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Summary: These are spiritual growth principles

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In every area of our life, there should be signs of growth. We should experience growth in our marriage, in our families, at our jobs, at our churches, in regards to our income, and our relationship with Christ.

In fact referring to our Christian walk, the writer of Hebrews tells us:

Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us leave the ELEMENTARY teachings about Christ and go on to MATURITY…”

• I believe if we are not growing in every area of our life, then these parts can dry up and become stale.

So how do we experience growth in our lives?

1. The Big, Better, Best Principle, being faithful in the small things

- Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

- The Big, Better, Best Principle is explained like this: When we have the small things in life, we want the Big. But when we have the Big things, we want the Better, when we finally get the Better, then we can’t stand it if we don’t have the Best.

- There is nothing wrong with wanting better, however, the problem comes when we despise the small things because they are small.

- That happens in all of us: For example, a person says to the pastor, “I want to be in the ministry.” The pastor says to the person, “go and cut the grass.”

- Cutting grass is ministry just like preaching. Cleaning the church is ministry just like teaching.

- Jesus says, “Since you have been FAITHFUL in the little things, I will make you RULER of many things.”

- The key to this principle is Faithfulness to the mission, no matter how great or how small the mission is.

- One of the worse jobs in the military is being on the “field sanitation” team. On the battle field this team is responsible for making sure there is soap, water, and other toiletries available for the soldiers to stay clean with. They are also responsible for ensuring that there is proper sewage control from the base camp, (that means sometimes they have to dig ditches)

- No one ever volunteers for this team because everyone hates this job, but the job has to be done.

- If this is absent, then there are NO toiletries and there is not proper sewage flow, the soldiers will contaminate their food when they eat while living with sewage piling up where they have to sleep. You can imagine what would happen if it ever rained.

- If what we are doing seems small and menial to us, it is important to someone else. If we are faithful to that small thing, Jesus says, I will put you in charge of great things.

2. The Love Me Tender Principle, Love your neighbor as yourself

- Another key principle to GROWTH is the Love me tender principle

- This principle comes from the golden rule

- Matthew 22:36-39 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

- If everyone would treat people like they want to be treated, and you love your neighbor as yourself, the world would be a better place.

- This is a growth principle. If we could understand this principle, apply this principle, and act this principle out, then we would be BIGGER people.

- The key to this principle is LOVE. Jesus said, “This is how people will know that you are mine, that you love one another.” John 13:35

- The Bible uses the word LOVE 508 times throughout the entire Bible, 202 times in the New Testament

- Specific examples are given to us on who we are supposed to Love:

 Love your neighbors

 Love your God

 Love your spouses

 Love your enemies

When you can truly adapt this principle to your life, and look the guy that hates you and the face, and say “I love you,” then you have grown.

3. The Don’t Worry, Be Happy Principle, being content without complaining

- This principle is one of the hardest to comply with

- Because we are humans, we live in the flesh. And because we are flesh, we have desires for comfort, and for better

- Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

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