Are You Growing Spiritually?


   Spiritual growth is an essential part of preparing for heaven. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (II Peter 3:18.) Paul described spiritual growth by saying, "but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ --" (Ephesians 4:15.) The Hebrew Christian had to be reminded of the need for spiritual growth. (Hebrews 5:12-14.)  Following are some indicators of spiritual growth.


   You grow spiritually by producing the fruit of the spirit in your life. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23.) Love is affection, good will or benevolence toward others.  Joy is gladness both received and shared with others.  Peace is tranquility, harmony and concord. Long-suffering is patience or endurance. Gentleness is goodness and kindness. Goodness is uprightness of heart and life. Faith is the conviction of the truths we hold. Meekness is gentleness or mildness. Self-control is temperance. As the fruit of the Spirit increases in life spiritual growth is taking place.


   You grow spiritually by increasing in love for lost souls. "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:14-16.)  Let no one around you say, "no one cared for my soul." The Psalmist said, "Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul." (Psalm 142:4.) Pray for the Lord to use you in being a soul winner. God's plan for evangelism is simple. One who has learned the truth must share Christ with another. "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (II Timothy 2:2.)


   You grow spiritually by faithful attendance at all the assemblies of the church. Christians must assemble faithfully, with the right attitude, having a strong desire to worship and serve God. (Hebrews 10:24-25.) Faithful attendance provides an opportunity for growth and also an opportunity to edify others. Never allow yourself to be guilty of willfully forsaking even one assembly.


   You grow spiritually by developing Christlikeness. "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you." (Galatians 4:19.)  Christians must have the mind of Christ and follow His example. (Philippians 2:5; I Peter 2:21.) The moon reflects the light of the sun.  Christians reflect the light and likeness of God's Son.  Has Christ been formed in you? 


   You grow spiritually by developing a stronger desire to go to heaven. "This world is not my home." (Philippians 1:21-24.) Our desire for that heavenly home must be strong. "But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:16.) Do you really want to go to heaven? And are you willing to do what is necessary to get there?


   Other indicators of spiritual growth are: (1) Developing the right mindset (Colossians 3:1-4), (2) Giving liberally and cheerfully (II Corinthians 8:1-5; II Corinthians 9:7), (3) Regular, daily self-examination (II Corinthians 13:5), (4) Gaining knowledge of God's word (II Timothy 2:15), (5) Steadfast involvement in the Lord's work (I Corinthians 15:58), (6) Praying constantly (I Thessalonians 5:17-18), and (7) Devel­oping a stronger fellowship with the brethren (Romans 12:10; John 13:34-35.)


   You are either growing or dying spiritually. Which direction is your spiritual life headed? Obey the gospel (Mark 16:15-16) and endure to the end. (Matthew 10:22)