Sermons

Summary: A message for looking into the New Year with a determination to move to the next level in your spiritual life.

Moving On from the Status Quo

Philippians 3:12-16

December 31, 2006

On an episode of “CSI” the star quarterback was murdered at his 10-year high school reunion.

The whole episode was a study in long-held attitudes, reputations, and grudges.

One of the saddest aspects of the show was that some of the people had never grown up since graduating 10 years before.

They were as immature as ever, and in once case that boiled over into murder.

In 2000 Debra and I went to an all-school reunion that my high school had in Mission, SD.

Don’t worry – nobody was murdered. I lived in a rough town, but murder was pretty rare.

It was my 18th year since graduating, but my school doesn’t do the 10-year thing, they just do it for the whole school every five years.

Well, we were in line to register, and one of my classmates got in line behind me. We caught up with what’s been going on in our lives, and had a good visit.

But the question running through my mind was this: would my classmates and others see me for who I was back in high school, or would they see me for who I was now – 18 years later.

The reason for my thinking was that in spite of the fact that I thought I was pretty cool in high school, the fact of the matter was that I was really a rather immature person, and that carried over into college and then some.

I had hurt some people’s feelings, including this girl in line with Debra and me, and I was just hoping that she and they would see that I had grown up since then.

Obviously not in height or number of living hair follicles, but at least in terms of character and wisdom.

I didn’t want to be seen as the same immature person I had been almost two decades before.

Unfortunately, many of the people from my class were still doing the same stuff we did in high school: getting drunk, doing drugs, and getting into trouble.

And unfortunately, for some it was the same as that reunion on the TV show.

My guess is that I’m not the only one who wants others to see us as mature. I think that all of us want to be seen as mature in one way or another.

Many of us would rather not be thought of as mature in terms of growing old. And we can probably all think of people who are “old” but they’re not “mature.”

They’re adults but they act like selfish and self-centered children who don’t know any better.

And the question that we have to face as we look at ourselves in the mirror of our soul is this: Am I maturing or am I stuck in the same old ruts I’ve been in for years?

If someone were to look at me, would they see that I’ve grown up a bit, especially in my character?

That’s a tough question, because for many of us, the answer may not be something we want to acknowledge.

I think all of us have areas of our life where we would like to be more “grown up.”

I don’t know what that is for you – but you know. And even if it’s never been at the front of your thinking, you can find something in your life.

So what can we do about it? What can we do to become people who are characterized by maturity instead of living in the ruts of life?

Well, I think it lies in the idea that we need to develop a discontent with the status quo, or the current status of our spiritual life.

In other words, getting the mindset that where I’m at in my spiritual life isn’t good enough any more. That no matter how long I’ve lived and no matter how long I’ve had Jesus in my heart, there is always more of Christ to grasp.

Maybe you’ve had the Christ-filled life that Florence Hughes had. Even she would have told you that at 90 years old and walking with Jesus for about 70 of them, there was still more of Jesus to grasp.

Maybe you’re a baby in the faith – you’ve just given your life to Jesus recently. The good news is that you’ve just entered a journey that can be filled with the wonder of God doing marvelous things in your life.

Or it could be that maybe you invited Jesus into your life a number of years back, but you’ve never really understood what it means to mature in that faith and become a person who wants more of God.

No matter where you fall in those three categories, or if you’re in a completely different category, my hope is that you will walk out of here today wanting more.

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