Summary: This sermon is about God’s expectation that all believers will grow in Christ.
Growth Is Not An Option
Come go with me on a trip for a moment on a pastoral visit to Louise’s house.. What would you think if I told you that when I went to Louise’s house I had a chance to meet her son for the first time. The fellow came crawling around the room with a blue bib around his neck with the words “Mama’s little boy” written on it.
He had a big diaper on real tight and a bottle in his mouth. When Louise saw him crawling around the corner, she smiled and said, “aw look at my little baby boy”. Her boy John smiled at me with barely a tooth in his mouth. He said, ga, ga, goo goo. Now what if I told you that her little boy as she called him. Now what do you think as you look at this boy and realize he has to be at least 16 years old.
How many of you very quickly come to the conclusion, something is wrong with this boy and something is wrong with Louise and if I don’t leave the house something is probably going to go wrong for me. We recognize something is wrong with John, because he’s been doing the same thing for the past 16 years. He’s been a baby for sixteen years. Now the first year of his life all of this was normal but not now. Something is wrong with Louise, for accepting John’s lack of growth as something normal She is content with having a 16 year old baby boy.
Now we know that if something is alive, it is suppose to grow. Growth is not an option for something that’s living. If it’s alive it’s going to grow. That’s part of the process. Now in this illustration, it’s easy to recognize that something is wrong with John and Louise. But do you know it’s very easy to allow John and Louise to become an acceptable part of us in our spiritual lives.
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we are born again. Now if something is born, then we expect it to grow. At first like John, we have others around us to help us in our growth process , but at some point, we have to make some decisions on our own to begin to grow spiritually.
We have to say, “I’m not putting on any more diapers. I want some panties or underwear to wear. I’m not sucking any more bottles, give me a glass to drink from. I’m not crawling on my knees anymore. I want to get up and walk, skip, hop, jog and run. I refuse to be a baby any longer.”
Now on Saturday the 13th, we are going to have our Spiritual Growth Conference, on Pushing To A Higher Level, Four Habits To Success. In it we will learn practical ways to move from where we are, into a deeper and growing relationship to God. God is not like Louise. God loves us far more than Louise did John, because God wants us to experience all of life, and not simply the first stage of life. God is not happy with us just being Christian babies. Let’s read Hebrews 5:12-14 together:
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Everybody that God calls is given an assignment. Growth is not an option for children of God, it is a requirement. It is more than just an expectation on the church’s part, it is a commandment from God. Even in our purpose statement, there is a process of growth which has to take place. The first part states, that our purpose is to bring people into a right relationship with God. At that point they are baby Christians.
But the next part of our purpose is to equip them for the ministry of Jesus Christ. In our New Testament verse, it spoke of equipping the saints. The word equip means to make right, like the setting of a broken bone, or to bring to completion by training or restoring.
Suppose you fell down the steps and broke your leg. What happens if you get to the hospital, and you refuse to allow the doctors to treat your broken leg? If you do not allow the doctors to equip your body for repair, your leg may heal itself over time, but you will never be able to use it as effectively as you would have had you submitted yourself to the doctors orders.