I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 (NIV)
When you think about your walk with Jesus, some days you may wonder, “Why is this so hard? I’m still struggling with so many problems. When will I finally get it right?”
In my journey as a pastor, I’ve learned spiritual growth is often like the growth we see in nature — the best fruit ripens slowly. In John 12:24, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24, NIV)
The problem is we tend to get impatient, so we dig up the seed to check the progress of its growth, and that slows down our growth! If you’re not seeing as much fruit as you’d like, don’t despair. Growth takes time.
Talk about it –
Try these steps toward spiritual growth:
Nurture growth with God’s Word — I know you’re already doing this, but when you read the promises of God, again and again, it helps you remember that he is at work, even when you can’t see him at work: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
Cooperate with God as he prunes — Praise God for the work he’s doing in your life, remembering “he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” (John 15:2, NLT)
Pray through the ‘fruit list’ — Pray through the ‘fruit list’ from Galatians 5:22-23. The NIV Bible lists the fruit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Ask God to help you grow this fruit in your life.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2013 Rick Warren.