The Power to Grow On
Have you blossomed yet? Last week’s blog encouraged us to spring forth and blossom as we walk by faith and not by sight. Some of you may be thinking, “What is blossoming anyway? What exactly does it mean?” I checked my thesaurus for synonyms and found the words developing, flourishing, and thriving! I love these words even though I know sometimes for teachers, the spring feels more like surviving than thriving!
How many of you remember those bean sprout experiments we did in elementary school? We learned early on that seeds need nutrient-rich soil, light, and water in order to blossom. I can remember my students checking their seeds intently every day. They were so excited to see any growth!
Sometimes life feels like one big science experiment. When we ask Christ into our hearts, a seed is planted through His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Ezekiel 36:26-27). Just like those fragile bean sprouts, much is needed to ensure we develop, flourish, and thrive as believers. It’s a learning process, but it is one we don’t have to tackle alone. Like my students, I have to think our Heavenly Father watches attentively and celebrates each and every blossom that springs forth in our life!
I was recently reading in 2 Peter and came across some of the most powerful verses I have ever read. I literally have camped out in these verses for days, and I still feel like I am only scratching the surface. Each reading seems to peel back another layer of understanding. Let’s take a look at how this whole blossoming process works from Peter’s perspective.
Let me warn you; this first verse will blow you away. Take a moment to soak it in!
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
Oh. My. Goodness. This truth bears repeating. God’s divine power gives us absolutely EVERYTHING we need to blossom and grow as believers! The spiritual blessings we need are already available to us (Ephesians 1:3). If you are a believer, then you have felt God’s divine nature in your heart. He calls us and draws us to Himself. It can’t be denied. As we experience God on a personal level, our knowledge and relationship with Him grow. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own shortcomings and simply forget the divine power God has granted us! Can you believe the God of the universe wants to share his divine nature with us? He does! How is it possible to share in the divine nature of a Holy God? Peter has the answer.
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:4
The only way to share in God’s divine nature and escape our sinful desires is to hold onto God’s promises. God’s promises aren’t like ours. God’s promises are rooted in who He is, and God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). All His promises are true (2 Corinthians 1:20). Do you know His promises? Did you know…?
· God is always good. (Psalm 119:68)
· God is always with you. (Joshua 1:9)
· God is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
· God is kind and compassionate. (Isaiah 54:10)
· God loves you deeply no matter what. (Romans 8:38-39)
· God will give you wisdom. (James 1:5)
There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible. These precious promises are like rich soil for the seed of salvation planted in our souls. God’s promises provide the foundation, and then we need to do a little work of our own! Growing as a believer lies in taking care of the seed planted in our hearts when we accepted Christ. Just like those bean sprouts need nutrients to grow, we have to nourish our spiritual lives.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-6
Two key phrases jump out at me: make every effort and supplement your faith. This blossoming thing isn’t a passive pursuit. Growth requires work. We are to be diligent in walking with our Lord and exercising our faith. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what this means; fortunately, Peter cleared it up for us. He charged us to develop…
· Moral excellence (goodness, living to glorify God)
· Patient endurance (perseverance)
· Godliness (pleasing God with our choices)
· Brotherly love (kindness, mutual affection)
· Love (agape)
This list is a tall order, but we all know these are exactly what we need to grow. The NKJV says we are to abound in these qualities, not just dabble in them from time to time! Yes, we have to be diligent. Yes, we have to work hard. However, when you think about what Jesus did for us, the effort is worth it! Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross opened the door for us to share in God’s divine nature and to receive His promises. What a privilege it is for us to grow and blossom as believers. We were meant to develop, flourish, and thrive!
Never forget God desires for us is to live well-rounded, fruitful Christian lives rooted in His promises. His plan for us is good (Psalm 31:19). His desire for us is abundance (John 10:10). He makes all of this possible by providing the power we need to grow on!