Growth is expected of any living thing. Throughout life we grow. Its only when life is taken away that growth stops. And the same is true spiritually. If we are alive with Christ we should grow – it’s expected (Eph 4:15). So much so that the writer to the Hebrew Christians (Heb 5:12) was astounded that they were still spiritual ‘babies’ rather than pressing on to maturity.
What is Spiritual Growth?
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. Spiritual growth is perhaps best described in 2 Peter 1:3-8. It tells us that, in God’s power, we have “everything we need” to live lives of godliness. This is the goal of spiritual growth – to be ‘godly’, or to put it another way, ‘like God’ in our thinking, behaviour, responses, in every part. We are to “grow into Jesus who is the head” (Eph 4:15). It’s the work of His Spirit in us – it is the fruit of His Spirit rather than the fruit of our flesh life (Gal 5). But what we need comes “through our knowledge of Him” – knowing God better by hearing from Him, learning of Him in His Word, the Bible and letting His Spirit apply this to our lives.
Am I growing Spiritually?
Almost every child will recall the ‘height chart’ that their parents created for them on a wall of their home. It was a way to see your physical growth month on month or year on year, and to celebrate that growth. Although Spiritual Growth is even more important, strangely we don’t really check to see whether we are growing. Like those Hebrew believers, we can remain immature, mere ‘infants’ or ‘babies’. The Bible encourages us to examine ourselves, to look for Spiritual Growth. Having spiritual growth at the forefront of our daily walk with God is key to growing in Him.
To help you assess where you are, we have developed a questionnaire you can use. It starts with a brief Bible Study so that we start with a right understanding that we are to neither be proud of ‘scores’ nor defeated by apparent failure. This is simply a resource for you to use to get a sense of where God has been working and where we have been resisting His work. Use it if it is helpful.
Resources to help in Spiritual Growth
We have chosen some books and Bible Study guides that may be of help, and have grouped them according to the categories we used in the Spiritual Growth Self Evaluation. This list of resources will be regularly expanded, so keep coming back and looking.
Just click on a heading to reveal the books and resources under that heading…
This will give you a brilliant introduction to the Bible! Written with young Christians and new believers in mind Steve helps us get to grips with the structure and the meaning of God’s word. In fact it is Steve’s desire that we delight after God’s Word and hopes that desire to devour God’s word and enjoy it would be birthed in us.
We can so easily miss what the Christian faith is all about. We miss that we are called into relationship with Jesus, and it is He who transforms everything. We are intended to find all we need in Jesus. We are intended to understand how His finished work gives the answers we need. We are to set aside all other trusts, trusting in Him alone.
In this book Adrian Reynolds warns against us being satisfied with gradual growth and instead calls leaders to make a deliberate effort to continue to grow and develop, using Paul’s words to Timothy (1 Tim 4) to encourage us to seek growth in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity and gifts.
This set of study notes from Derek Tidball is really a course for discipleship groups or Small Groups. It challenges readers to grow more fully into the image of Christ, with huge emphasis on practical application and suggestions for deeper reflection.
What is the nature of God? How can we recapture a real sense of God’s majesty and truly live in the Spirit? This classic of Christian testimony and devotion, addresses these and other vital questions, showing us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God’s presence in our daily lives.
Tozer calls for a slow, steady gaze upon God. He urges us to replace low thoughts of God with lofty ones, to quiet our lives so we can know God’s presence. He reminds us that life apart from God is really no life at all.
We see our reflection and make judgments about ourselves. However, the ‘mirror’ we use tends to be: how do I compare with others and what do they think of me? But there is another mirror we can use – the mirror we should use. God’s word is a mirror. We look into it and see what we are really like. The world tells us that we need a good self–image. The Bible says that we need a right self–image.
To all who are searching, Jesus promised freedom, peace and reconciliation with God. Changes begin in the innermost parts of our lives. It is here that our personal brokenness and repentance will unleash the life and love of God. He will lead you to liberty, back to Jesus who brings abundant life.
Why do we so rarely experience holy living? The central issue confronting us is that Christians fail to understand their own responsibility for holiness. If we sin, it's because we choose to sin. We are not defeated, we are disobedient. The principles given in this book will serve as a huge challenge and aid to living for His glory.
What does it take for lasting change to take root in your life? If you’ve ever tried, failed, and wondered why, you need How People Change. This book explains the biblical pattern for change in a clear, practical way you can apply to the challenges of daily life.
To be in suffering is a terrible place to be. But lessons learned from it can be deep and life-transforming. From walking with his family in personal suffering, Paul provides wonderful encouragement and support from God's word for us as we face the difficulties and challenges of life. In this book we learn to trust God in the darkness instead of seeking consolation in a fake theology that offers help but leads to confusion and despair.
David Powlison helps you discover what your anxiety reveals about what is going on inside of you, and then shows you how to bring your anxious thoughts and worries to God, the only Person who can give you a life of peace. You will learn specific ways to replace your free–floating anxiety with trust in God and how to walk by faith through your day.
Matt Chandler forsakes the trendy to invite readers into authentic Christian maturity. The short book of Philippians is one of the most quoted in the Bible, yet Paul wrote it not for the popular sound bites, but to paint a picture of a mature Christian faith. While many give their lives to Jesus, few then go on to live a life of truly vibrant faith. This book offers tangible ways to develop a faith of pursuing, chasing, knowing, and loving Jesus. Because if we clean up our lives but don't get Jesus, we've lost! So let the goal be Him.
Tim Chester says he wrote this book out of his own struggle to change. Long battle with particular issues set him searching the Bible as well as writings from the past. This book shares the amazing truths he discovered that gave him, and will give you, hope.
Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners outlines a model of one-another ministry based on how God sees and loves his people. You are helped to use Scripture to find foundational categories for understanding and approaching one another, which serve as guideposts for wise care.
In today's increasingly competitive and insecure economic environment, we often question the reason for work: why am I doing this? Why is it so hard? And what can I do about it? Work may seem just a means to an end: we do it to earn the money to enjoy life outside the workplace. Here, Timothy Keller argues that God's plan is radically more ambitious: he actually created us to work. We are to work together to make the world a better place, to help each other, and so to find purpose for our lives. Our faith should enhance our work, and our work should develop our faith.
Many of us are serving, and feel like we’re sinking. We feel joyless, weary and burdened. John Hindley shows how Jesus was telling the truth when He offered people an “easy yoke” – a way of serving Him that is joyful and liberating. He explains why serving is so often joyless – and how our identity in Christ changes everything.