"My, how you've grown!"

"My, how you've grown!"
 Nancy Ruth, her mom, and younger sister
ca. (about) 1989
Kids are headed back to school and first day of school pictures have been flooding social media. What better time to look back over the past year and look forward to the next? Take a minute to think about the last year. How have your children grown? Dig out the old pictures and see. Ask you kids, "What is one thing you learned last year?" "What is one new thing you tried last year? How did it go?" Be ready to share one way you've seen your kids mature over the last year. Learning, growing, maturing, and trying new things are ways children grow up. We learn, grow, mature, and try new things as we “grow up” as Christians too.

He gave all these people so that they might prepare God’s people to serve. Then the body of Christ will be built up. That will continue until we all become one in the faith. We will also become one in the knowledge of God’s Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us.

We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won’t be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won’t be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won’t be blown around by cleverness and tricks. Certain people use them to hide their evil plans. Instead, we will speak the truth in love. So we will grow up in every way to become the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body.

Ephesians 4:12-15 (NIRV)

Take a few minutes to think about how you and your family have grown (or not) in these areas over the last year. Have there been opportunities you missed? Ways you have grown? New things you have tried? All of these things are important. Part of the Christian walk is learning and growing in each area. Very rarely will they all be going perfectly. That is to be expected as we are all works in progress. Our job is to keep seeking the Lord, confessing sins, loving the Lord, and loving others. Remember, God is the one who renews us and makes us more like Him as we seek His face. What is the Holy Spirit telling you to work on next? What is one new thing you can do or try this year to help you grow?
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. I am happy because you have joined me in spreading the good news. You have done so from the first day until now. God began a good work in you. And I am sure that he will carry it on until it is completed. That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you. I love you with all my heart. I may be held by chains, or I may be standing up for the truth of the good news. Either way, all of you share in God’s grace together with me. God is my witness that I long for all of you. I love you with the love that Christ Jesus gives. I pray that your love will grow more and more. And let it be based on knowledge and understanding. Then you will be able to know what is best. Then you will be pure and without blame for the day that Christ returns. You will be filled with the fruit of right living produced by Jesus Christ. All these things bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:3-11 (NIRV)
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