Summary: Growing in Jesus love is a key part of our lives as a Christian. In the sermon we explore what growing is Jesus love involves, what it means for us and how it affects our lives.
Today we are exploring what it means to grow in the love of Jesus.
When we look at the dictionary for the meaning of growing words like bigger, more, larger, taller, healthier and living pop up.
Now throughout our lives there will be times when we want to be growing.
But there are also times for some of us because we are at an age where we don’t want to grow in some parts of our lives.
We don’t need or want bigger houses.
We don’t want bigger families.
We don’t want growing bodies.
But there are two areas in our lives where God calls us to be always growing.
He calls us to be growing numerically as church, as a Christian community.
When Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
This is a call to be involved in activities that help more people to be connected to God.
And if more people are being connected to God that means God’s church is growing.
It is good to have a priority of being involved in activities that connect people to God and His love.
We are also called to be growing spiritually in our relationship with Jesus…
2 Peter chapter 3 verse 18 says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen”
Now this is more than just growing in our knowledge of Jesus, by filling our heads with facts about Jesus.
It is also about growing in Jesus’ way of life.
For each of us to grow as a Christian
growing in God’s grace and love is important.
I have once heard it said that, “God’s love is the fertiliser of our life”
And for us to be growing in God’s grace and love the starting point is for us to be spending time regularly with God.
One day Mary who was 75 was asked by her friend and next door neighbour, Josephine, who was 71, “why do you bother making so much effort to go to church, at my age I can’t be bothered.”
Mary’s response was, “I love my church and what I really love is coming together with a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds as we discover more about God, ourselves and others. Almost every week I am discovering something new.”
Mary saw how important it was for her to be regularly spending time with God and His community.
Take a moment to think about how you are regularly spending time with God and His community.
Do you need to be more intentional about this?
Intentionally spending time with God is a good start,
but to grow in God’s grace and love we also need to be open to God being a God of grace and love.
That may sound a little strange….
but not everyone sees God as primarily a God of grace and love.
It is true that God is not just about grace and love,
but grace and love is behind everything He does.
So for us it is important that we develop and have an attitude of listening carefully to God,
This involves allowing Him and His grace and love to inform and shape us.
As we hear in Isaiah chapter 64 verse 8
Yet you, LORD, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Francis Chan in His book Crazy Love,
begins with a chapter that I initially didn’t like when I read it because it says stop praying.
But as I read the chapter further I began to see what He was saying in order to pray well, worship well and live as a Christian well
…we need to grasp who we are praying to, worshipping and living for…
He emphasises that this is why an ongoing constant close relationship with God is essential.
The more we are open to God, the greater understanding we will have on what He really is about.
And so the reality is the more we are open to God
….the better our prayer life, our worship life and our lives overall will become.
Now this happens not because we are doing things perfectly,
in fact we probably will never reach that point,
but because we are growing in relationship with God
…and we are allowing this relationship to affect us and our understanding of Him.
Our reading from Ephesians chapter 3 highlights this. Listen again to verses 16 to 19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.