Summary: Everyone fails. It’s what you do in the midst of that failure whether or not growth will take place.
TITLE: Growing Pain #1: Growing through failure!
SERIES: The Growing Church
TOPIC: Spiritual Growth
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, April 6, 2008
PROP.: Everyone fails. It’s what you do in the midst of that failure whether or not growth will take place.
INTRODUCTION: Hello and welcome! Please take an attendance pad and pass it down your pew!
You’ve no doubt heard the old cliché: No pain, no gain. Some of you may have even experienced this familiar phrase. It’s old. It’s true. Nobody ever escapes pain in the process of growth - not even Christians. From the weightlifter who has sore muscles, to the kid with skinned knees learning to ride his bike; pain is a process of growth. We sometimes forget that in order to become who Christ desires us to be, means that we have to stretch beyond our comfort. It’s that “stretching” that causes pain. It’s not pleasant. Not even a little bit. Our heart will ache. We will at times feel like a colossal failure. But that is not the end! Even Jesus our Lord “learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8)
So I’ve titled this month’s messages: Growing Pains. Because, in order to become the Growing Church, we are going to look at one area that we are called to ‘stretch’. To grow!
Well today, we are going to see that spiritual growth takes place in the times we don’t expect it!
Today, God has called us to:
GROW THROUGH FAILURE
And maybe your saying, well that sounds like fun! Failing is never fun. It not kept in check, our failures can conjure up feelings of inadequacy and self esteem issues.
But, if kept in proper perspective, failure can produce growth!
T.S: How to grow through failure:
Our text is John’s 8th chapter. In this familiar account, I want us to focus our attention on the one we more often than not skip right over! You see, when we read this story, Bible scholars love to talk about the Pharisees and leaders of the Law. They love to talk about what was Jesus writing in the sand. They love to talk about how they were just trying to trap Jesus. Well, today, I want to focus on the adulterous woman! She was a real person, with a big-time failure that was made public!
Lets read the first 4 verses:
1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
The first way to grow through failure is:
1. Admit your failure! (John 8:3,4)
The adulterous woman is not heard denying her actions. In fact, she was guilty. She was caught IN THE ACT OF adultery! Sometimes the best thing to do is to admit your wrong! But often times, the best thing and the hardest thing ends up being the same thing. It’s not easy to admit “hey, I was wrong.”
But when you admit your failure, you have conquered pride! Own your mistakes! Don’t shift the blame. Don’t say: “well it’s not really my fault…”
Listen, this was a lifestyle of sin she was battling! It wasn’t an isolated event! The men knew exactly where to find her and when to find her. And find her they did. They brought her before Jesus.
--(Our failures do have consequences).
Hey listen! I want you to know something else loud and clear. Our failures do have consequences! Notice that she wasn’t trying to get out of what she deserved. You don’t hear her pleading and begging. Or offering up excuses. Her crime deserved death…she was aware of this. The Law made her guilty!
A. (the reality)
HERE’S THE REALITY:
EACH OF US FAIL: Isn’t it funny then that we are often taken by surprise by our own failures? We think to ourselves that failure is something that happens to the other guy.
We each have felt like colossal failures in regards to our own spirituality. We have addictions we can’t shake. We have flaws that we keep secret. We can’t even keep up with our Bible reading! We don’t pray enough. We aren’t nice people. Our thoughts are perverted. Our hearts filled with hate. To sum it up: WE ARE A MESS!
B. (the remedy)
But that’s the beauty of Christianity. It’s not based on how bad of a person I AM. It’s all about how Gracious and merciful God is!
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: The Bible says ADMIT YOUR FAILURES TO GOD!