The aim of this devotional study is to consider the growth stages within discipleship, and to reflect on your own spiritual growth.
1 John 2:12-14
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
- Read through the text above and identify the three growth stages that John identifies within the little fellowship.
- What characterizes each of the growth stages? (in your own words)
Application and reflection
John writes to “Fathers in the faith” who have known the One who is from the beginning, mature believers who have known the sweet companionship of the Son of God and are satisfied with Him. He writes to “Young men” in the spiritual family are characterized by vigor and by combatting indwelling sin by word and faith. He writes to “little children”, babes in the faith, who do not know much, but they do know God the Father.
- Consider your own spiritual life. Which of these growth stages most effectively describe your present journey with the Lord?
- What do you need to do to grow into the next stage of your journey with the Lord?
Note: for more on spiritual growth stages and the most helpful activities to grow in faith you can read this short article at http://walklikejesus.net/2015/08/06/how-do-i-grow-from-here-phases-in-discipleship/
Pray Paul’s a personalized version of Philippians 3:8-11, making it your own as you express your desire to know Christ and be found in him:
“8 I consider everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing you, Christ Jesus my Lord. For your sake I am willing to suffer the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain You 9 and be found You, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from doing the right things, but a right-standing before God that which comes through faith in Christ – 10 that I may know You and the power of Your resurrection, even sharing in Your sufferings and becoming like You in Your death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead with You.”