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Three Ways to Hinder Your Spiritual Growth

(49)

Sermon shared by Hal Seed

September 2012
Summary: The Parable of the Soils describes four ways to respond to God. Three of them hinder spiritual growth. In this parable Jesus is saying, "You must take responsiblity for your personal spiritual growth."
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Audience: General adults
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you can respond and do what He says. Every day you must choose. You must take personal responsibility for your spiritual growth and your spiritual responsiveness to God.” This is God’s word to you.

I walked my small group through this parable this week. We had a very stimulating discussion on taking personal responsibility for our spiritual growth. At the end of it, I asked, “So, where would you rate yourself right now on a scale of 1-10 on how firmly you have been taking responsibility for your own spiritual growth these days.” One of the guys spoke up and said, “I think I’ve been coasting. I’d rate myself a 5 or 6.” A second one said, “I’d put myself at a 7.” The third and the fourth said the same thing. But then one at a time, guys started pointing out the decisions someone else had made to up their spiritual life. I pointed out that the 5-6 guy has actually make huge strides in his commitment to prayer recently. Another guy pointed out that the 7 guy just committed to using his shepherding gifts to start a Fireproof Small Group. A third one is joining a Fireproof group. – And I suspect if you were to benchmark yourself this morning, you’d probably go that way to. You’d have to admit that you haven’t exactly had your foot all the way on the accelerator of your spiritual life, but so many of you have made decisions to up your personal responsibility by signing commitment cards, like we did a few weeks ago, or signing up for leading or attending a small group, that I believe we’re a church that is heading upward towards greater and greater spiritual maturity.

Which raises the question, if we’re going to take responsibility for our spiritual growth, what does full spiritual maturity look like? What are we shooting for anyway? Does it mean that we can recite a lot of verses from the Bible? Does it mean that we could give the sermon on Sunday?

The Bible gives us a picture of full spiritual maturity. It’s Jesus, on the Cross. Having been beaten and nailed there to die, He looks at His assailants, and then He looks up to heaven, and He says, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”

When Jesus said that, I don’t think He struggled to get the words out. I don’t think He said it begrudgingly. I think it was the natural overflow of His heart. Jesus had walked so closely with His Father, had been so responsive to God’s words and promptings, that thinking of others, serving others, looking out for their welfare, acting like God does, just came naturally to Him.

How does that kind of spiritual maturity come to us?

It comes by reading about it in the Bible, so we begin to think like God. And thinking about God’s ways, which is called, “Meditation.”
It comes from studying the Bible with others, so it’s reinforced to us through them.
It comes from serving, and giving, and praying, and attending church.
How do you get there?
The Spiritual Disciplines (explain how this works – it works into your thinking, then
Comments and Shared Ideas
Rudy Whitaker
September 24, 2009
an you send me th liy you reference on growing spiritually, so I may putin our bulletin?

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