Friday, March 8, 2013

Growing Into Christ by Martin Wiles

Series: Living a Life of Excellence

Excellence. Going beyond the ordinary. Outstanding or of valuable quality. Similar to extracurricular activities at school. Activities that necessitate more than normal effort.

They were good students, but they’d never be considered excellent…at least not in the traditional sense. They inhabited special classrooms and would probably never sit in a room with “normal” students. I assisted in teaching them for almost a year, and though their bodies appeared average for their age, a neurological developmental disorder called autism affected their social interaction and prevented their ability to communicate with us and their peers.

Any disease that prevents a child from developing normally is tragic. So is having an “I’m saved and satisfied” attitude. Living a life of spiritual excellence goes beyond the norm and requires spiritual growth. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:8 NLT).

Under ordinary conditions, physical growth naturally occurs, but this isn’t true with spiritual advancement. Growing faith only comes by spending time in the places where development is realized-small group Bible studies, prayer closets, the Word. Any place where interaction with the One who has power to stretch my spiritual limits transpires. God’s Spirit is the person whose quiet voice I crave so I’ll make the right decisions spiritually and otherwise.

When spiritual growth is occurring, it shows up in tangible ways. Spiritual fruit will manifest itself in my actions, attitudes and speech (Galatians 5:22-23), and I’ll eventually reach the stage where I can reproduce who I am…a disciple of Christ. I’ll want others to follow me on my journey toward excellence.
If you feel challenged in your spiritual growth, ask God what steps you can take to place you on the voyage toward spiritual excellence.

Prayer: Eternal God, take away our satisfaction with being mediocre believers. Create in us a desire to live with spiritual excellence for the One who died excellently for us.

Try one of my wife's favorite recipes. Visit the Recipe Room.