A man who dives for exotic fish for aquariums said one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark.
He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium.
Sharks can be 7 inches long yet fully matured.
But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of 8 ft.
This can happen to us as believers.
If we seek to grow spiritually by own strength or do not make our growth in Christ important, our growth will be stunted.
The Lord wants to turn us loose in the ocean of Christ’s Grace, so that we can grow “big” in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 says:
“But be constantly growing in the sphere of grace and intimate knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
We are to constantly be growing, not growing “in spurts.”
We see from this verse, that we grow in the sphere of grace, which means we are to come to the end of our own resources and learn how to live out of the unlimited resources of Jesus Christ.
We must also grow in “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The two must go together.
To grow in knowledge without grace is only intellectual knowledge and not knowledge that is applied to our life.
The knowledge we are challenged to grow in is not just knowledge of the Bible, even though that is needed, but in the “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The object of our knowledge is Jesus Christ.
We are to be deepening our intimate relationship with Christ.
It is one thing to “know the Bible” and another thing to know the Jesus of the Bible.
The better we know Christ intimately through the Word, the more we grow in grace and the more we grow in grace, the better we will understand the Word.
Sometimes parents or grandparents measure the changing heights of their children and grandchildren through the years by marking it on a long piece of poster board on the inside of a door or on a door frame.
The names and dates next to the marks trace their progress.
While we can’t measure our spiritual growth on a door frame, it is a lot like physical growth.
It should increase with time, but that isn’t always the case.
Some believers seem stunted in their spiritual development.
Let’s not be stunted in our growth like a shark in an aquarium.
What really matters is our growth in Christ!
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries