Our six children always looked forward to their birthdays. Along with the usual present and a cake we had another ritual. Each year the kids would put their backs to the wall and I would measure with a pencil how much they had grown in that year. They were excited when they would pass one of their siblings. They got really excited when they grew taller than mom. My boys were so glad when they passed up dad on the growth chart. I think we quit measuring with those pencil marks when my youngest daughter passed up her dad.
Measuring our physical growth was rather fun as a kid. I wonder if we have measured our spiritual growth recently. The writer to Hebrews challenged his readers with this verse: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Heb. 5:12). Though they had been saved long enough to become teachers they hadn’t grown spiritually. I wonder if we are growing in our knowledge of the Word of God. Do we have a better grasp on scripture than we did last year? How often do we pick up the Bible and read an extended portion taking notes and making applications? Have we grown in our prayer life? Have we expanded the scope of our prayers to include others beyond our family and friends? Have we grown deeper in our love for the Savior? Does the mention of His name stir our hearts more and more the longer we know Him? Are we growing in our resistance of temptation and mastery of the sins of the flesh? Can we see any growth marks in our relationships to others? Does anger and bitterness have less of a grip on us than it did last year? Do we see less of a focus on our self and more of a concern for others?
Father in heaven examine my heart and measure my growth today. Stir deep within me a desire to grow more and more like my Savior.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation