You have to admit you have either heard it said to you or you said it to someone else yourself—”GROW UP!” These two words come passionately from lips whose hearts and minds are frustrated at immature behaviors, right? Guess what, the one who has not grown up, “to know better” is just as frustrated as the one telling them. As a first grade teacher who taught the basics to six year olds for the first time, I figured this out. If they didn’t know better, then it was up to me to teach them—over and over again in many different ways until they “got it”. When their behavior changed, I knew the learning was taking hold.
So, it seems to me, my dear friends, that to remain “elementary” in our belief in Jesus is to remain unchanged in our behaviors. Growing up is hard. It’s easier to be a “baby Believer” with everyone feeding us instead of learning to feed ourselves. Like babies learning to eat with a spoon for the first time, it might be messy but it is necessary to learning so we can grow up indeed! Listening to the Word preached is great but applying what is said in ways that change our lives is greater still. God helps us. He promised!
Consider this. We don’t put an infant on the ground, wish them well with prayers, and say “Now, walk!” We who are growing and have mastered walking teach them to walk. We don’t hand the keys over to our teenager without teaching them the basics of driving. (At least, I hope not!) Mistakes will be made by Believers while teaching, learning, stretching and growing in faith but the fact remains—once we gain knowledge of the basic foundational truths—we must keep growing up in Christ! We don’t stop at the basics! We keep learning and growing until we see Jesus face to face! We don’t turn to self-help books that are consistently changing methodologies and theologies with each decade written by humans that need help themselves. We turn to God’s Word because His Word never changes. God Truth never changes. No matter what we believe or not, Truth is Truth.
Get a grip on God’s Word, take God at His Word, believe without doubt, grow in faith in the One and Only Jesus, God’s Son who reconciled (brought us back into relationship with God) us to God! How do we grow up in Christ? With God’s help! Doubts will come when circumstance overwhelm us. God knew we couldn’t grow and evolve on our own, so God gave us His Holy Spirit to abide in us as we gain more knowledge of the ways of Jesus and learn how to apply the basics to our changing behaviors. He is our resolve so we never give up but move forward even if mistakes or missteps are made. God knows we are not perfect but we are perfectly forgiven because of Jesus—it’s all part of the growing process! Dare to grow, knowing that God helps us!
What might we accomplish if we really believed that failing is okay because of the lessons learned?
What would we dare to do with God’s leading if we knew God was going to help us with every step of our walk with Him?
The baby who picks up the spoon for the first time is lovingly taught, cheered on, to take that first spoon-filled bite. If the baby misses the mouth and makes a mess, we don’t throw the baby out with the mess. We applaud his efforts in trying so he will keep trying until he masters the spoon. So it is with baby believers. Let’s cheer each other in our growing faith. Let’s celebrate when we get it right! God smiles when we help each other. God loves to help us individually and in groups to get it right—to grow up in His ways, to be more and more in every way like Jesus.
“We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15, NLT
So come on, friends, let’s grow up together in Jesus! Jesus is already running ahead of us to prepare the way!
Hebrews 6, The Message
1-3 So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it!
4-8 Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God’s “Well done!” But if it produces weeds and thistles, it’s more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.
9-12 I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
God Gave His Word
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it all the way, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
There is no turning back once we know the depth of your love, mercy and grace for us! There is no one like you! You promise and you don’t break your word—ever! Why trust anyone else but you? You are Truth, the truth and righteousness we all seek. Thank you for your help daily as my faith grows and my behavior changes. Thank you for being patient with me with forgiveness and mercy for my messes. May others see You in me and be drawn to You in me. Help me to teach others what you have taught me in your Spirit of Love and Truth. Help me to always point people to You, dear Jesus, who is and forever will be The Way, Truth and Life! Make me more and more in every way like You.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen! I believe.