Summary: WASTING GOD’S BLESSINGS STUNTS CHRISTIAN GROWTH. Here are three Facts regarding Christian growth.
SQUANDERING THE BLESSINGS OF GOD
1. This morning the bananas in the fruit bowl were just ripe-right for making bread. Tomorrow they’d have been too soft. So I took the time to sift and stir, and now a special fragrance fills the air. Soon I’ll take from the oven loaves that are high and light and crusty brown -- substantial fare the children will enjoy with salty butter and cold glasses of milk when they troop home from school.
If I had waited until tomorrow the bananas would have been garbage instead. My opportunity would have been gone to turn something fleeting into more lasting good.
Oh Lord, I know a few wasted bananas wouldn’t matter much. But wasted opportunities to serve You matter a lot. And I waste so many. Forgive me. Let me recognize and fulfill every opportunity this day, before it’s too late, for the love of Him who died for us all. Amen.
-Irene Harrell (95) #16-124
2. It is possible for something to be neglected for so long that its usefulness disappears. Christians do face the real danger of neglecting to the point of wasting God’s blessings. This will inhibit spiritual maturity.
PROP: WASTING GOD’S BLESSINGS STUNTS CHRISTIAN GROWTH
3 Facts regarding Christian growth
I. MATURITY IN CHRIST IS BUILT ON FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS (Hebrews 6:1-3).
A. The Hebrews were not developing as Christians. They had not, for some reason, comprehended the implications of the foundational truths they had learned in Christ. For this reason, they needed to face them again (5:11-14). However, now the author of Hebrews wants to leave the principles and proceed with more mature teaching based on foundational doctrines of Christ.
B. Verses 1 and 2 list 5 foundational truths:
1. Repentance from dead works (changing of direction away from endeavors which are fruitless).
2. Faith toward God (believing trust with God as the object).
3. Doctrine of Baptisms (teaching about immersions in water, by the Holy Spirit, and of Fire).
4. Laying on of hands (choosing men of God to be leaders in the work of God, praying for sick, blessing).
5. Resurrection of the Dead (the fact of Christ’s conquering of death and the promise of the believer’s deliverance from death by Christ).
C. The Author hopes to build on these foundational truths but realizes that God will not permit this unless the Hebrews appreciated the need for and process of growth (verse 3).
D. I read a humorous story about a woman who fell out of a second-floor window and landed in a slow-moving garbage truck. Half-buried in the litter, she tried without success to get the truckdriver’s attention. A foreign diplomat standing on the sidewalk saw her and quipped, “Another example of how wasteful Americans are. That woman looks like she’s good for at least another 10 years.”
To waste what God so graciously
Provides to meet our need
Reveals a careless attitude
Of selfishness and greed. -- Sper
WHEN YOUR CUP OVERFLOWS, SHARE IT -- DON’T WASTE IT
- Herbert VanderLugt 134.34
Some Christians waste God’s foundational truths to the point of actually throwing themselves away from usefulness.
II. MATURITY IN CHRIST ACCOMPANIES SALVATION WHEN THE BLESSINGS OF GOD ARE APPRECIATED (Hebrews 6:4-9).
A. These verses provide us with an impossibility and an illustration.
1. The impossibility (verses 4-6) is found in “renewing to repentance” those who have neglected to appreciate the blessings of God.
b. Tasting of Heavenly Gift
c. Partaking of Holy Spirit
d. Tasting of God’s good word
e. Tasting of coming age powers
2. The illustration (verses 7-8) is seen in earth that has been set apart for good herbs and yet becomes choice ground for thorns and briers. It is impossible to use what is bad as though it is good.
B. Bad effects in a life are not compatible with the blessings of God (Hebrews 6:4-6).
C. Note how people who squander God’s blessings kill Christ (verse 6):
1. They “fall away” from His intended purpose for them. They drink up His blessings yet they waste them on unappreciative works.
2. They cannot be restored to an untarnished or unaffected position in life. Their testimony is damaged by the fruitless works on which they squandered the blessings of God. They are “near” the position of the curse and it is as if it cannot be discerned that they are believers.
3. They kill Christ’s effect on their lives.
a. They crucify Him freshly (anew).
b. They crucify Him selfishly (to themselves).
c. They crucify Him shamefully (put to an open shame).
D. A life which takes God for granted needs to be purged of sinfulness (Hebrews 6:7-8). Like ground which produces worthless thorns and briers, some people become overrun with sin and God must eliminate the spread of their influence by purging. This means He must chasten them or take them from this life.