Summary: This is a sermon about moving your life beyond the place where you came in at the door.
(1) In The Last Days Newsletter, Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" "Nope", The old man replied, "only
We don’t start out as as mature adults! We start out as babies; as infants. We eventually crawl, and then walk, and over years of time and nurturing, we
grow-up, and one day find ourselves maturing in an adult world. As infants we are first feed milk, maybe breast-milk, or formula, and eventually we graduate to strained food "yummy" (open up - mmmmmmmmm - the airplane is coming in), and after developing some teeth we eventually sink them into some beef.
Likewise, we don’t start out as "spiritual giants", but rather our first expression of faith as Christians is that much more like a toddler, or that
of David rather than Goliath. The is an innocence to our faith as children, which is likely why Jesus refered to us as coming to Him "as little
children". In child-like simple faith. But so too in our spiritual journey we begin to be fed on the milk." In fact 2 Peter 2:2 reminds us that "as
newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby".
In other words our Christian life should be one that perpetuates growth in Christ. (2) P.T. Forsyth has scathing words for long term religious people
for whom the Christian life is not a school of constant inward growth: "How is it that the experiance of life is so often barren of spiritual culture
for religious people? The become stoic and stalwart, but not humble; they have ken sight, but no insight... At sixty they are, spiritually, much where they were at twenty-six."
When I used to go home to Ohio to see my High School friend John, I knew right where to look. The little tavern on main Street right next to the
railroad tracks. If I wanted to see John, that’s where I would go. If he wasn’t there, wait! or circle back. Time after time, same old John, same old place, same old routine. "How many kids you got now, John?" "You mean ones that I claim?". "What are you doing with your life John?" "Do you mean besides working at the Glass Factory and coming to the bar, well and having
kids with who knows how many women?" ... You get my point! After a couple of years of visiting, I stopped visiting. Last I heard, though I think John finally got married, but not much else, has changed."
But what happens when there is no growth? What happens when overtime we do not mature? When we remain in the same condition were were last year, or twenty years or longer ago? Especially when we accept Christ, but years
later our lives are no diffreent? Still enaged in sin; still in the same old affair; still devoid of a meaningful prayer life; still don’t pick up the
Bible but only get a drink of milk when the Pastor or someone else reads a Scripture; still don’t meditate, or do Bible Study.
(3) Kierkegaard suggest that "to become a Christian... when one is a Christian of a sort". I think that means when "you have not moved past being a Christian in name only, a bay Christian. "to become a Christian... when one is a Christian of a sort," there is no instrument that is so directly designed to this purpose as the practice of private prayer." Teres of Avila insisted, "I am convinced that the gate by which we eneter the castle is prayer and meditation." and "Prayer is the mortar that holds our house
together". Prayer and meditation on the pure milk of the word is the thing that grows us and shapes us. And yet for many of us, prayer life is the one
thing we seem to be lacking.
(4) "There is an old story of an Arab and an Englishman who proposed to race their horses against each other. All went well until the length of the race
was being agree upon. The Englishman proposed a race of an hour, but the Arab would accept nothing less than three days, insisting that an hour’s
race would reveal nothing whatsoever of the stamina of the horse! In a striking way enduring faithfulness in prayer reveals the stamina of a Christian!"
(5) John Wesley said "Whether you like it or no, read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is no other way: else you will be a trifler all your days... Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer." It comes a time when to grow up, one must leave the baby formula, the milk, and begin to consume the meat of the faith,