Lately, I’ve noticed how the sunlight streams through my kitchen window and brings health to my plants. I’m exploring how the Light of Christ changes my heart—my thoughts, words, and actions. Here’s how my study began.
My husband rarely complains about anything—unless my plants crowd the kitchen counter space.
“But they love the morning sunlight,” I say.
“They may love the sunlight, but I like the counter space,” he replies with a smile. “I can’t wash my hands in this jungle without bumping into leaves.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll move them,” I usually reply as I plan to sun them another day. Then I return my Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioide for technical readers) to the living room table and my Janet Craig plant (Dracaena fragrans) to the desk in the office.
When I leave one side of a plant turned away from a window for several weeks, glossy green leaves go limp and turn yellow. Every side of green plants—all the leaves—need sunlight. God designed them with sunlight-absorbing chlorophyll to promote health and sustain life.
And God designed believers with Truth-absorbing hearts which need the Light of His presence and His Word every day.
God designed believers with Truth-absorbing hearts which need the Light of His presence and His Word every day. Click To Tweet
The last time I placed plants on our sunny kitchen counter, I pondered how I could open my heart more to Christ. We need to turn all sides of our hearts—our thoughts, our words, and our actions—to His Light.
I often speak without thinking and choose my actions without considering God’s will. I need to absorb His light into my heart to grow spiritually—to be more like Jesus.
When we expose each side of our hearts—every fiber of our being—to God’s Holy Spirit, He corrects us (convicts us of sin) and draws us closer as He promotes spiritual health and growth.
And wonder of wonders—He transforms us to be more like Jesus (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18) and offers an adventurous walk with Him each day.
Recently, I asked God to show me areas of my life that need His cleansing light. (I have no trouble discerning His answer for that request. How about you?)
In the next few posts, we’ll talk about how the Light of God’s Presence and His Word change our thoughts, our words, and our actions. I hope you’ll share the insights God teaches you.
But first, let’s ask some questions and seek answers together in Philippians.
Who began and promises to finish the work in our hearts once we surrender to Christ? Of course, we know the answer.
And I am sure of this, that he [God] who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6 ESV*, brackets are mine.
This verse comforts me when I feel like a plant with yellow, drooping leaves. I know He’s always working in my life. I can thank Him as I continue to pray, study, and change as He leads.
How did Paul pray for believers to grow spiritually?
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.Philippians 1:9-10
Pssst. I’m glad that’s His responsibility and not ours, aren’t you?
What goal does Paul suggest for our lives?
Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ … standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.Philippians 1:27
We know only God can make this possible.
Why does God want to shine His light into our hearts?
It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13
His work benefits us in immeasurable ways but notice the why of His work in the last part of the verse—”for his good pleasure.”
In the next few posts, we’ll talk about turning our thoughts, our words, and our deeds toward the Light of Christ. Choose an outdoor spot or a place in front of a sunny window. Pray and study with me, and please share your insights along the way. I value them.
Until we meet again, let’s pray Psalm 51:10 and ask God to shine His light into our hearts.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Please share your thoughts about opening our hearts to Christ so that we can expect healthy spiritual growth. Do you ask an accountability partner how you’re doing in an area you’ve prayed about? Do you journal or write prayers to God? How can we tell when we’re growing in Christ? I can’t wait to hear from you.When we expose each side of our hearts—every fiber of our being—to God’s Holy Spirit, He corrects us (convicts us of sin) and draws us closer as He promotes spiritual health and growth.. Click To Tweet
*All Scripture is taken from the ESV.
22 thoughts on “How Can We Open Our Hearts to the Light of Christ for Spiritual Growth?”
Hi Jeannie. I enjoyed your post, and it reminded me to always take time to practice biblical spiritual disciplines in my life. Thanks again!
The biblical spiritual disciplines do require time, but as you indicated, we need to take the time to grow in Christ. I appreciate your comments.
Jeannie, you’ve managed to deliver a convicting message so gently. I need to examine my heart with the help of God’s Spirit to suss out those “leaves” I’m holding away from His penetrating light. That’s a deliberate process that involves Bible study, prayer, and meditation. Thanks for such an insightful post.
How encouraging your comments are, Annie. I agree it’s a deliberate process to open our hearts to the light of Christ through meditating on His Word and prayer. I love your statement: “I need to examine my heart with the help of God’s Spirit to suss out those “leaves” I’m holding away from His penetrating light.” Well-said, my friend.
Thank you for your post Jeannie. I love your heart. Those are really good ideas. Accountability partner is not something I’ve considered. Desiring a clean heart, surrendering interpersonal conversations to Jesus, loving “outsiders” & being hungry to grow in Truth & insight— those are signs for me. ♥️
Myra, you included excellent signposts to help us gauge spiritual growth–“desiring a clean heart, surrendering interpersonal conversations to Jesus, loving “outsiders” & being hungry to grow in Truth & insight.” Thank you so much for reading and adding value to our conversation. I appreciate your input.
Spring is renewal time, but sometimes we need to start fresh. I find Psalm 51:10 a helpful reminder. “Create in me a clean heart, and renew the right spirit in me.”
I love the prayer in that verse, Peggy. Praying with this request opens our hearts to God’s work. Yes, spring is renewal time as you said, but you’re right that we often need to start fresh with confession and asking Christ to work in our hearts. Thank you so much for wise thoughts.
Jeannie, I can identify with your kitchen cabinet plant problem. Right now mine is filled with little cups of seeds I am starting for a spring garden. I have them under a grow light because without light they wouldn’t grow. What a great analogy you shared about the light of Christ. The plants give us a visual picture of what He does for us. Thanks for sharing this beautiful truth. Blessing to you my friend!
Blessings to you, Barbara. I love the idea of placing seed cups in the sunlight. I hope your garden thrives and that all of us will thrive in the Light of His presence. I appreciate the wise words you always share.
Amen Ms. Jeannie. It’s those daily, regular doses of interaction with His light, Jesus Christ, that enables our spiritual growth. It’s when we turn away from the light that we too begin to fade and yellow, with the jaundice of sin. Well said author!
J. D., I like your phrase “regular doses of interaction with His light, Jesus Christ.” We know prayer and Bible study are important, but sometimes absorbing truth takes time set aside to listen. Thanks for your faithful comments.
Jeannie, I needed your message today. We’re going through a time of conflict in our church and I need your insight in keeping the Light of God’s Presence in my every interaction with my church family. I look forward to your series to help guide me through the next few weeks. Your prayers are appreciated. Thank you and may God bless you.
Katherine, I prayed for God’s solution for the conflict in your church. That’s disheartening, I know. You’re wise to apply the Light of God’s Presence to interactions with your church family. That’s an important reminder for all of us. God grants us peace, joy, and wisdom so that we can apply it to relationships and honor Him.
Amazing post, Jeannie, and a reminder that I need on a daily basis…. Thank you!
Jan, thank you so much for your kind words. I also need daily reminders to open my heart to God’s Truth. I’m confident His beautiful work in your heart spills over to your students as you teach piano.
Thank you for reminding us not only to seek the light, but to live in it every day. A timely reminder indeed.
Lori, as I read my Bible, I see how much more I need to open my heart to God’s light each day so that He will use His Word to transform me. I appreciate your comment.
What a great analogy Jeannie. I’ve noticed the same thing with my plants but never thought about it for my life. I need more Sonshine in my life daily to grow.
Yvonne, I love your use of “Sonshine.” Since I wrote this post, I’ve been thinking more about His light, and I hope the reminder of the plants continues to keep my focus on Him. I want Him to examine every part of my life and make me more like Jesus. I truly appreciate you affirming comments.
Jeannie, thanks for your insightful post. I love your comparing plants thriving in the sun to ourselves likewise thriving in the “son” ❤️
I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Evelyn. I’m grateful for reminders to open our hearts to God. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.