backyard where I fertilized the lawn earlier this spring and obviously missed some areas.  The areas that were fed are dark and growing much better than the areas I missed.

Recently in our bible class we had a discussion about Ephesians 4:15.  “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.”  Funny thing that in all my years of study I never really paid much attention to the “up”.  We are all growing older just by being alive and celebrating another birthday, but unfortunately we are not all growing up.

The Greek word translated is auxano which means to cause to grow or increase.  That’s the same idea as putting fertilizer on my garden.  GOD expects His children to grow up, to mature in the faith.  The previous verse in Ephesians makes this very clear.

That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.  Ephesians 4:14

We are to grow up and no longer be so gullible to error and false doctrine.

Colossians 2:7 describes this growth process as, “rooted, and built up in Him and established in the faith”.

There is an interesting verse in 2 Kings 19:30 which reads, “And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall take root downward and bear fruit upward.”

This describes the two fold growth of a Christian.  GOD expects us to produce fruit.  But before we can do that we must personally grow downward.  The Colossians passage says, rooted. Think about the seed planted in a cup.  When it first pops above the soil it has already grown roots deep into the soil.  We must grow a firm foundation downward.

To return to our Ephesian passage the next verse tells us what will happen if we are growing.  Very simply, we will be producing fruit.  It says the whole body [is] joined and knit together by what every joint supplies.  The church is pictured as a body with every member a joint.  The term, joined, is a construction term.  We are all fitted together and we all should be supplying our share for the body to grow.

This begs the question.  What am I supplying?

Areas wherein we need to grow in order that we may grow up:

Our prayer life – On a scale of 1 to 10, how would I rank my prayer life considering frequency and intimacy?

Our knowledge of the Word – Am I a serious student of GOD’S word?

Our convictions – How strong is my faith?  Is it strong enough to carry me through hard times?

Our motivation – Exactly why am I a Christian?  Why do I attend the services of the local church?

Our love – Jesus said by this [love] will all men know that you are My disciples.  (John 13:35)  So do I exhibit this love?

As I write this I am reminded that I need to grow up.  Lord help me to that end.

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