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Summary: God has given us an amazing gift in the Bible. God’s desire is that we would feed upon His Word, grow spiritually, and become more like His Son, Jesus.

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CHURCH, IT’S TIME TO GROW UP!

(January 2008 – Beausejour Church)

INTRODUCTION: The title of my message for today is “Church, it’s time to grow up!”

- Israel in wilderness – 40 years to make an 11 day journey to Promised Land: God said: “You have stayed at this mount long enough. It is time to break camp and move on.” (Deut. 1:6-7).

- Picture a hamster running on a wheel – going in circles, not getting anywhere? Can you relate to that? Are you in the same place spiritually you were a year ago? Do you want to change?

KEY TEXT: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

“But Jesus answered and said, "It is written, ’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

ILLUSTRATION: BREAKING IN BABY BY DAVE BERRY:

• There is a parallel between physical growth and the spiritual growth of a Christian.

We have a son who began as a baby and has successfully reached the age of three without becoming an axe murderer, as far as we know. Thus we are eminently qualified to tell you how to bring up your baby. Here’s my advice.

Taking Your New Baby Home. There’s nothing quite like the moment a young couple leaves the hospital, walking with that characteristic new-parent walk that indicates an obsessive fear of dropping the baby on its head. Finally, it’s just the three of you on your own!

The Basic Baby Mood Cycle. All babies settle into this once they get over being born. Mood Number 1 – Just About To Cry, Mood Number 2, Crying, Mood Number 3; Just Finished Crying. Your job is to keep your baby in Mood 3 as much as possible. Here is the traditional way to do this. When the baby starts to cry, you and your spouse just pass it back and forth repeatedly and recite these words in unison, “Do you suppose he’s hungry?” “He can’t be hungry, he just ate.” “Maybe he needs to be burped.” “No, that’s not it.” “Maybe his diaper needs to be changed.” “No, it’s dry.” “Do you think maybe he’s hungry?” And so on, and so on, until the baby can’t stand it anymore and decides to go to sleep.

Baby’s First Solid Food. We’re using the term “food” loosely here. What we’re talking about are those little jars on store shelves with the smiling baby on the label and names like Prunes With Mixed Vegetables. Babies hate this stuff! Who wouldn’t? The way babies eat food is by absorbing it directly into their bloodstream through their faces. So, the most efficient way to feed a baby is to smear the food on its chin. Unfortunately, many inexperienced parents insist on putting the food into the baby’s mouth. They put in spoonful after spoonful of say, beets, sincerely believing they are doing something constructive when, in fact, the beets are merely going around the baby-food-return loop, which all humans are equipped with until the age of 18 months. After the parents finish feeding the baby, they remove the bib and clean up the area. That’s when baby starts to spew beets from his mouth, like a little beet volcano until his face is covered with beets which he can then absorb.

THE BIG IDEA: God has given us an amazing gift in the Bible. God’s desire is that we would feed upon His Word, grow spiritually, and become more like His Son, Jesus.

“11 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, 13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16).

• When we grow up, we become healthy and full of love – just like Jesus.

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