" For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?" 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
Paul was writing to the church in Thessalonica after having to leave it quickly because of persecution. He was not able to spend as much time with them as he liked and felt that there were still some things that were lacking in their faith. We may ask ourselves, are we lacking in our faith? We know that God wants perfection as we find in Colossians 4:12, " Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." "No one is perfect," you say. Well, it depends on what you mean by "perfect." When we see a new born baby that is without disease or blemish, we say it is perfect even though it can only lay there and coo and cry. When we see a five year old child who is still learning his alphabet and cannot yet write full words after only being in school a month, we say he/she is doing well and is making perfect grades if he/she performs the learning tasks assigned without fail or error. But, if that child turns fifteen and still cannot write full words or spell, we would not call that perfect but know there is a problem. So is a Christian. There is a growth and God judges us, not compared to someone else, but where we are in the Christian life.
One of the areas we must grow in is in Sanctification or separation from this world and more of godliness. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, " And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." We must grow in spirit, the seat of our worship toward God, our soul, the seat of our appetites, and our body, our dedication and modesty toward God.
Another area of growth is in Love. This is one of the hardest. " And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;" Philippians 1:9 We are told in Luke 10:27, " And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." In this we must grow.
One more area that we must grow as Christians is in Knowledge. " But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18 We should know more about God's word now then we did a year ago and we should gain more knowledge about his ways through experiences each day. While we must examine our hearts and lives from time to time in the mirror of his Word and check our progress with him. If we are truthful with ourselves, that is those of us who have been in Christ for several years, we will no doubt find areas in our walk that we are not growing in and maybe even have transgressed. So, at the end of this all, I ask myself as well as you, What lack ye yet?