Summary: The Importance for us to keep growing in our spiritual lives, it’s a must.

"Growing in the Truth"

Col. 2:1-5

Feb. 21st, 2010

Colossians 1:1-7

COL 2:1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

COL 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Last week I told you that the Apostle Paul was in a fight, a spiritual battle for these young Christians, he uses that same language in our passage this morning, he tells these believers that he is “struggling” for them. He is struggling for them in prayer, that God’s purpose would be realized in their lives.

The English word “agony” comes from the Greek term translated “conflict” in this verse. Paul loved them, and it sounds like he was in distress over them, and the possibility of their relapse into their former sinful ways. Paul did not want them to stagnate, but to mature in their faith.

If you have children, then you understand this word, “agony”. You understand what it means to “struggle” for your children in prayer. Those times when you sense something is going on, those times when you see a rebellious spirit beginning to take hold, those times when they are sick, or when they are hurt by others….you know what I’m talking about….those times when you don’t know what to do, except pray. And when you pray, you struggle for them, you intercede for them, you are going to God on their behalf, you are asking God for their protection, your asking God for your sanity….amen?

Just a couple points I want to make sure that you can take hold of before you leave here this morning…. Just as Paul struggled, and agonized for his church…..

1. Your Pastor Loves you and Prays for you, every week.

I want you to know that I think about everyone of you every week. I don’t just think about you, I pray for you specifically. God has called me to be a pastor….. But YOU are the reason I stay here….. I can carry out God’s call on my life just about anywhere, preaching the Word of God. But this morning, I want you to know….. I choose you, I choose to pray for you, I choose to share my life, my family, my passion for Jesus Christ with you. I want to win Clarksville hand in hand with you.

On Tuesday of this week, I am going to stand before the District Advisory board and tell them the same thing. We may not be where we thought we would be, but we are not done! And more importantly, God is not done…. Amen.

After what I heard last night at Celebrate Recovery, God whispered….that is what we are all about! Winning people by loving them just as they are. But it’s more than just getting people to accept Jesus, that’s just the 1st step, we need to help our people grow, learn, develop as Christ Followers, Fully equipped and ready to serve, growing in their maturity, in their desire to serve God.

Look what Paul says in verse 2: 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, ..

As your pastor, I pray that you will be encouraged in your heart…. Encouraged in your Faith… encouraged in to keep digging into God’s Word. We need to encourage each other to not be satisfied with where we are spiritually, but to keep moving forward, stepping out of our comfort zone, keep pushing our faith into new areas.

I’m having fun coaching these 6th grade boys in basketball. To be honest, I didn’t think I would ever say that after last year. Coaching girls is so much easier, they actually listen. Coaching boys is like herding cats, have you ever tried that? We are doing pretty good this year, last year we took our medicine and only one 3 games….This year we are undefeated. My challenge now is to make the boys understand that we still need to improve and keep growing, because the other teams are chasing us and they will catch us if we just keep doing what we’ve been doing.

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