Spiritual Growth Must Be Intentional
By Rick Warren
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12b-13 NIV).
Growth in the human soul requires a commitment to grow. A person must want to grow, decide to grow, and make an effort to grow.
Spiritual growth begins with a decision. It doesn’t have to be a complex decision, but it does have to be sincere. When Jesus’ followers decided to choose his way, they didn’t understand all the implications of their decision. They simply expressed a desire to follow him, and that was the beginning of an exciting journey of the soul. Jesus took that simple but sincere decision and built on it.
In Philippians 2:12b-13, Paul offers insight into spiritual growth while speaking to people who already believe: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (NIV).
Notice that it says “work out” — not “work on” — your salvation. There is nothing you can do to save yourself spiritually; Christ took care of that by his life, death, and Resurrection. The important thing to note is that God has a part in our growth — but so do we. We must make an intentional effort to grow.
Talk It Over
- What does it mean to “work out” your salvation?
- In what specific ways are you making an intentional effort to grow spiritually? What else might you do this year?
- Why do you think God requires effort on our part for spiritual growth?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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