“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (2 Peter 1:5).

Have you ever met a Christian who claim they have been in the Body of Christ for decades and behave badly? Oh my dear Lord!!! I have and it stands to reason that something is terribly wrong!  There are three things to consider: 1) What kind of spiritual food are they being fed at their church? 2) Are they reading the Word of God daily? 3) Have they been baptized with the Holy Spirit?  I know there are more areas to explore, but let’s consider these three areas of spiritual neglect. There is a reason why Christians are not GROWING IN LOVE.

The same way we must eat food for our physical body, we also must eat spiritual food to feed our spirit.  If we neglect to eat food for the nourishment of our body, we are going to be weak and our body parts will not function properly and eventually we will die.  The point is, we must eat the right kind of food in order to stay healthy.  The same principle applies when it comes to our spiritual growth.  The first thing a new Christian does is to read the Holy Bible to learn of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29).  The first lesson of many, which I learned from the Holy Spirit, was to read the Holy Bible for myself. I was feed Word by Word of the Holy Bible through the teaching power of the Holy Spirit. It was an entire year I spent in Bible Study with the Holy Spirit before I joined a local church. This may not be God’s plan for every Christian, but it was for my spiritual development.  It important to know what written and applicable to Christian spiritual development.

In this church, there are those who are called to teach and preach the Word of God to nurture the growing Christian.  But if the church teaching and preaching ministries are not led by the Holy Spirit, the chances are the members are not being fed the Word of God in Spirit and in Truth. Thereby, the members’ spiritual growth is undeveloped and their growth is stunted. Also, they are suffering from spiritual malnutrition and they will slowing digress into sin and feed from the world and strengthen the desires of the flesh. There is no spiritual growth when a ministry is not feeding its sheep.  The sheep remain stagnant and unloving.

If we are to grow in love, we must read God’s Word.  We have to know the Master of Love.  The Word of God is the spiritual food that every Christian must intake daily.  We cannot neglect the spiritual man.  Our spirit must be stronger than our flesh, which loves world and sin.  The flesh will overrule the spirit if the spirit is not nurtured with the Word of Truth.  The spirit when it is strong and well fed will overcome the fleshly desires of the world. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8).  Don’t wait for anyone to feed you the Word of God, feed yourself! Make reading the Bible daily one of your priorities, along with prayer. Growing in Love relies on being full of the Word of God.

The final consideration is whether this person has been baptized with the Holy Spirit or are they still profiling their “Water Baptism”.  The Holy Spirit Baptism comes when ones heart is truly sorrowful and repentive.  We can say many things with our mouth, but our heart is far from God.  God knows every heart whether it is true to him or not.  The Lord is not going to dwell in the heart of a sinner!!! He is not going to abide with sin! “But ye that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  Those who are in the church building each Sunday and have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit have not surrendered their heart to Jesus! This is the reason why so many who are not “Growing in Love” have not changed for the better.  They need to give their heart to Jesus and stop playing church! “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Growing in Love requires a commitment of love and honor to our Creator.  Christianity does not stop after water baptism, Christianity is an ongoing journey! We must strive every day in this earthen vessel to press toward the high calling of God.  “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”. (2 Peter 1:5).  We have to practice what we preach…Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (2 Thess 4:1).  Keep Growing in Love and pleasing in God sight! For the record, only a born-again child of God will understand this post!!! God bless you and Amen!

Written by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor