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Summary: Traits of Babies: fussy, cranky, want pacifier, throw fits, want sweets, wear diaper -- is what many Christians resemble. God wants us to grow up. Here's 5 tips to gaining maturity in Christ.

5 KEYS TO GROW UP INTO CHRIST

BURLY IN GROWTH

Eph. 4:11-13

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: Elon Musk Jokes

1. Conversation between a guy and a salesperson during the new Tesla roadster drive test..."Excuse me, sir, I see on the specs that the new Tesla roadster comes standard with a defibrillator. Why is that?” "Are you ready to hear the price?"

2. Why did the kangaroo join Elon Musk’s space program? He wanted to be a Mars-supial.

3. Why did the Audi laugh so hard at the Tesla's joke?

He didn't hear it coming!

4. If you move to Mars and get a divorce, what do you call your former spouse? Your “space-x.”

B. BIG IDEA: BURLY SERIES

God wants us to be burly for Jesus!

“Burly” is defined as ‘strong and muscular; stout; sturdy.’ Synonyms are “strapping, stocky, brawny, thickset, beefy, hefty.”

The Urban Dictionary adds “MUST HAVE FACIAL HAIR.”

C. CONTEST: Call up men with beards 3 inches long (that don’t mind participating). Have them stand at the front and have the crowd decide which one has the best beard. Could have a ‘Viking’ category, or a ‘Santa Claus,’ or a ‘lumberjack’ beard. Present a $25 gift card to the winner!

D. BURLY LADIES

1. Now some of you ladies may be saying to yourselves, “What can this series possibly have to do with me since it involves burly men?” But this term can also apply to women because the central definition of burly is: “strong and muscular.”

2. And I’ve known a lot of ladies who were more SPIRITUALLY STRONG than most Christian men I’ve known. Would you agree? That’s what this series is driving at: God wants us to be burly for Jesus! So we’re talking about spiritual strength.

3. The Bible says, Luke 1:80, “And the child (John) grew and became strong in spirit…” Luke 2:40, “And the child (Jesus) grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” GOD WANTS US TO GROW AND BECOME STRONG IN HIS SPIRIT!

I. THE NEED TO GROW UP INTO CHRIST

A. DEFINITION OF MATURE

1. TEXT: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:11-13.

2. We’re supposed to grow up into Christ, Verse 13, "to become mature," is the Greek word ‘teleios, which means’

a. "having completed natural growth and development;" or

b. "having attained a final or desired state."

3. For the Christian, this means to move through all the various stages of spiritual development until we arrive at the final, desired state of being like Jesus.

4. Paul referred to some of the Corinthian Christians as "Babes" in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1-4). They were definitely spiritually born-again, but hadn't advanced in to maturity yet.

5. Now I really love babies, but I don't want them to stay babies forever. If a baby doesn't grow up, that's abnormal and parents should be concerned. It's the same spiritually!

B. CHARACTERISTICS OF BABIES

1. They don't want their stomachs empty but full all the time. They are self-centered and they think the world revolves around them.

2. Fussy, cranky (do you know anybody like that?)

3. They require a pacifier -- Special attention -- to keep them happy. One of our children, when they were being dropped off at a daycare and had to surrender their pacifier, would say, “Um, um, um, um, um,” enjoying their pacifier to the last time. Quitting a pacifier is about as hard as to stop smoking!

4. They throw a fit if they don't get their own way! Lay down kicking, running in place, pulling their own hair -- thinking their hurting you!

5. VIDEO: KIDS THROWING TEMPER TANTRUMS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI0ae4MHutE

6. They want everything they see. (Hello?) Materialistic!

7. They refuse to eat what's good for them (throw their food, splatter mats).What’s good for us is self-denial, to serve others, to work in the Kingdom, etc.

8. They have to wear a diaper because they're not "house trained." It only takes three weeks to house train a dog, but takes three years for humans.

a. Someone has said, "A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house."

b. A lady with difficult children was asked, "If you could, would you have children again?" She answered, "Yes, just not the same ones."

II. 5 PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

A. NO GROWTH: IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN

1. One of our children, when he was still a baby, began to lose weight. We took him to Texas Children’s Hospital and after examination, they diagnosed him as having “Failure to Thrive” syndrome. That is a catch-all title that there’s something hindering a child’s growth.

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