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Oct 06, 2019

Who Do You Say I Am? Lord

Who Do You Say I Am? Lord

Passage: Ephesians 4:1-16

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Who Do You Say I Am?

Keywords: lord, savior, who do you say i am?

How are you growing in Christ and showing grace to others?

Scripture:

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
- Philippians 1: 6  NRSV

Devotional:

Growing in Christ

I can sometimes become frustrated by this phrase “grow in Christ.” Partly because if someone were to ask me if I was growing in Christ, I would say confidently “yes” I am! Why do I say yes to this question? For me this is simple-I go to church, I work for the church, I am raising my family in the church. . .and on and on I could go. But, ironically, there is something missing from my life when my answer is that simple. So, the question I ponder is, what does it mean to actually “grow” in Christ? Today, I seek to define what growing means in two ways, as well as give some concrete examples of “how” I am growing rather than simply saying “I go to church every Sunday.”

First, growing in Christ reflects the time I spend each day with Christ. This refers to a Spiritual Discipline that helps me to develop my relationship with Christ. For me, this is my prayer time. I talk to God most of my days in some way. It is not always on my knees, or with my head bowed and hands folded, in fact, most of the time prayer is in my car as I am driving. Nowadays, with hands free cell phones in our cars, I don’t get nearly the awkward stares from another car at a stop light!

How do I know that I am growing with Christ in my Spiritual Discipline? I can tell there is growth the most when I do not pray for a day, a week, or a month. In other words, when I experience failure and am not relying upon Christ daily, this is the moment I see the growth that prayer makes in my life. One means of growth is to recognize the ‘need’ for Christ. When I pray daily, life becomes more peaceful each day, my response to others is more peaceful, and my soul feels more at peace.

Second, growing in Christ reflects the time I spend serving others. For me, this refers to the ‘work’ that I put into my faith. I have to be careful here because in my childhood days, I fully believed that I had to work hard in order to earn my salvation. My perspective on faith changed drastically when I redirected my thinking on why I work to serve others. I don’t work to grow “for” my salvation, but rather I work to grow “through” my salvation.

How can I see my growth in this area of my life? A sidebar here is that it isn’t easy to spend the time serving others. For instance, I signed up to volunteer for Arcola’s ‘No Sale Yard Sale’ and my first thought was how much I could get done around my home if I had not signed up, OR I could actually go get new shoes, which is on my list of things to do, if I had not signed up for this event. But to see families come to the sale, and to get those shoes that they simply “need” because theirs are so worn out, was the most intrinsically rewarding activity I could have engaged myself in. When I choose to do something that feels like it is less of me and more about others, I know for sure there has been growth in my soul.

Have I completed my growth? Am I there yet? Scripture tells us that our growth in Christ is not complete until the day of Christ. So, for the good of the order, I quote a children’s song that is on my mind and it goes like this:

“He’s still workin’ on me,
to make me what I ought to be.
It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient he must be, he’s still workin’ on me.” 

Prayer:

Holy God, thank You for Your patience on my life and for unconditionally showing me Your divine favor. Keep my eyes open to the ways You are working in my life, so that I may be a faithful witness to others of Your never ending love. Amen.  

Written by Tianna Durbin. Tianna is the Minister of Worship and Arts at Arcola Church. She enjoys keeping up with worship and arts while also keeping her commitment to continue regularly studying the Word of God. Outside her work at Arcola she and her husband Chris stay busy keeping up with their two teenagers, Kayla and Jake.