Summary: Spiritual growth is the process of training to live like X

Sermon 4/18/04-The Life You’ve Always Wanted: A Life of Phenomenal Growth

Hook: Play training montage clip from Rocky movie ending with Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Turn to I Cor. 9:24-27

Training-to arrange your life around certain exercises and experiences that will enable you to do eventually what you are not yet able to de even by trying hard.

Rocky-training to become the best boxer in the world, beat Apollo Creed, couldn’t do it with out training

Wrestling-Jr. High 3 friends, 7th grade, went out for wrestling

3 pinees. Worked hard, trained, ran, lifted weights, practiced daily after school, by the next year varsity wrestler

Guitar-first ministry, no music, no skills wanted to play-found a guitar taught myself to play 1-2 hours a day for 6 months before I could stand in front of a group and play a basic song

Without proper training there are some things that you can not do well.

One of those things is becoming like Christ.

This morning talk about the process of spiritual growth and see that

“Spiritual growth is the process of training to live like X”

(concept first realized from a study the college group did by John Ortberg-Fully Devoted)


Read I Cor. 9:24-27

Vivid example for the Corinthians-Corinth was the location for the Isthmian Games, which took place every 2 years. Just needed to look around and see athletes training for these games & know that any athlete hoping to do their best engaged in strict training. It didn’t just happen, they saw these athletes training every day to do their best.

Paul knew that the process of living like X would not happen just because he tried really hard to be Xlike, If he was going to live a Xlike life, Paul knew that he would have to train & prepare himself

That life of spiritual training is simply making sure that in our life we engage in practices, experiences and relationships that will help us do eventually by training what we can not do now just by trying hard.

4 ways that we can be in training spiritually

1.Study-Awana-aproved workmen are not ashamed

II Tim. 2:15- “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

-Read-not just to acquire knowledge, read for transformation, as you read ask how God want to use His word to change you, form you make you more like X

-Memorize-Ps. 119:11-Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee-

-Meditation-simply the practice of sustained attention-focus on a verse-allow God to use His truth to change you from the inside out- “The Lord is my shepherd”-what would that mean for the God the universe to be my shepherd? How would today, with all it’s trouble and worry, be different if I really believed that?

2. Prayer and Solitude-Christ

Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”

X regularly spent time away alone in prayer, especially at the most hectic times of ministry or before major decisions/ministry periods (beginning of ministry, choosing disciples, crucifixion). When life gets to hectic, when major decisions are looming, take time to pray, take time to be alone w/ God & hear His still small voice. Allow Him to speak to you.

3. Trials-

James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

-Everyday is a spiritual experience

-ask yourself in the things you encounter daily- “How can this moment train me?”

-sitting in traffic-exercise in patience

-cleaning house-training in gratitude, thank God for daily provision

-mowing lawn, yard work-worship God praise Him for His creation

When hard times come-ask what is God trying to teach me through this, how is He trying to make me more like Him.

Look for opportunities to be stretched out of your comfort zone-training to depend on God

2 intentional choices I’ve made=2 of the times of greatest spiritual growth



4. Meeting with other believers.

Heb. 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

Look for opportunities to be with other believers

-small groups-accountability, encouragement

-Sunday mornings-worship, teaching, fellowship

Just 4 ways that we can train to become like X. Ways that we can come to God and allow Him to change us. All involve being stretched. Going beyond where we are today, Allowing God to make us who He wants us to be, more like X.

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