One of the largest and longest-living trees in the United States is the Seven Sisters Live Oak in Mandeville, Louisiana. This massive tree is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.
And it’s still growing!
Actually, there is no such thing as a full-grown tree. The day a tree stops growing, it dies. There is no such thing as a full-grown Christian or a full-grown church, either.
We don’t graduate from learning more about life and God and this world. We don’t graduate from loving God and others more purposefully and thoughtfully with resources we never knew we could employ. As a church we don’t become satisfied that we’ve reached a quota of members or of ministry programs or mission work.
We grow personally and organizationally. We keep growing, like a tree, reaching deep, reaching wide and reaching high.
Jesus loves you enough, as a believer, to accept and forgive you just the way you are. But he loves you too much to let you stay that way.
We must not use the free gift of salvation as an excuse, because it is everything but. We are not required to grow in order to be saved, but when we are saved then we are required to grow. It’s still grace. It’s still a gift. God is still in it.
By grace we are saved. And by grace we are God’s workmanship to do good and to grow. Leave mediocrity behind. Grow in the grace of godliness that reflects the excess, and the extravagance, and the excellence of God’s grace to you.
“Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come … Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:8,15).
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, bless my faith journey today, so that I walk with you, carry my cross, keep growing, and take step after step forward on the mission you have for me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: I preached about sauerkraut, engineered malfunction, and why we want to grow as followers of Jesus. Watch it here http://crosslifepf.org/messages/lets-grow/.