The Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” How this applies to Christian growth is we become strong and confident in the Lord, so we may grow. There are three steps to take for growth as a Christian.
The purpose of the Christian life is to develop a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus.
It is not enough to be a Christian on the surface. We must live and breathe Jesus’ teachings, so that we may know him in spirit and truth.
The purpose of life as Christians is not only to follow some moral code; it’s about developing an intimate relationship with our Savior. It starts by living out his teaching every day- Jesus wants us close!
Just like your earthly relationships, growing as a Christian is a process. It takes time and certain activities to grow in Christ. Just as your earthly relationships take effort over time to develop into something meaningful, so does becoming more invested with Jesus — it just takes some serious exercise of faith (which may sometimes be difficult) and certain activities that will help us get there!
This is really no different than the time and activities you spend with those you have an earthly relationship with.
Growing as a Christian
When you made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, you started a brand new life and a brand new relationship.
Some of the things you did in your previous life, you will end up giving up. There are other things that you will start to do that you never did before.
When you made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, not only did you start a brand new life with him, but also forged an intense relationship. You might find that some of the things in your previous life will no longer be as important to you-like partying all night for example. But other aspects may get more emphasis like giving back or taking care of those who are less fortunate than yourself.
As you start to do these new things, they will build on one another. As these basic building blocks are placed in your life, you will find yourself growing and maturing as a believer in Jesus.
Growth Block #1 – Spending Time With Jesus.
Just like when you are developing a new friendship or love interest in your life, the first thing you do is spend time with Jesus. Jesus is like a new friend or love interest. So the first thing you do when developing either of these relationships is to spend time with Jesus to get to know Him better and learn more about His ways. This can be done in two different ways:
Reading the Bible
The Bible is God’s love letter to us. God uses it to both teach us His principles and to also feed our spiritual man. I think it’s easy to see that God loves us. Even though we can’t understand everything in Scripture and there are many difficult passages, He still continues to teach His principles through its words every day as well as feed our spiritual man with inspirational messages of hope for this world.
Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4)
In order to grow spiritually and feed your inner man, you need to learn how important it is for you as a Christian to read the Bible daily. You may not realize this yet but reading the Bible will give spiritual insight into yourself that would otherwise be missed out on if left ignored.
The Bible is a rich and complex work of literature comprised of 66 books written by over 40 authors from across the centuries. I would recommend starting with the book of John, which talks about Jesus’ life in detail, followed by the Acts of the Apostles where you will learn how believers lived at that time period.
Talking to Jesus
The way we interact with Jesus is through prayer, and there are no wrong ways to pray. He cares more about what’s in your heart than how you phrase words or the language that you use when talking to Him.
In fact, I believe God loves honest and simple prayers.
Prayer is not just a wish for things to go our way, but also an open and honest conversation with our Heavenly Father about what brings us joys and sorrow.
I am grateful for the many blessings in my life. Prayer is a time where I take some time to be silent and listen, letting Jesus speak back to me through his Spirit and His word. It’s both an opportunity for communion with God himself as well as self-reflection on how His Word has impacted my own soul
Block #2 – Identifying With Jesus
There comes a time in every relationship when you make it public that you are in a relationship with somebody. If it is a friend, then you introduce them as your friend. If it is a love interest, then you make an announcement that you are a couple of some kind.
The same is true with your relationship with Jesus. Jesus set the example and gave us the command to be baptized.
Baptism is the public declaration that you have a personal relationship with Jesus. You are saying to the world that even though your faith in Him may not be perfect, He has called you out of darkness into His kingdom and will never let go of our hand as we travel this journey together!
It has been the way Christians have made the profession of faith public for over 2000 years. If you would like to know more about water baptism, read these Bible verses about baptism.
The church is the body of Jesus on this earth. Part of identifying with Him means that we are called to identify with His people as well, just like how He identifies Himself not only in heaven but also for us and our salvation. The church is the heartbeat of Jesus’s ministry here on earth. Finding a community to foster your faith enables you to identify with His people, and find new ways for Him to be in this world through us.
Now as with any family, you do not always like everything your family members do. This is true with your spiritual family as well but just as you don’t forsake your physical family because of a disagreement, neither should you forsake your spiritual family because of this.
We all have that one family member who drives us crazy. You know the one who always argues with you about politics or is constantly pressuring you to take up knitting? It can be really hard on a relationship when these disagreements happen–it’s like they’re not even your own anymore! But just because we don’t see eye-to-eye doesn’t mean I should stop being friends with them altogether; it means I need to work harder at getting along for our sake and theirs.
Learning how to disagree is a part of becoming a better Christian. Since Christians are called on by God to be peacemakers, it’s important that we learn the skills necessary for resolving conflicts peacefully and respectfully with humility and honesty – which means sometimes you have to give up your own way in order not only show love but also save face.
Your church family has a lot to offer you. There’s a reason that there are so many of us, and we’re all different in our own unique ways! You’ll find friends with whom you can laugh until your stomach hurts, pray over the problems weighing on your heart, or just enjoy some good old-fashioned fellowship time near warm cookies baking in the oven.
They can pray with you, hold your hand and tell you everything will be ok.
Prayers are always helpful when we need someone to speak life into our lives; they can offer us a sense of peace that only God Himself could give.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel intimidated in a church setting, but you are the future of your congregation. Mentors will be drawn to you because they have insight into what it means when we talk about needing spiritual growth and how important that is as an adult believer.
Your church family is like an air freshener for life – it changes how everything smells when things get stale!
If you want to grow as a Christian, then church attendance will help you with that process. If you do not know how to find a good church, then read this article. How to choose a good church.
Block #3 – Growing Into Doing the Works of Jesus
In your earthly relationships, you do things for your friends and especially your love interests. We guys call them honey-do lists. LOL
Well in your spiritual relationship with Jesus, there will be things you do because you want to please Him and because He asks you to do them. We call this “doing the stuff”.
You are a key player in God’s plan to touch people on this earth. You can’t just speak the words of Jesus, you need to do His works as well.
As Christians, we are called to help others and show the love of Christ through our deeds. It is not enough just to speak words; action must follow as well in order for us be able touch those around us with God’s plan.
It is the same with our earthly relationships. It is not enough to tell your wife you love her, you need to show her too.
Becoming empowered to do the works of Jesus.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4-8)
If we try to do the works of Jesus in our own strength, then even an angel from heaven will fail. When we wait for His enabling and allow Him into every area of life through prayerful worship, then people’s lives are touched with amazing power!
So the first thing you do is to seek Jesus to send the power of the Holy Spirit. If you want to learn more about this then read my article on The baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Being the hands of Jesus by serving
Jesus told His disciples that the greatest of them would be the servant of all.
Jesus modeled servanthood not only when He was in His life but also at the point of death. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, he washed his disciple’s feet to show them that even though they were servants for him and could walk on the dirty ground their whole lives long without care, there is always a need for service among one another.
When we grow as Christians, one of the things that happens is it becomes more natural for us to serve others. We become like Jesus and make a habit out of helping people in need.
The church should not be just seen as a place to come in and get your needs met. Rather, you will know that the faith is growing when it becomes more about giving back than getting what we want.
The same is true for our communities, families and workplaces.
Being the mouth of Jesus by sharing your faith with others.
Once again this is so much like our earthly relationships. How many of you have found a new friend or a love interest and told your other friends about them? We all do this.
Jesus is a part of our lives and we want to share him with those around us. As time goes by, Jesus becomes more embedded in the core of who we are making it even easier for others that may not know about Him yet to learn!
In many aspects, spreading your faith can be one way you grow closer to Christ – but don’t forget how much fun it can also just be sharing a cup or two with friends over coffee!
This really has very little to do with a method as much as it has to do with your own personal relationship.
When Jesus answers a prayer of yours, do you share it?
Do you tell people how Jesus changed your life and can change theirs too?
When you are going through a tough time it is easy to feel alone, but remember that there will always be someone who has gone through what you’re experiencing. Sharing your experience with others can help them in their trial and could just change their life as Jesus changed yours!
It is all just part of expressing what you have experienced and we all know how to do that.
Being the feet of Jesus by giving.
You will never find me trying to coerce money out of people. I leave that for the TV evangelists. What you will find me doing is encouraging people to be generous.
Jesus said “Freely you have received, freely give.
Your local church provides a lot of benefits to Christians and the community if they are healthy at all.
There are mission organizations that take the gospel to people who do not have a local church or group of believers.
When you support them, you give feet to your faith. You help somebody go when you can’t. It all has to do with a spirit of generosity. If you would like to learn more about this then read my article on A little boy’s generosity.
The Final Step to Growing As a Christian
When you have gotten to the point that all these blocks are in place in your life, then you have one final step to continue growing as a Christian.
You turn around and start to make disciples. You show others how to put these principles in their place in their life.
When you turn around and start to make disciples, it’s not just about the principles. You show others how to put these principles in their place in their life through your example of putting them into practice yourself.
Jesus not only did good works himself on this earth, but He showed His disciples how to do them as well and that tradition has been passed down from then.
When you have put these basic principles into practice, then show others. Before you go look for other great and wonderful ways to grow, start helping others to grow. Then if you have time, go and learn some more difficult things.