Jesus Grew…

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:25).

Jesus grew…

Just think about those words! When the second person of the Holy Trinity took on human form, he, while being fully God, was at the same time, fully human.

Jesus grew…

Jesus, God himself, had to go through the same physical, mental, emotional, spiritual growth that we all need to go through.

Jesus grew. So should we.

Our text says that Jesus grew in three areas:

  1. in Wisdom
  2. in Stature
  3. in Favor with God and with man

Jesus grew in wisdom. This refers to Jesus’ growth in the knowledge and the fear of God. Knowledge and fear of God go hand in hand. Knowing who God is better leads to fearing, respecting, honoring, obeying God better. That’s what fearing God means. To fear God means to respect and honor God by obeying God.

Knowing God is never about knowing more information about God. Growing in the knowledge of who God is, what God has done for us, and the life that God is calling us to live is about doing our part in becoming who God created us to be. Growing in the knowledge of God leads us to obey God. It leads us to transform: we become more who God created us to be.

Secondly, Jesus grew in stature. This one is easy! Just look at my mid section…I’m excelling in growing in stature!!! That’s not quite what this means, unfortunately. To grow in stature is to grow in stewarding our health.

The Apostle Paul tells us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s Temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” When we grow in stature, we grow in our capacity as stewards of our bodies as God’s Temple.

Finally, Jesus grew in favor with God and men. This has to do with character and reputation.

  • Character is who you are when no one but God is watching. Who you are in private ought to be the same person in public. When your private and public life become more like Jesus, you grow in character.
  • Reputation is about your relationship with other people. What you stand for and believe and how you act is your reputation. Your belief and actions, when they are consistent, leads to growth in your reputation with others.

Jesus, in preparation for his public ministry, grew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man for eighteen more years. Only after eighteen years of preparation was Jesus ready to launch his public ministry at the age of thirty.

Be like Jesus! Grow like Jesus!

Rejoice Always!

“Rejoice always!” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Interesting.

When a person tries out a new food item and if they respond with, “Interesting,” what do you think that means?

If you were to ask me how my Christmas and New Year’s break was, my answer?

Interesting.

I found out a day before Christmas that Kaleb tested positive for Covid. Because of my heart issues, my family insisted that I stay away from Kaleb. So, I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day by myself in a hotel room.

Interesting.

The plan was for me to get back with the family after three days and after a negative Covid test for the rest of the family. That was the plan. Things didn’t go to plan.

Interesting.

After testing, Helen and Kaitlin also tested positive for covid.

Interesting.

Notice, I didn’t say, “Terrible!”

Helen and Kaitlin had very mild symptoms. They only had flu-like symptoms. Kaleb, on the other hand, had almost no symptoms.

Thank God our family is healthy and managing. Isolating and quarantining was never on any of our plans, but through it all, we’re all healthy and doing well.

Thanks to Alan and Jane Macpherson for offering their cabin so Karis, Kailey, and I can have a place to stay. So much better than a hotel room. The non-covid Kims have been staying at the cabin while the covid Kims continue to isolate and quarantine.

The text for today doesn’t say, “Rejoice when things are going your way.” Nor does it say, “Rejoice when things are going great!” It simply states, “Rejoice ALWAYS.”

Rejoice is written in the imperative. It’s a command.

Here’s what that means: rejoicing is a choice. It’s something we choose. It is not an emotion we passively feel, but it is a condition we choose.

You should also note that rejoicing does not mean feeling happy or giddy. This has to do with a sense or state of being.

What I can tell you about my Christmas and New Year’s break was that there was a whole lot of down time and alone time. There wasn’t much giddiness. There wasn’t much glee. But I had joy. I knew, no matter what, God was in control, God loved me and my family, and that God knew best. So, no matter what the future held, I was in good hands, because I was in God’s hands. There was nothing in this created world that could separate me from the love of God.

So, even though things weren’t always great, I had joy. Joy is the result of who God is, not my experiences nor external circumstances. Joy depends on all that God has already done for us.

So, no matter what you are facing, no matter what you are going through, remember, you can and you must choose joy.

Rejoice! Rejoice always!

Living or Existing

“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

God made man from the dust of the ground. And when he was made, the man had the shape and form of man, but there was no life in him. Only when God breathed into the man the breath of life did the man come alive.

  • Looked like a man
  • Shaped like a man
  • But wasn’t fully alive until God breathed into the man the breath of life.

There are many today who go through life having the form and the shape of a living being. But there is no life in them. They have no idea why they are alive. They have no purpose and no direction. Life for many is existing.

The breath of God is God’s Holy Spirit. It is only when the Spirit of the living God comes to dwell with us can we be fully alive. We will never know what it means to be fully alive and living until we receive the Spirit of the living God.

A person without God will look like a living being, but there is no life in them. But just because someone says that they have accepted Jesus into their lives does not mean that person knows how to be fully alive either.

To fully live means to fully live under the direction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. This is an ongoing, continual “yes” to the whispers and the leadings of the Holy Spirit. This is the process of becoming more like Christ. For it is when we become more like Christ, that we become fully alive.

As we enter into this new year, it is my prayer that we get better at listening and obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, and that we resemble Christ in our thoughts and deeds.

May God bless you richly in the coming year.

Happy New Year!!!