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Monday, December 12, 2011

“AND DEAR GOD, PLEASE HELP ME TO GROW...”

By Lynn Parker
    Those words, often uttered in prayer, make up a proper request. We all should desire to be stronger spiritually (II Pet. 3:18). We should indeed long for growth (I Pet. 2:1ff). Let us examine this prayer request, as well as our attitude and efforts toward spiritual growth.
    What would you think of a man who prayed, “God, please help me not to lose my job,” and then that same man slept in and was late to work every day? I have heard both men and women who say they want to be stronger spiritually. I have heard some say they want to know the Bible better. I have heard some folks piously sing, “More, More About Jesus.” And then I have seen the very same souls skip Bible classes on Sunday and Wednesday. Any wonder why there is no growth????
    When ones attendance at worship assemblies is “hit and miss,” then that person will exhibit spiritual stagnation. When a tree in the orchard does not grow, we give it extra attention. When a Christian does not grow, we try to give some extra attention as concerned brethren. After all, we have an obligation to build up each other. “So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another” (Rom. 14:19).
    Your brethren cannot help you grow if you do not engage in really challenging, serious Bible study. Some brothers and sisters have been in the church for 10 years or more and never yet made 10 pages of study notes. Folks, casual reading of the Bible is not Bible study. We cannot edify you if you are not in the assembly of the saints on a regular basis. If students at public school attended like some of my brethren attend the worship assembly, they would be charged with truancy!
    We cannot help you grow if you persist in saying, “This is not a convenient time” or employing similar excuses. Everyone is busy. Everyone has more to do than week to get it done. Still, if heaven is really important to you, you will make time to sit down and study. We have the teachers. We have a strong desire to see you grow. We can come to your house and spend an hour a week in diligent study with you. We are ready. Still, we cannot help you grow if you never make an effort or lift a finger. We will make the time—will you?

- Lynn Parker, New Braunfels, TX; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org 

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