2nd August 2012

A Question Of Growth

“… we arrive at real maturity—that measure of development which is meant by ‘the fullness of Christ’.”
Ephesians 4:13 (Phillips Translation)

During the summer, my five year old grandson and I had a competition about who can grow the tallest sunflower. Both his and mine ended up about six foot tall, so I guess we called it a draw.

Growth, of course, takes time.  These sunflowers need the right conditions; lots of sun, plenty of rain and, of course, a fair amount of nourishment. They need to develop a strong root system, lots of large leaves and finally, a huge flower head which is perhaps eight inches in diameter and chock full of seeds.  That is their awesome potential, and that’s no mean feat!

Patience also is required as we wait for growth.  It isn’t instantaneous, and it can’t be rushed, but grow we must. The answer to the question, “But how?” is by looking at our elder brother Jesus, our hero, our perfect example and our role model, and by listening to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in his epistle to the church at Ephesus. This prayer for spiritual empowering is found in chapter 3, verses 16-19 in the New Living Translation, 1996. “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. And may your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Emphasis mine).

As you can see from this section of Paul’s letter, we need a deep and a strong root system, we need to bask in the light of God’s amazing love, and to receive all of our nourishment from him. And as we do that, we begin to grow to our full potential into the fullness of the stature of Jesus Christ.

Just like the sunflowers that grew in my garden and in the garden of my grandson, we are headed towards the light, inching towards the sun (Son), and becoming in ourselves what we already are in Christ, our head, to the glory of the Father.

Help us to grow, Father.  Grant us the yielded attitude we need so that the mind of your beloved Son might be in us, changing us from the inside out and filling us with your glory that we can share with others.

Study by Cliff Neill

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