Now Playing: In what ways are we growing?
Today a nephew was welcomed into the world (Monday 5:37 am, 11 pounds 13 ounces -- Nathan Andrew), there are now 19 children who can call me uncle. But it was not too many years ago (13 to be exact) when there were none. A child grows ever so gradually, but it grows nonetheless. Peter wrote, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:2-3). Spiritually we should desire to grow that it may not be said, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Even when there is failure, yet still God desires to restore and bless His people and see them grow. "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel, he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon...They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine..." (Hosea 14:4-5,7). The psalmist could write, "The righteous shall fluorish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall fluorish in the courts of our God" (Psalm 92:12-13).
We can be thankful that there was One who grew and through whom we have all our blessings. "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground" (Isaiah 53:2). "And Jesus increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52). Jacob desired for his descendants that they would increase, "Bless the lads, and let my name be named among them... and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (Genesis 48:16) In the end of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi could write, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2).
Paul could write to the Ephesians, "That we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:14-15) He was very thankful "because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity (love) of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (2 Thessalonians 1:3). The apostle Peter could exhort the believers, "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (2 Peter 3:18). May we grow more into His likeness day by day!!