"...But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Pet. 3:18). "...As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby..." (1 Pet. 2:2). In this article let's examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5), and look at areas that we should have grown in.
In Faith? Is your faith still growing, or has it reached a plateau where it has been for several years? Have the trials, temptations, and persecutions that have come your way made you more dependent upon the God of Heaven? Have the events of the past years taught you that, "...all things work together for good to those who love God" (Rom. 8:28). In the midst of life and death, good and evil, prosperity and adversity, have you seen what a truly grand thing it is to be a child of God?
In Knowledge? How much do you know about the Bible, right now, than you did two years ago? Have you acquired enough of an understanding of the Book so as to teach others the simple plan of salvation? Can you give answer to those who ask you why you are what you are? Do you find yourself more and more turning to the scriptures to answer the problems that perplex you?
In Attitudes? Has there been a real improvement in the attitude toward matters that before were unimportant to you? What is your attitude toward attending more than one service a week? Has it improved over the past years or are you the same person you were a few years ago? What is your present attitude toward personal work? Do you still consider it a job for someone else? What is your attitude toward preaching that is intended to help you but clashes with what you are doing? Do you go home and "sound off" to everyone that will listen about how fanatical the preacher is, or do you think over carefully the sermon and seek to find out if it is what the Bible teaches? Is your attitude that of doing only what you think you can get by with or do you seek to "abound in the work of the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58)?
In Love and Understanding? Has your love for the brethren increased in the past year? Do you consider them and their problems and try to understand and appreciate them? Are you motivated to think the best of them first and think the worst last? Have you come to the realization that, just as there are those "quirks" in their personalities that you must overlook, they have to overlook many things in yours? Have you experienced the great joy of "loving the brethren" and found that peace of mind that comes when you are moved and motivated in all things by the spirit of Christ?
Will You Try? Will you try this year to grow in faith? Will you seek to gain more knowledge of God's immutable word? Will you make a true effort to improve your attitudes? Will you make the first step toward your brethren in manifesting love and understanding? God grant that you will, and may this year end with you and me truly pleasing our Lord by having grown "in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
by Derek R. Chancelor -- Via The Bulletin of the Church of Christ at New Georgia, January 30, 2005
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