Growing as a Christian

As a Christian you not only need knowledge of what you believe and why but you also need to have resources to grow as a Christian.  If you are a Christian are you growing?  Do you find yourself at the same maturity level in your walk and knowledge level on Biblical subjects as where you were a year ago?  If so, you’re probably not growing.  If you feel that you are not growing, ask yourself; what are you studying, reading, watching, and listening to?  Remember the acronym G.I.G.O.?

 "Garbage In, Garbage Out" 

 

Here’s another great quote about our growing as Christians,

"Limited growth leads to stunted usefulness"

A friend of mine who plays guitar mentioned that he needs to practice an hour a day to stay at the level of proficiency he is at.  He said that if he wants to improve, he needs to practice two hours a day.  Again, if we want to improve at anything, we must make a determined effort.  If we are doing this for God, He will bless our efforts.

 

As Christians, we will never exhaust the knowledge we can learn, and since God is eternal I believe it will take all eternity to learn of Him.  One of my greatest anticipations when I pass from this life, is to gain a great memory too!

As Christians we usually gain the greatest satisfaction when we are in the will of God, and being used by Him.  Jay Wegter emphasizes in “Every Man’s Battle” Pt1 at 51:12 the character and qualities of the person God will use. 

Every Man’s Battle  -  Jay Wegter

Pt1www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=32008027544

 

Since this recording is focused specifically on pornography and men, the audience he was speaking to when this was recorded was men.  While this recording was originally given to an audience of men, women to can benefit from the characteristics he indicates and illustrations he uses.  Jay quotes 2 Timothy 2:21-22,

2 Timothy 2:21-22 “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.  So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

Jay states, “God wants to use you, but God uses clean vessels.  And perhaps some of you could be more useful if you were more clean”.

Jay then recalls while he was in Bible College he shared a house with four other men.  He mentions a time when he was very thirsty and went to get a drink of water.  He found every glass was dirty in a sink of greasy water.  He then went to the cupboard and found a clean peanut butter jar and used that to drink water.  Jay used this experience to effectively illustrate how God will pass on using someone who might seem to us the most logical person, and instead use another person, if the first person is contaminated with the filth of this world.  God will use the most humble Christian, if they are serious about being cleansed from the filth of this world, so that they can be:

“a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work”

Have you thought of how God views you and your life, and if He would consider you a vessel for honorable use as indicated by the 2 Timothy verse?  Ask yourself, are you the clean peanut butter jar or a dirty greasy water glass?

Something else to think about concerning being used of God.  Often we can find the distractions of the world and certain events affecting our focus as to the reason for our activities.  I’m adding this paragraph less than two weeks before Christmas and was reminded by our pastor’s sermon this morning how we can get distracted by the sheer business of our lives, and lose our focus.

Especially during the Christmas season where we should be focused on the birth of Christ, we are so often caught up in the commercialism of the season and the bright lights and decorations found everywhere.  How easy it is for us to lose sight of the “reason for the season”, and become distracted.  How often we fail to keep Christ primary in our thoughts and motivations.  Do you find yourself caught up in activities which make you feel that you are being productive, but in reality, your activity has no spiritual significance? What are the reasons for the things that we are doing during this season, and all throughout the year?

I hope these sites will provide you with great tools to grow in your Christian life.

www.growingchristians.org

www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/growing-in-christ.htm

www.desiringgod.org

https://bible.org/series/abcs-christian-growth-laying-foundation

www.knowing-jesus.com

www.worldwidechallenge.org/stories/christian-growth

www.gospel.com/topics/christian+growth

www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/sermons-about-christian-growth.asp

 

Paul Washer:  (there are many links to other great sermons by Paul Washer)

The Importance of Prayer for Christians

www.youtube.com/watch?v=53P-L7wu4h0

Do you see God working on your life?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxzRXb0fHik

Do You Bear Fruit? (John 15)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbeT5Aef0_I

 

YouTube Channels To Help You Grow

I happened upon these YouTube channels of some younger dynamic Christians who I believe you will be edified and motivated by.

Jefferson Bethke

www.youtube.com/user/bball1989

Clayton Jennings

www.youtube.com/user/claytonjenningsdtcom

Jon Jorgensen

www.youtube.com/user/TheAnimaSeries

 

Too many believe that God will make our lives happy simply because we are Christians and have accepted Christ. It is important to remember that God’s goal for our lives is holiness and not specifically happiness.  When you consider the idea of happiness, what is it that makes you happy?  Before we were Christians, our selfish wants are typically what brought us happiness.  If you are a Christian, your heart and desires should be being changed by God so that what brings you happiness is what brings God happiness.  We will be more excited seeing His will accomplished then our own. 

Psalm 37:4-5  "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act."

 

I used to think this verse meant that the Lord would give me “the desires of my heart”, give me what I wanted.  I believe a better understanding is the teaching that I’ve heard on this verse, that if we commit ourselves to God, He will give us new desires to replace our selfish ones.

God wants the life of a Christian to be holy, and he is willing to use circumstances which cause pain and discomfort in our lives, if necessary, to bring that holiness.  Our happiness should be the result of the holiness we are developing through God working in our lives.  Our happiness is achieved through our growing in knowledge of Jesus and our growing in a relationship with Him.

 Leviticus 11:45   “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body”.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;”

Developing the Heart of a God Pleaser - Stephen L. Foster, Jr.

https://books.google.com/books?id=7etD5IBzwfAC&pg=PR18&lpg=PR18&dq=%2B%22zig+ziglar%22+being+cut+off+in+traffic&source=bl&ots=klAIjq-3I5&sig=49apbIOEsn04QU46P1ysKdNBhKM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS34jI9vXKAhVU02MKHU37B9AQ6AEIMjAE#v=onepage&q=%2B%22zig%20ziglar%22%20being%20cut%20off%20in%20traffic&f=false

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