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October 16, 2012 Growth

Dear Loved One,

            When we are born again, and Christ becomes our new identity, we have every gift and blessing we will ever need. It is all ours in Christ. We lack nothing. We have eternal life.

            When we are born again, and Christ becomes our new identity, we start a process of learning and growing and changing. It is a road, or a path, or a Way that leads to life eternal.

            In the recovery communities, some people are very adamant that recovery is a One Step process. You receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and that’s it. Of course that’s true.

            Others are very strong on steps to work out this process. Twelve steps are the most common number. And, of course they are right.

            All truth is in tension, and this issue of, “I’ve got it all,” and, “I’m in process of getting it,“ is a massive hurdle in understanding. If you have the knowledge of this and are secure in your identity, I challenge you to be a peace maker in the Body of Christ. Be a healing link between fractured portions whose insecurities keep them from examining the whole truth, or cause them to pass condemning judgments.

            The Bible focuses primarily on three levels of growth, although there are many more. John writes to children, young men, and fathers. Jesus referred to the blade, and then the grain forming, and then the mature grain. My favorite of these three fold growth levels is in the love relationship of Song of Solomon. First it’s all about me, then us, and finally it’s you.

            I heard an excellent message on ask, seek and knock which also captures the notion of this tri-level of growth. Asking is for me or others and it is the favorite type of prayer for children. Seeking is the young men not just passively asking but actively pursuing experiences and understanding.  Knocking is seeking His will and His way.

            The Twelve Steps of AA also follow this trinity of growth. It all starts with step 1, the realization that I am helpless and unable to save myself (from alcohol, drugs or just plain sin.  Step 2, realizing God can. Step 3, I’ll let Him do it. This is the beginning, for the children. Then steps 4 through 10 are the young men applying this great salvation we have in Christ. It is the “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work within you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.”  Finally step 11 is basically “Tell me what You want and help me do that.” 

            We are all to grow up unto Him who is our head, even Christ. God is working out everything in our lives for His purposes – to conform us to the image of Jesus.
            Don’t get stuck. Grow up.

Love in Christ,


Frank B. Smith, Director

Crushed Grapes Ministry

PO Box 3009

Vista, CA 92085

(760) 641-0251

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Frank Smith
(760) 641-0251