Growing It (my faith) Alone!

This year has brought a lot of satisfaction to me as a parent. My oldest daughter will be married in October and is now in her third year working as an R.N. at Lancaster General Hospital. My son started his masters program and was just hired by the university to work as a Graduate Assistant. He and his wife just celebrated their second wedding anniversary. My youngest daughter finished up her first year of teaching 9th grade history at Milton Hershey school and just celebrated her first month wedding anniversary yesterday. So it is quite gratifying to see my children grown and establishing their own vocations and homes. Now all these changes did not come as a surprise. My wife and I raised them to one day be off "on their own." It is part of the goal of parenting. We want to see our children "grow up!"

In the same way our heavenly Father desires for his children to grow up. Each and every follower of Christ is to "grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). But we cannot and will not grow if we try to do it alone. For starters, we need the enablement of the Holy Spirit. Without his divine assistance, filling us and growing his fruit in us, we will not grow. In addition to the Spirit, we also need the help of others. The words "one another" occur some fifty times in the NIV translation of the New Testament. We are told that we must "love one another" (1 John 4:7), "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24), "encourage one another" (Hebrews 3:13), "serve one another" (Galatians 5:13, and "accept one another" (Romans 15:7) - and these are just a few of the many types of "one anothering" that we are called upon to do.
So if you want to grow in your journey of grace -- you can't "grow it alone!" You need to be involved in biblical community. A community of growing Christians who are striving to practice the various "one another" commands spelled out for us in the New Testament epistles. Practicing accountable relationships is one of the "means of grace" that we must employ if we want to "grow up!"

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