Scripture Reading: Isaiah 60:1-62:12 / Ephesians 4:1-16 / Proverbs 23:19-28
Amy Grant recorded a fun but pointed song back in 1991 (a long time ago!) about the stunted spiritual growth of a Christian, called “Fat Baby”. Here are some of the lyrics, “He knelt at the altar, and that was the end. He's saved, and that's all that matters to him. His spiritual tummy, it can't take too much. One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch. On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best, and gives his language a spiritual rest. His daily devotions are stuck in the mud. I've always wondered if he'll grow up someday. He’s just a faaa… he’s just a fat little baby!”
If we believe salvation is simply a spiritual “get out of hell free” card, we have lost the significance of redemption. Christ is not just interested in our eternity; He died for our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows! He does not become our Lord in a future heaven; He is our Lord now. He doesn’t just give us a glorified body for eternity; He gives us a transformed life for this world.
Some believe ministers and spiritually passionate people are the only ones who are required to be “super” spiritual. Lesser degrees and depths of spirituality are required for “ordinary or common” Christians. The Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians about God’s standards for spiritual maturity and growth.
He writes, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
God has designed those called to the office of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip believers for works of service. In other words, every Christian is to be active and do the work of the ministry. It is not just the responsibility of those who preach behind a pulpit but also those who sit in a church pew. All of us are to grow in faith, know Him personally and reach a full maturity level of Christlikeness. No one is exempt.
Spiritual growth and maturity is to be a natural process in our lives. When a child fails to physically, mentally or emotionally grow; we look for disabling reasons. Apathy, complacency and compromise will stunt our spiritual growth and bring about spiritual anorexia or worldly obesity.
Weight watchers or lean cuisine won’t fix our spiritual deficiencies. Discover the hope of His Word, the joy of His presence, the power of His Spirit and a life of purpose as you passionately serve Him. You were meant to grow…don’t let anything stunt your growth!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!