1 Corinthians 3: 6 – 8
The Word: 1 Corinthians 3: 6 – 8 (KJV)

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Dig Deeper:
Mark 4: 26 – 28 

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

Think about it
We ‘ll be doing quite a bit of teaching this month on growing in grace. So we’ll take it step by step. You gain more on teaching on the long term because it sinks into your subconscious. Our anchor verse:

2 Peter 3: 18 (KJV)
18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

So just from that anchor verse above: It is clear God wants us to grow spiritually. As we grow spiritually, maturity also comes in. So to grow in the gifts and anointing of the spirit without day to day maturity of handling real life issues is not complete growth. (let’s not go to deep in that for now). But it also appears that God wants us to grow in grace and knowledge. In other words both are simultaneous. You are unlikely to grow in grace without seeking to grow in knowledge. Actually as you genuinely seek to be more informed and knowledgeable, more grace is released to you. (Again let’s not go to deep in this for now). 

Let’s recap the basics.
What is Growth?
We said Growth is to:  improve, increase, multiply, be strengthened, develop in whatsoever we are involved in.

Let’s remember that simple definition throughout this month. Growth is to improve, increase, multiply, be strengthened and develop.

7 Characteristics of living things
Now we also said Growth is an attribute of living things. And we mentioned 7 characteristics of living things: Respiration, Nutrition, Excretion, Sensitivity, Movement, Growth, Reproduction. (We ‘ll be analysing these 7 characteristics and their hierarchy of importance in details later. But for now, let’s take it that Growth is about No 6 on the list. So Growth is not 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Growth is something that happens later when the initial characteristics or factors are available ).

It is important to understand that growth is not something we do. You cannot force growth by yourself in any area of life. Growth is not something we strenuously achieve. Rather growth in any area of life will happen automatically when all the factors that supports growth are in place. Our texts today buttresses this principle. It says: Paul plant, Apollo waters but it’s God that gives the increase (growth). The second text says a man plants a seed and went to sleep, he did not know how growth came. So the power for growth is not exactly in the hand of man. It’s in the hand of God (or some people will say nature. God created nature). The responsibility of man is to make available the required ingredients that aids growth and God takes over from there. So let’s take our family for practical instance. If we desire growth (increase and improvement). Our focus should be what are the factors that will promote development and growth here. We may list those factors as: praying together, reading God’s word together, spending quality time having fun, teaching our children etc. When man focuses on creating the right conditions, growth will naturally happen. This is proven and applicable to our career and other aspects of our lives. So the nutshell of this is that growth is not something we laboriously force to happen. Growth and development is something that God has programmed to happen anyway when we take time to create and nurture the right environment that encourages growth.  

Our memory verse for February
2 Peter 3: 18
18 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.

Let’s take a few moment to learn our memory verse for this month by heart. It can be memorised in 3 lines:
Line 1: But Grow in grace,
Line 2: And in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
Line 3: To him be glory both now and for forever.

Once you say it a few times it will stick.
Prayer focus:  Father thank you for a new month. We give you praise and glory IJN

On Grace: God’s lavish Grace – Terry Virgo
Masterlife Workbook: The Church is embarking on weeks of discipleship workbook study starting with the Masterlife: Disciple’s cross.