September 14, 2008

Joy in Growth

Philippians 2:12-13

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Philippians 2:12


“I enjoy studying the Bible most. I’m discovering truths I never knew before.” That was one man’s answer when asked what he enjoyed most about retirement. He was a well-known theologian, radio broadcaster, and spiritual leader, but neither his age nor his reputation stood in the way of his continued growth in Christ.

Just as human parents expect children to develop, so children of God are expected to “continue to work out [their] salvation with fear and trembling.” But what is the required soil for such growth?

First, growth requires desire. Genuine followers of Jesus desire to gain more understanding of his truth and life. Growth also requires devotion. To work out salvation with “fear and trembling” is to reverently submit to the Holy Spirit, who is daily renewing us to be more like Christ. Finally, growth requires delight. With singleness of purpose, a follower of Jesus will daily pray, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:35).

When people desire, are devoted to, and delight in the ways of Jesus, they grow to live by and to enjoy God’s good purpose. People who do not seek to grow in Christ slowly dehydrate themselves. But all who grow in Christ enjoy wonderful refreshment by his ever-flowing river of life.

Dear Lord, I desire more of the good fruit of your grace in Jesus Christ. Challenge my laziness; convict my heart; compel me to grow in your truth. For I delight in your ways. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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