Let’s Grow

Robin WilliamsonPosted on Monday, February 17, 2014 by Robin Williamson

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Are we growing in our relationship with God?

I’m no gardener – but I do like to see the seeds grow. When I was small I can remember planting mustard and cress on a saucer with damp blotting paper – it usually came up – and in the end the taste was a bit disappointing.

Mustard was hot and the tiny brown cress seeds had grown into something a bit non–tasting, but enjoyable in egg sandwiches!

When our children were small we had fun watching hyacinths grow in jars filled with water, the roots sprouting and filling the jar, and the shoots developing into a wonderful flower – which then often toppled over! Beth and James had one each and they were keen to see which bloomed first and won the race!

In our New Testament reading from 1 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul is very frustrated as the Corinthian Christians are just not growing and developing as he had hoped they would.

Jealousy and quarreling seemed to be rife, and they were taking sides between Paul and Apollos.

Paul pointed out that yes, he and Apollos had played their part, but it was God working supernaturally that caused people to grow spiritually and develop as Christians, and all the time there are arguments and disputes, jealousy and quarreling among them, God is unable to grow and mature them.

In 2010 it was estimated that the were 340 Christian denominations in the UK – and reckoned to be around a staggering 43,000 Christian denominations worldwide, so we could say that the body of Christ is divided in a way that not even the Corinthian Christians could have imagined.

In chapter 1 of the same letter, Paul had appealed to the Corinthians in the name of Christ that they should agree with one another so that there would not be divisions among them, and that they be perfectly united in mind and thought.

It appears that at least the quarreling and jealousy of leaders today have caused some of the divisions of the church. The New Testament urges leaders to sort out their differences.

Remember that Jesus, quoted in John 17:21, prays that those who believe in Him should be one as He and the Father are one – and then as they do so, the world would believe. Disunity hinders enormously the growth of God’s Kingdom.

It is clear then that we need to deal with any arguments and jealousy that may arise – so that God can grow us both individually and as we grow and develop as Christians in love for God and one another, so we will also, I believe, be people and a church that is attractive to others.

This last week I was able to be at a very encouraging and stimulating meeting where the speaker was reminding us that churches and individuals grow where the church community is filled with love rather than if it is filled with fear, and also when churches become places of adventure and faith.

There are bound to be changes, and the potential for upset and misunderstanding – but also the potential for some great new things!

So may I ask all of us: (me too!)

  • Are we growing in our love for God and each other?
  • If not, could any jealousy, arguments or disunity be preventing our growth?
  • Are we open to God to allow His Holy Spirit to work in and through us – growing us up?

Let’s resolve to grow!

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