When my children were younger, I remember going to their wellness checkups and eagerly awaiting to hear that they were growing at the expected rate—landing in whatever the appropriate percentile was on the growth chart. Being able to tie their spurts to their habits, as well as the pediatrician confirming that they were all on the right track, was truly reassuring. There’s no handbook for parenthood, so there was comfort in knowing that there was an expert offering help and had a pretty good idea as to what was necessary for their development.
A reassuring part of being a believer is that Jesus is the expert and we can look to him for guidance. We’re not left to own devices to figure out which habits to make or break in an effort to chart our spiritual growth. When we reference *the* handbook, the scriptures offer us the nurturing love, and at times, chastisement that is necessary for maturation in Christ.
The commonality between the development of a natural child and a child of God is the contact with the expert. In order for there to be a mutual appreciation between parent and doctor or believer and Creator, a clear and defined relationship must be established. Ways in which this relationship will manifest is through: acknowledgment (being saved), regular communication (prayer), appointments (church attendance), a healthy diet (fasting), referrals (discipleship), and examination (Bible reading).
Spiritual growth is a lifelong process. We should desire to grow from being an unlearned unbeliever who walks according to the ways of the world into a mature believer who abides in fellowship with Christ through obedience to His Word.
John 15:4-8 (MSG) 4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
by Danielle Boardley
Danielle, along with her husband Dominic and children, moved to NJ in April 2014 and began attending Kingsway shortly thereafter. Quickly accepting the invitation to go through Growth Track, they learned more about the church, their spiritual strengths, and landed on the Worship Arts team. Danielle values spending quality time with her family and finding ways to express herself creatively. Joining the Kingsway blog team was yet another exciting opportunity to serve through creative expression. Her love of writing began in her youth when she was introduced to the works of Maya Angelou. Inspired by her prose, Danielle published a book of poetry in 2007.