Spiritual growth – My Job or God’s

Spiritual Growth – My job or God’s

 

If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.

(We are renewed inwardly day by day.)

 

Pastor George Lehman

 

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying {and} wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.

 

As you look back on the past months, I am certain you experienced highs and lows, you encountered blessings and victories alongside with hardship and heartache.

As you face an uncertain tomorrow be sure that your attitude toward life is providing you with a healthy godly perspective and reflection that is needed for you to finish strong.

Wonderful story – hoping to get a glimpse into history, an interviewer asked an 87-year-old woman, “What was the world like back in your day?”  “Hmph!” she responded, “This is my day!”

I love her attitude.  Instead of being passed focused on the years behind her, the elderly lady’s mindset was on making the most of the day in front of her.

 

We are either progressing or regressing all the while; there is no such thing as remaining stationery in this life.   – Clark

 

 Philippians 2:12-13 (Amp) – Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).  [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

 

Who’s job is sanctification and spiritual growth?

It’s a joint project between us and God.

 

Many people live like its Gods job and by all appearances He is not doing a good job.

 

An Example: The cooperation is like man and the wind directing a sailboat as opposed to the man-driving a speedboat.

 

Growth and sanctification are an established norm – it is not optional.  Our spirit is always being transformed, either by God or by the evil one.

 

Romans 12:2 (Amp) – Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Scripture states that sanctification is God’s will for us.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (Amp) – For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living)

 

The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.  – D.L. Moody

 

Change comes through growth.

 

Paul speaking to the Corinthian church:

1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (Amp) – I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it], For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?

 

It’s God’s intention for us to grow up and live Holy lives.

 

2 Peter 3:18 (Amp) – But grow in grace (undeserved favour, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…

 

Our part of the job:

(who knows, God is fully committed to His part)

#1 It doesn’t come with age.  (I know some old babies)

#2 It doesn’t happen automatically or overnight.

#3 Growth and sanctification takes time, obedience, commitment and energy and effort (descending into growth).

 

Signs of a maturing, growing disciple; doing their job well.

 

Their sense of sin is deeper.

Not just any old life is acceptable.
Psalm 19:14 (NIV) – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight…

 

Their faith is stronger.

They endure, are steadfast and patient.
James 1:3 (Amp) – Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

 

Their hope is brighter.

Hebrews 6:11 (Ampl) – But we do (strongly and earnestly) desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity (all the way through) in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development (your) Hope until the end.

 

Their love is more extensive.

There’s a genuineness about a growing disciple – the way they love.
1 John 4:7 (LB) – Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God… And that they are getting to know Him better.

 

There is a clear mark of self-control and spiritual- mindedness.

Galatians 5:23 (Amp) – The fruit the Spirit produces in us is self-control.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:13 (Amp) – And as for you, brethren, do not become weary[moeg/sat] or lose heart in doing right (but continue in well-doing without weakening).

 

Doing the right thing for a short while will not bring the godly growth you need to finish strong.

 

To God alone are we accountable for our growth and sanctification.  Therefore, it is before Him and in His presence that we must stand for a
Spiritual Evaluation.

Growth and Holiness matters.

 

2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (Amp) – Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him.

For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].

 

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