God Grows Us

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The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40

Jesus’ life in the gospel accounts moves quickly from the birth narratives to this final line in Luke 2:40 above: “The Child continued to grow…” (italics mine).  After this, we have a few lines of scripture referring to Jesus at the age of 12 being inadvertently left behind by his parents (cf. Luke 2:41-52) ending with, “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Likewise, as the church we are the body of Christ (cf.  Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12). Peace is part of that body and we are enjoying a season of growth and increase. As I watch the snow falling outside my office window this morning, three things about growth and increase are filling my thoughts.

  1. Growth is from God and for God. Our part is to plant and water, but God gives the growth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6) and it is God who wills and works in the church for His good pleasure (Cf. Philippians 2:12-18).  We give God thanks for the fruit He is choosing to bear in us, and we seek to be wise and generous care takers of His blessing. Practically this means, that how we respond to the growth God is giving us, matters immensely. Our focus is to be and remain on what God is purposing and planning. His desire that all know His love, His choosing, His transformation and blessing must remain front and center.
  • Growth involves change and pangs. Inevitably, we are already not who we were before. Change is consistently occurring. Growth heightens our awareness that things are changing. The pangs that accompany remind us of this. From the practicalities of parking and seating to the relational challenges of no longer knowing everyone – the pangs remind us that something is happening, not that anything is necessarily wrong. Considering short and long-term solutions (such as two services and increasing seating capacity) are good ‘problems’ we will face together and with the assurance of God’s presence and promise.
  • Growth is accompanied by God’s increase of wisdom and grace.  We can be confident as we grow that God will also increase in us His wisdom and grace to grow well and for HIS good pleasure and purposes. Discovering ways to know one another (we cannot know everyone, but we can get to know some others better) and how to keep our hearts and hands ready to reach those who do not yet know Jesus are will continue to be accompanied by ample amounts of God’s wisdom and grace to do it well.

I am so thankful to be a part with all of you in how God is growing us. And just as Jesus continued to grow, become strong and increase in wisdom… so too, we as His body at PLC get to enjoy such growth, strength, and increase from, for and with our faithful Father in heaven.

With great love and joy in my heart for all of you, Happy New Year in the mighty name of Jesus!

Pastor Jon