Growing Strong

By Joy-Ann Wood

January 5, 2023

Scripture — 1 Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.


As we commence this year, may our main goal be to grow stronger in and with Jesus. May our desire to memorize scripture and spend time basking in His presence grant us a joyful and successful Christian walk, not to be neglected but prioritized.


My niece recently celebrated her 2nd birthday, in November with a big celebration. As she develops, we celebrate the cute things she’s starting to say now that she’s learning to talk, and her cleverness in learning to walk by initially holding on to the side of the wall before walking on her own. In recent times she’s shown all of us that she can peddle on her tricycle all by herself without her mommy or daddy assisting. She’s even learning to swim!   Her growth is delightful and astonishing;  it’s amazing to see her development from a baby on to a toddler. Whenever we share photos of her with our friends they usually respond with delight, “She’s growing so lovely!”

Today’s scripture alludes to growth that can also make our onlookers smile and, in response, say that someone is growing nicely, in Christ. However, the desire to grow must come from us, as adults, to grow stronger in Christ, daily. In this text, the Apostle Peter writes to the Jewish believers to pay attention to their growth – which would assist their character and conduct.

They were new to the Christian faith of being followers of Jesus, hence he called them newborn babes. His call or admonition was to desire the sincere milk of the Word.

We are aware that babies drink milk for a period of time to develop their growth of strong bones and teeth. Even though many adults don’t usually drink milk, the “Got Milk” advertisement still appeals to our senses and we may desire a glass after watching that advertisement. However, this metaphor used by Peter encourages us to make consuming the Word of God our number one priority. The desire is similar to the baby going after the milk of its mother; the desire to latch on and partake of the milk which provides the nutrients needed for strong development.

The Word (logos) and the word (rhema) are part of the character of the milk on which these newly born babes live. Here, God is like a mother providing milk for her suckling babies.

Naturally when we desire food we are moved by hunger and with delight and we are attracted to whatever we decide to eat. This should be the same in our spiritual lives. Where we are moved by a hunger to grow in Christ and mature, this hunger can only be filled with the Word of God, which has the power to also overcome areas where we were weak and wayward. The previous verse in this chapter (1 Peter 2:1) challenges us to put aside malice, guile, envy, and evil speech; such negative traits of our former lifestyle should not linger within our being. Therefore, as we desire the milk of God’s Word we will be transformed in mind and spirit to follow the ways of our Savior.

At times we have a desire to eat something sweet, a craving we seek to fulfill even if it’s a cookie or one scoop of ice cream. Our desire for the Word of God is the same; even small portions of God’s Word can go a long way in growing strong. We can’t afford to stay at the same place spiritually. Stagnation and lack of development in a child causes great concern for the average parent; similarly, it should cause us great concern when we fail to grow.

There is also a purpose behind this challenge of our maturity, as implied in Ephesians 4:14, where we see that when we become mature we know truth and how to stand firm in Jesus Christ.

As we commence this year, may our main goal be to grow stronger in and with Jesus. May our desire to memorize scripture and spend time basking in His presence grant us a joyful and successful Christian walk, not to be neglected but prioritized.


What are ways you can set aside time to grow in your knowledge of God?

How can you be intentional in measuring your growth over this year of 2023?

Who can you have to hold you accountable for growing and overcoming areas of weakness and bad habits/attitudes?


Share with an accountability friend and/or prayer partner at least two specific areas where you desire to grow spiritually and personally within the next six months.


Dear God, thank you for giving us your Word to guide us on our way. Thank you for giving us the blessed Holy Spirit which guides us in all truth with understanding as we read and meditate on your Word. Increase my desire to grow in you during this year; may it not just be a good intention, but may I honor my commitment to prioritize my time with You, daily.

I surrender to You any bad habits and attitudes to overcome, as I seek to be enlightened and changed through the power of your Holy Spirit, and as I look upon your face. Most importantly, may others see Jesus in me. Make my desire to grow stronger in your grace my number one priority. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Resident Aliens and a Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 1:1–2:12).

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Joy-Ann Wood

Author & Guest Contributor

President Caribbean Baptist Youth Department, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship HR Professional United Nations Development Programme Joy-Ann Wood is a Christian who is not ashamed to let the world know that she loves the Lord. As Im...

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