I am pleased with you; I am proud of you

These men’s blogs I’m posting are being sent first as emails to all the men in our church and even though I’m directing them toward men I believe everyone can benefit from them.  So they’ll be posted here (sometimes with minor changes) one week after the men have received them as emails. 

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” (Luke 2:52, NLT)

In this one sentence we see a clear framework for our own personal growth as men.  We’ve already talked about how every man should be growing in wisdom and improving in their physical health. 

The third area of personal growth for men is growing up spiritually. Jesus grew spiritually, specifically Dr. Luke says, “Jesus grew in . .  . favor with God.”

Does this mean God came to like Jesus more and more?  Well, yes and no. God is pleased with us as His creation.  We were made by a good God. However, God is displeased when instead of growing spiritually (becoming more and more like Jesus) we ignore Him and do our own thing.  He hates that we create a bunch of substitutes for Him in our lives. 

As enemies of God (which everyone is before placing their faith in Jesus, see Romans 5:10) because of our sin, we all desperately need a way to re-connect with our Creator.  So, He, as a Good Father, gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus.  Who came and lived a perfect life as a Man so He could die for us as a sacrifice and because of that we can be made right with God through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection on our behalf.  We can become friends of God!

I know many a man who has placed their trust in Jesus and been baptized into Him, but then experience near zero or zero spiritual growth.  Or men who grow spiritually for a time, but then because of the busyness of life or the cares of this world or relationship issues put their spiritual growth on the back burner. 

Guys, that’s not how you were designed.  Deep down inside of you is the craving, the desire to connect with your Father God, your Creator.  A Creator who’s not safe (dangerous even, some might say) and counter to almost every cultural pull around you and selfish pull from within you.  God made you to walk through life with Him even if it’s dangerous or takes you out of your comfort zone or means you can’t do just what you want to do.

Growing spiritually begins with you understanding you are spiritual – that you possess the qualities within your spirit to actually communicate with God and grow in favor with God. God likes you and wants you to know Him and maybe you’ve never realized that. 

I’ll be back next week with a bit more on that and this area of growing spiritually.    

Pastor Kevin*

*Inspired and adapted from an article by Brandon Cox  

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