Growing spiritually is just as important as breathing. See, when we inhale, we take in the fresh oxygen our bodies require in order to thrive. When we inhale spiritually, it’s like taking in the new direction of God, which we receive, from the Holy Spirit. We must be committed to growing spiritually! So how can we grow in our relationship with God?
1 Peter 2:1-3 says: “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
The Apostle Peter shares with us three ways you can grow in your relationship with Christ.
First: Deal honestly with sin (verse 1). Be honest before the Lord! What sin(s) do you need to deal with today? Do not delay, deal with your sin! In verse one of our text, Peter makes reference to some sins perhaps you deal with personally and perhaps there are others sins you deal with.
When I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord, I had to deal with many of these sins and even more. And If I’m not growing spiritually, it could be that way again. It’s easier to sin than to deal honestly with my sin, but there’s great freedom in dealing with our sin. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we deal with the sin that’s in our lives (confess) and turn from it (repent) then and only then we begin to grow in our walk with Christ.
Second: Become passionate for the word of God (verse 2). I once saw a reporter ask this downhill mountain biker why they did what they did which was to race really fast down the sides of mountains on bikes. The response: “Most people think I’m crazy for racing down mountainsides, but I love what I do and I’m passionate about it.” Pastor Warren Weirsbe said: “Catch of fire with passion and people will come from miles around to watch you burn.”
What are you passionate about? Philippians 3:10 says: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” The Apostle Paul was passionate for Christ as was Peter. Here in verse 2, Peter says if you’re going to grow in your walk with Christ then you have got to become passionate for the Holy Word of God.
And third — we can grow in our relationship with Christ when we fully recognize God’s goodness (verse 3). What is it about your life that declares to the world around you, the goodness of God in your life? We are quick to run to God with our needs. With our complaints. With our doubt or even our anger. But what about our praise? In Psalm 34 we are reminded to taste and see the Lord is good! The more you taste the goodness of the Lord, the easier it becomes to get rid of the sin in your life and become passionate for his word. The more you taste the goodness of the Lord, the more you’re growing in your pursuit of him.
Do you really desire to grow in your relationship with Christ?
May we then lay aside the attitudes that keep us from dealing with our sin that hinder our appetite for the Word of God and keep us from seeing the evidence of God’s goodness in our lives.
Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.