There are those events in our lives which need to be repeated. There was great reward when we did them the first time. To do them again can often bring even greater rewards. Consider the following verses which contain the word “again” to see just how true this is.
When we became a Christian, our lives were changed as the old man of sin died, and in baptism we became a new person. “For as many of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). We began our new lives seeking to follow the example He set for us. However, some Christians lose sight of this goal and become complacent and stop growing.
This is what happened in the churches in Galatia. Paul established these churches on his first missionary journey and apparently visited them on each of his journeys. False teachers had come among them, and they were about to leave the Lord. “I marvel that you are turning so soon away from Him into the grace of Christ” (Gal. 1:6). He wrote to them and said these words, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). Paul had witnessed their transformation, but it had stopped. His agony and anxiety, described as being a labor, had returned. He was again in labor as he saw the direction they were headed. Those who teach others fully understand the labor pains he was having again.
What is the solution to those who have stagnated in their growth into the full image of Christ? The church in Ephesus had done this. While they had not left the Lord, He said to them, “You have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). That devotion and joy they had when they had become Christians had diminished. He then told them the solution to this problem, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do your first works” (Rev. 2:5). Christians can remember the joy they had when they were saved and how fervently they worshiped and the zeal they had in their lives. The solution for our stagnation is simple. Do the works again. Serve the Lord again with that enthusiasm we once had. Do it again.
Solomon describes the righteous man and his walk with the Lord. “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again” (Prov. 24:16). Regardless of how many times you may make mistakes in your Christian life, rise up again and continue the journey. That is what Peter did after he had denied Jesus three times. He arose and continued his life having learned from his mistakes.
Spiritual growth is so simple—love Him with all your heart and if you stumble rise up, renew that love again. He will help you again and again and again and again and again and…