A nutrient-rich environment
Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said, "The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers; grass dries up, flowers wilt, God’s Word goes on and on forever. This is the Word that conceived the new life in you. (I Peter 1:22-25)
At the point of conception, life begins. We may not see all that is occurring, but we know there is a 'multiplication process' at work that is bringing new life upon new life. God's Word conceives life within us - new life - each and every time we hear it, embrace it, allow it to affect our lives. New life upon new life - this is the assurance we have in Christ Jesus. Our lives are not ours alone - we are meant to share that life with others - by modeling the love of Christ in us. Our new life is born of the Word of God - we hear his welcoming message, then his Word begins to mold and change us until we align with the principles contained within.
How do we see our lives changed? It is by following - not by leading. We are meant to be disciples - followers of Christ. That means we lay down our willfulness (what some may call stubbornness and pridefulness). How on earth do we lay down our stubbornness? If you are anything like me, you can dig in your heels from time to time, not wanting to take the steps God directs for your life. It isn't that we don't desire the growth to happen - we like this 'multiplication' of his life within but resist the 'requirements' of growth. As a new life is conceived, there are multiplied requirements in order to nourish that new life. The new life is being nurtured as it is allowed to develop. A lack of nutrients will yield stunted or arrested growth.
It is hard to be consistent with our intake of the Word of God, but it is so very essential if we are to see our lives changed. When I thought about beginning this blog, it wasn't to be a 'scholar' of the Word. There was a burden to bring the Word of God in 'bite size chunks' so we could take it in - portions small enough for us to appreciate what God is saying to us. A new life growing and developing doesn't consume everything provided for its nourishment all at one time. It only needs what it requires for the season of growth it is in. The same is true of each of us. We might find God is asking us to grow in this area today, but in a short time the development required will be in a different area. Nutrients come as we take in the Word of God with consistency and obedient service to the Lord God.
We can be in a 'nutrient rich' environment and be 'growth deprived'. We must take in what is provided - that means we stop and eat. We allow what is provided to be 'incorporated' into our lives. We may think we don't need what is provided, but there is not one Word of God spoken or recorded that we do not need. We may not need that 'nutrient' at this moment, but there will come a season of growth in which we will hunger for that very 'nutrient'. Take in the Word of God - the nutrients you require for spiritual growth - see the new life of his love and grace take on new form each and every day. Just take in his Word - you never know when you may need what has been provided. Just sayin!