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Summary: We have a problem in many churches called perpetual childishness. We seem to hear petty, trivial pursuit. The body of Christ needs to develop a spiritual growth pattern. Growth is seldom by accident...

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PUT AWAY CHILDISHNESS? GROW

By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com

WE HAVE AN IMPERATIVE COMMAND:

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

PERPETUAL OR ETERNAL BABYHOOD…

From LIVING WITH JESUS TODAY by Juan Carlos Orte

We have a phenomenon in the church today which I call “ETERNAL BABYHOOD OF THE BELIEVER.”

We have members of our churches who after years of hearing messages are just the same.

They continually need a minister to keep after them , changing their diapers, putting talcum on them and

Checking that their milk isn’t too hot.

The church seems more like a hospital than an ARMY.

Sometimes we fool ourselves because we grow numerically. We think that this is growth.

But to grow numerically is not necessarily spiritual growth.

CEMENTERIES ALSO GROW NUMERICALLY …

To have 100 people without love, then 200 people without love and service is JUST TO GET FAT.

*WHAT IS GROWTH?

*WHAT IS SUCCESS?

*HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS?

*DO WE HONESTLY EVALUATE OUR IMPROVEMENT?

Noah lived to be 950 years old… WE COUNT NOAH A SUCCESS because he obeyed God…

But let us remember 6 people and Noah and his wife… 8 saved in 950 years?

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

SUCCESS CAN NOT ALWAYS BE MEASURED BY NUMBERS OR BUDGET?

I remember a Preacher had to beg for food from a poor widow woman.

WE NEED TO PUT AWAY CHILDISH THINGS SO WE CAN SEE CLEARLY?

1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG) We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

***I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW by Johnny Nash

I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all the obstacles in my way.

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.

It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunny day.

Yes, I can make it now, the pain is gone, all of the bad feelings have disappeared.

Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for. It’s going to be a bright, bright, bright shiny day.

Look all around, there is nothing but blue skies, look straight ahead,

There is nothing but blue skies…

I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all the obstacles in my way,

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it is gonna be a bright, bright sunny shiny day.

GROWTH IS RARELY AN ACCIDENT, GROWTH HAS A PLAN…

GOWTH REQUIRES EFFORT… THE MORE EFFORT THE MORE THE GROWTH WILL THRIVE…

Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall get exactly what he expected.

Les Brown tells a wonderful illustration that we need to consider…

There is a tree that grows in the FAR EAST. The tree grows from a SEED that is planted. The tree requires great effort.

If you plant the seed today you will see nothing tomorrow, the next day… a week later NOTHING!

This CHINESE BAMBOO SEED HAS TO BE PLANTED IN GOOD SOIL. You have to water this seed every day. You most work the soil around the seed often and keep the soil broken and loose. You must often fertilize and work the soil. Every day you must water this fragile seed. Daily the seed needs the farmers’ attention. Daily. To miss a day might kill the seed. Water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, water it, and look: YOU WILL SEE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

DAILY FOR FIVE YEARS AND NOTHING… NOTHING… IN 5 YEARS THE SEED THAT REQUIRED DAILY ATTENTION WILL FINALLY BREAK THROUGH THE RICH SOIL. FINALLY? 5 LONG YEARS AND WE SEE LIFE. ONCE THE CHINESE BAMBOO TREE BREAKS THROUGH THE GROUND, IN 5 WEEKS THE CHINESE BAMBOO TREE WILL GROW 90 FEET TALL. 90 FEET IN 5 WEEKS?

DOES THE BAMBOO TREE GROW 90 FEET IN 5 WEEKS? LET’S BE REAL, AFTER 5 WEEKS OF PLANTING THE TREE YOU SEE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING? DOES IT GROW 90 FEET IN FIVE WEEKS, OR IS IT 5 YEARS AND 5 WEEKS? If you stop watering the seed in the 5 years it will die almost immediately. The Bamboo seed requires constant attention.

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