12 Ways To Grow As A Christian

Part 1

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory
both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

As we prepare for a new year, it's a good time to examine our lives and see where changes may need to be made for our greatest benefit in the new year. To that end, we are going to look at ways that we as Christians can grow in our faith and our relationship with our Lord. Every child of God should desire to grow spiritually, as our key verse today tells us.

When we are "born again" as Christians, we are not immediately full-grown Christians, but are babes in Christ. As such, we have to grow and strengthen spiritually, just as a new-born babe has to grow and strengthen physically, To remain a baby is neither healthy nor desireable. Unfortunately, far too many Christians never progress beyond that initial salvation experience, and that is too bad. There are so many carnal Christians who never learn spiritual disciplines and thus their faith is weak and flimsy; that kind of faith won't stand up to the storms of life.

When we grow and mature spiritually, God is glorified. A fledging faith that cannot stand up to the storms of life doesn't bring much glory to our Heavenly Father, but a stong, powerful faith that carries us through life's storms does. Therefore, let's look at some of the important things we can do to growth in the faith.

1. First and foremost, be certain of your salvation. You cannot grow spiritually if you have never been born again. Having an emotionally charged experience does not necessarily equal a salvation experience, so be sure you are truly saved.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom
of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, You
must be born again. (John 3:3-7)
2. Be baptized. We know that the act of baptism is NOT what saves us; rather, it is a symbolic act of faith and obedience. We follow Jesus' example of dying to self and rising to walk in newness of life. Baptism has to be our choice, however; our parents cannot make that decision for us. Baptizing babies does not assure their salvation.
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth
of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately
coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit
like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven,
saying, You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Mark 1:9-11)
3. Join and become active in a local church. No, church membership does not save us, either, and is not an assurance of salvation. However, it is important to become a part of a good, Bible teaching church for many reasons: to hear the Word preached regularly, to have accountability, for fellowship and support, and to have a place to serve. Get involved - you learn and grow by doing, not just sitting! It all begins in the local church. It is imperative for Christian growth to regularly hear the Word preached in a community of like-minded believers.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith comes
by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:13-14, 17)

But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
4. Personal Bible study. While it is vital to hear the word preached on a regular basis, it is just as vital to study individually. Read the Bible daily. Have a plan, not just haphazardly read whatever page your Bible happens to open on. Chances are great that it will not happen if you do not have a plan - remember failing to plan is planning to fail. Set apart a specific time to read and study the Bible. Read it over and over again, by book or by subject, but have a plan. The more you read it, the more it will mean to you personally, and the more you will grow in your faith. It is through personal Bible study that we learn how to apply God's word to various aspects of our own lives.
Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs
not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
5. Pray without ceasing. Make prayer a part of your daily life, Pray about everything: if it matters to you, it matters to God, because YOU matter to Him! Have a specific place to go and pray, but also remember you can pray anytime, anywhere. Pray while you work, while you drive, while you take a shower or while you fix dinner. Make your prayers specific: How can you know if a prayer has been answered if you haven't prayed specifically? Use personal devotional books to give you a focus every day. Remember it dosn't take fancy words or rituals to pray, merely talk to God as you would to a beloved Father, for that's what He is! While Bible study is God talking to us, prayer is when we can talk to God about everything that concerns us!
Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will
of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And
the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
6 . Get the whole family involved! Establish family devotions in your home. Read the Bible together. Pray together. Say grace before meals. Teach your children to say their bedtime prayers. Make sure that the Bible isn't just taken out for Sunday and then left on a shelf the rest of the week. Give your children their own Bibles. Spend time with your spouse in prayer and Bible study together.
And these words, which I command you this day, shall
be in your heart: And you shall teach them diligently unto
your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your
house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie
down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when
he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Click HERE for 12 Ways To Grow As A Christian :Part 2

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