“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” — 2 Peter 3:18
In the WNBA, NBA, MLS, MLB and NFL, rookies are drafted each year. Some rookies go on to have long and productive careers. Others may only last two or three years due to injuries or a lack of maturity.
Usually, athletes last when they learn from coaches and veterans by listening, and they try to get better daily throughout the season and from year to year. If rookies are smart, they admit they can always improve and that natural talent will not help you survive when you get traded, when you are on a losing team or when your spouse walks away from you.
But spiritual maturity can sustain an athlete when the applause stops. As babies are born to become responsible adults, Christians should take steps toward maturity every day.
When Nicodemus went to speak with Jesus one night, he was not a Christian. Nicodemus was religious but did not have a vital relationship with God. However, everything started changing that night. At that point, Nicodemus thought a grown man already knew everything he needed to know. Jesus gently guided him until he realized he needed to start over by believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again'” (John 3:3).
As Jesus spoke, He gave strong hints about his death on the cross for our sins and how He came to save. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
So Nicodemus walked away that night as a new man and a saved sinner, but God wanted him to continue to learn and grow. As a baby Christian, Nicodemus was drinking milk. “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2). Throughout our lives, we need to continue to grow. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
As time passed, Nicodemus became bolder to stand up for Jesus. Nicodemus started as a silent and secret believer. Later, Nicodemus spoke publicly about the innocence of Jesus when he was falsely accused. When Jesus breathed his last breath, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea got permission to bury Jesus. Nicodemus matured to the point where he wanted the whole world to know that he believed in Jesus Christ.
What about us? Are we believing in Jesus and learning to behave more like Him each day?
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Ga.
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