Thanksgiving season is when we celebrate the harvest. However, there would be no harvest without growth. Or, as Jesus said it, “The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head” (Mark 4:28).Growth is a foundational premise of leadership development. The following devotional is a mildly-modified version from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening of October 10. It is based upon Ephesians 4:15, “We must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”
Many leaders have stopped growing and stagnated in spiritual things. They present the same appearance year after year. No up-springing of advanced and refined development is seen in them. They exist but do not “grow up in every way into him.”
Why should we be content with being a “stalk” when we might advance to the “head” stage, and, eventually, ripen into the “full grain in the head?” Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ at the same level year after year? Should we be content to say, “I am okay as I am,” without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fullness that is to be found in him?
It should not be so; we should, as good traders in heaven’s market, desire to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is all very well to keep the vineyards of others, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening.
Why should it always be winter time in our hearts? We must have our seed time; it is true, but oh for a spring time and then a summer season, which shall give promise of an early harvest. If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus–in his presence–ripened by the sunshine of his smiles.
We must hold sweet communion with him. We must leave the distant view of his face and come near, as John did, “reclining next to him” (John 13:23). Then we shall find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in hope and in every precious gift.
As the sun rises first on mountain-tops and gilds them with its light, and presents one of the most charming sights to the eye of the traveler; so is it one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to mark the glow of the Spirit’s light on the head of a Christ-follower, who has risen up in spiritual stature, like Saul, above others, till, like a mighty Alpine, snow-capped mountain, he or she reflects first among the chosen, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and bears the sheen of his brightness high aloft for all to see, and seeing it, to glorify his Father which is in heaven.