Summary: Third in a series through Colossians
OPEN: We continuing this morning in a series of messages called GROW. Our Christian life should be one that perpetuates growth in Christ. After we enter into a relationship with our God -- He desires for us to grow and mature in our faith -- yet that process can be so difficult and almost illusive for so many people.
Growth is a natural response to what God is doing in our lives.
Seed that falls on good soil produces growth. If God the Father is watching over you and sovereignly guiding you to accomplish His Will and God the Son has died, rose again and is know sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you, God the Holy Spirit has taken residence inside of you counseling, comforting, instructing and reminding and empowering you, there will be growth. In fact when you think about it -- if those things are true -- and Scripture declares that they are -- then how could there not be growth? This is one of those basic fundamental lessons that is taught to us in so many places in the Scripture. "But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matt. 13:23)
Growth or the lack of growth has always been a major concern for much of the New Testament. We don't start out 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 or formula, and eventually we graduate to strained food and after developing some teeth we eventually sink them into some beef. Now it would seem absurd to have a grown adult who enjoys eating baby food, right? I know there will be a mom out there who says, "Hey, I like baby food." -- but my guess is that it's not actually on the menu for dinner tonight. Imagine me bringing up an adult on the platform and putting a bib on them and spoon feeding strained peas and pureed prunes and strained spinach. (Open up - here's come the little choo choo train) That would be ridiculous right? It would be sad situation if the adult enjoyed it. When there is a lack of maturity and growth, it's an indication that something is dramatically wrong. Last week we looked at three areas the saints in the Colossae were growing: Faith, Love and hope. Today we are going to look at two addition areas of growth: Growing in what is being produced in our lives. Growing in our knowledge of the Lord.
Sometimes in spite of everything that God has done for us -- people chose not to grow.
We've talked it about it before -- but an interesting thing about some Christians is growth is not something that is always embraced. Interestingly, there are groups of people in the Bible who are chastised for not growing -- for not maturing. The Corinthians were one group. (1 Cor. 3:1-3) Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. "Indeed, you are still not ready." You are still worldly.
The writer of Hebrews had the same issue:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb. 5:11-14)
You have the strange ability to either choose to grow or not. Even though the principle of growth is built into your faith in Jesus Christ - even though it is God's will that you continue to grow -- you can still choose to circumvent His plan and just stay at a low level of maturity. Sometimes in spite of everything that God has done for us -- people chose not to grow.
Ill. - Can you imagine a redwood tree saying, "I'd just rather remain a little bush"? That would seem insane, right? I want to put up on the screen some pictures of redwood trees. They are truly magnificent. My oldest daughter and her husband were married at the foot of redwood that is over 2000 years old. (It is possible that tree was on earth during the time of Christ!) Some of these trees can stretch 250-300 feet tall. Some of them you can drive a car through. Amazing, isn't it? The tallest one on record is 379 feet tall. That's as tall as a forty story building.