Summary: Spiritual Growth is important! In this series we’ll use 2 Peter 1 as a blueprint for the areas we are called to continually add to our faith as we grow spiritually. This week: Faith
Growth by Addition
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over isn’t it? As of today there are only 30 days left until we are officially in Fall. For us out here in the desert, that number is probably closer to 90 days right? (Somewhere in December)
I bring this up because we have a tendency to look at autumn or fall as a season of decay or dying off in preparation for winter. Personally, I love the fall! It’s not just the cooler weather, or the changing leaves or harvest festivals, but really more about rebirth. That might sound like spring to you, but think back to when you were a child, and the event that took place every fall—Going back to school!
The fall was a fresh start in schooling—new classes, new challenges, new opportunities for growth! Today we begin a new series titled “Growth by Addition”. Here at Faith Fellowship, Spiritual Growth is very important. If you were here last week, Pastor Geri had you read our Mission Statement, and I’d love to do that again:
It is our mission to serve God by bringing people into a relationship of worship with Jesus that is passionate and genuine allowing them to grow in fellowship, maturity, ministry and a lifestyle of evangelism.
A. Spiritual Growth is Important
I would go as far to say that if you are not growing you are not experiencing the full measure of God’s power in your life.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Growth is so important in the life of the believer. No matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been a believer; we must always be growing.
Think of your spiritual growth in terms of a human birth.
In the prenatal term, God was preparing you for the moment that you would be born into His light—an almost literal “born again” experience! For some of us that was a short term; we accepted Christ as Lord at an early age.
For others, it was like a full 9-month pregnancy. We had to be knocked around by the world, make our own poor choices, but God was authoring it all to work to the moment when we would surrender it all to Him, and in that moment we were then truly Born!
It’s a beautiful picture isn’t it? God loved you long before you loved Him. But here’s the other side of it. Did God author all that just so you could be “born again”, or did God have more in mind for you? The answer is absolutely yes!
We were not meant to be a baby forever! Babies are cute when they’re young, but have you ever been around a person that gets older, but is still a baby? I’m sure you’ve seen them on TV; they’re called celebrities! Not so cute is it?! It’s time to GROW!
B. Spiritual Growth is not Natural
I know we have some golfers in here, but have you ever watched Professional Golfers play? They make it look so simple and easy, it almost seems natural. I mean who hasn’t said, “It’s just hitting a little ball with a metal rod and club right?”
But without any proper training or experience, it’s quite evident how unnatural the sport is to you once you hit the first tee box. What we don’t see are the hours of work and practice that go into honing these skills. It’s the same with any sport: Football, Baseball, Soccer!
You may have a raw natural talent, but if you want to see success you’re going to have to work at it—add to it! Our Spirituality is no different:
2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
I love this passage, not only because it challenges us to grow beyond our initial “Faith”, which we’ll go into deeper momentarily, but it also tells us when we grow we avoid becoming ineffective and unproductive!