Summary: Spiritual Growth
Growing Leaps and Bounds in Your Walk With God.
Dr. Michael Pope HEB 12:1-2
Theme: Maturity and Spiritual Growth:
A young man used to dive for exotic fish for aquariums. He said one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.
That also happens to some Christians. Churches have some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in the confines of their own little circles feeling safe and secure. But the way to grow in the Lord is put them into a larger arena--into the whole of God’s creation--only then can they become greatly used by God. Charles Simpson.
I. HEB 12:1 MATURITY BEGINS WITH A LOOK UNTO SALVATION: Isaiah 45:21-23 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
a. We Look for Acknowledgement from the Father – We can receive ack in two ways:
1) By Answered Prayer
a) Prayer of Salvation: RM 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL be save.”
b) Prayer for Sanctification: PS 6:7-8 “Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.”
2) With a Fresh Anointing: Ex: of Apostles prayer in a time of persecution Acts 4:29-31 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.”
Jer 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
b. We Look for Acceptance from the Father – Eph: 1:6 “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
c. We Look for Assurance from the Father – John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
“You won’t be truly free to serve until you are fully assured you are truly saved”. MPope
TWO BASIC THINGS WE LOOK FOR IN ASSURANCE:
1) We want to know we are truly FORGIVEN; 1JN 1:9 “If we confess our sings, He is faithful an just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Difference between CONDEMNATION and CONVICTION: “you feel like running, but no place to hide”.
2) We want to Know we are truly in His FAMILY.
1 Jn 5:12-13 “He that hath the Son hath life; he who does not have the Son of God hath not life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.”
(PS 121: 1-2; “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”) ; PS 123:1 “Unto You I lift up my eyes O You who dwell in the heavens”;
Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Micah 7:6-8
II. MT 16:24 MATURITY BUILDS ON A LIFE OF SANCTIFICATION:
Alan Redpath: "The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime."
MT 16:24 “If anyone desires o come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”.
Jesus said: MT 13:8: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”
a. Taste - Fellowship: Psalm 34:7-9 O taste and see that the Lord is good:
b. Trust - Find that God does all things well;