Getting to know Jesus and developing a close relationship of intimacy with Him as our beloved Father has to start somewhere and it takes time to develop and grow in Him!!!
Why we should want to develop and grow in Him is because as we do, our life experience and our love relationship with Him becomes sweeter and sweeter!!! As I reflect upon our Father’s Word today, I see that there are three levels of growth and development in our walk with Jesus discerned as talked about by the Apostle John as he writes to children, youth and the matured. He says he writes to them in particular ways because of the stage of development they are in with regards to Christ. No matter at what age someone begins their walk with Jesus, these are the stages of growth in our relationship development with Him:
Stage 1 – Children stage
- “I write to you dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.”
- “I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.”
In this stage of development, we learn the basic understanding that because of Satan’s prideful influence in the Garden of Eden to turn people away from God, all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Through our faith in Jesus who was God Himself coming into the world and dying on the cross in our place to pay the penalty of sin for each one of us, we are forever rescued from sin’s wages, reconciled to God and made the children of God, forever secure in being part of His royal family and heirs of all the glorious riches of God’s heavenly paradise!!! We then learn that the Spirit of Jesus lives in our hearts and is always with us, speaking to us to remind us of truth and to guide us in what is of Him as we journey through life with Him. We learn to pray and study our Bible and have fellowship with others who know Him. We learn He has good plans for us in life and that it is good to tell others about His goodness to us!!!
Stage 2 – Youth stage
- “I write to you because you are strong, and the Word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
In this stage of development, we learn that we find our strength in Jesus in seeking relationship with Him, trusting Him to work in us to will and act according to His purpose, to empower us to stand in resistance to the enemy so that we overcome him and live in the victory life that is through Jesus with us!!! It is learning to stay connected to Jesus and that through Him, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. If He is calling us to it, we learn to rely upon Him to enable us to do it!!! This is the stage of life where our Father’s goodness and plan for us is wrestled out and tested true!!!
Stage 3 – Maturity stage
- “I write to you because you have known Him who is from the beginning.”
In this stage of development, life is not without challenges by any means, but we have learned through our experience from the beginning of first having learned about Jesus, trusting in Him as our Savior, then walking with Him through life experiences that have taught us reliance upon Him and His power in everything – trusting in Him in all things!!! It is knowing the sweet intimacy of a deep-rooted love relationship with Him that is beyond all other relationships that comes from what life has taught us with Him with us!!! It is having found contentment with who we are in Christ and in His sovereignty in our lives!!! It brings with it the ability of resting all anxiety in He who loves us with unfailing, unconditional love, who is always victoriously working for us and always working good through all of life circumstances for us. It is a soul at peace with our loving Father, sold out in faith in Him and in full reliance upon Him, wanting to live to His full glory because we love Him so!!! We are secure in His loving grace, knowing apart from Him we can do nothing and that through Christ we are seen in our Father’s eyes as righteous, holy, without blemish, without accusation and without condemnation. He sees us as righteous through the cross, but until Jesus returns, we are always in a state of learning and growing through life. Upon this earth, we will never know all that Christ knows!!! When He returns, the old life will be completely gone and we shall be like Him in paradise!!! Oh now that just makes me smile!!! Jesus with us until then makes us brave in all of this life as this song says here!!!
Why is growing in Him to maturity important??? This is what He tells us in His Word:
“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have over come the world.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“
No matter what stage of growth we are in our relationship with Jesus in life, this we can know, our Father loves us all equally the same through our faith in Him and nothing we do or don’t do in this life will make Him love us any more or any less!!! Through our first utterance of faith in Him as our personal Savior, He is forever committed to being our Father and loving us impartially as His royal children forever part of His beloved family!!! His Holy Spirit in us seals that up for all eternity!!! Rest in His perfect love for you wherever you are in life, dear one!!! I’m resting in Him with you!!! Let us enjoy the precious love relationship that we have with Him, together forever and let us trust Him to enable us to grow in Him!!! Where are you and what do you need to trust Him with??? He will work in us and guide us to help us!!! Much love to you, dear family!!!
1 John 2:12-14; Ephesians 2:8, 4:11-15; John 14:27, 16:33 NIV