Years for 3 Years!
diligent in these matters; practice these duties, devote yourself
them so your progress may be evident to everyone" (1 Tim 4:15)
spiritual birth happens at an instant, growth is a process. Born as the
Son of God, Jesus took about 30 years for His growth (Lk 3:23). He did not
begin His public ministry until then. Luke records that Jesus
"grew" in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and with
men (2:52)—intellectual, physical, spiritual and social growth.
Boy Jesus knew so much even at the age of twelve. His wisdom surprised the
religious leaders and people. But He did not rush into ministry eventhough
He undoubtedly had a sense of urgency. He waited. He refused to be
pressurised by the needs around. This preministerial preparation of Jesus
is tacitly overlooked by us to our own disadvantage and disaster.
his first letter to Timothy, apostle Paul stresses that a leader should
not be a recent convert (1 Tim 3:6). An immature person gets puffed up
with pride when he is catapulted to positions of authority. He crashlands
and brings disgrace to himself and dishonour to the work of God. Paul
equates it to the downfall of the devil. In verses 4 and 5 the apostle
speaks of proving in domestic responsibilities, and in verse 7 he calls
for public dignity. These are neither learnt nor developed overnight.
pulpits are downgraded by immature ministers. They defend themselves
quoting Paul who started preaching "immediately" after his
conversion (Acts 9:20). What they forget is the years of rigorous training
and teaching this Jewish zealot had before his highway experience with
Christ. All through his life Paul was committed to his personal growth
(Acts 9:22a; Phil 3:8-14). Even while awaiting execution, he asked for his
"books" (2 Tim 4:13).
we stop growing we start going down. Dullness in life and staleness in
ministry will be the inevitable result. For consistent and nonstop growth,
we must not just be regular in spiritual disciplines but stay passionate
after God to know Him and make Him known. Everyday with Jesus will be
better than the day before!
by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray:
see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly,
Thee more nearly, day by day!
(St. Richard Chickester)