God’s desire for us to grow is rooted in His Fatherly desire that we would thrive as His people. There is a satisfaction, a Godly contentment that comes with bearing fruit in God’s kingdom. There is a joy that comes with knowing who we are and Whose we are. Life is a long journey filled with many struggles and in those struggles are many lessons — many times and ways for growth as individuals and people of God. All of this is a spiritual endeavor, grounded in the work of the Holy Spirit working through the Word and Sacraments. How are you growing as a follower of Jesus? How does God’s Word make an impact on you as you grow? What is God’s plan for our growth, and how does that accomplish His purposes in us and through us?
Good theology loves a great paradox. God’s Word calls on us to grow — 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” And yet, God’s Word conveys that, because we are in Christ, we are already everything that we need to be — 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” Both statements are true and need to be held to and purposefully lived out in the life of Jesus’ followers.
During our Back to Basics for the Summer this year, we look at what it means for us to grow in faith, why God urges us to strive to grow, what His purposes are; the tools that He has given us to grow; the means by which He causes growth to come forth; how His Spirit is at work in us as we grow; and identifying some of the fruit that comes through that growth. Above all, our aim as God’s people reflects the calling God has made explicit in His Word: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).