Summary: We want Jesus to be our buddy rather than our Lord. In short . . . many are unprepared for a serious (and I might add, joyful) endeavor into the things of God.
"The Importance of Deep Roots"
HHM Pastor Jim Parisi April 27, 2003
This morning I talk to you about Cultivating Deep roots.
We’ve talked about going into the world to build relationships; we’ve talked about reaching those we come in contact with the words of truth.
We must grow and we must deepen.
Today we often search for a "pop gospel".
We are used to jingles, not hymns. We want stories not logical arguments.
We want instant gratification rather than waiting on God’s timing.
We want Jesus to be our buddy rather than our Lord.
In short . . . many are unprepared for a serious (and I might add, joyful) endeavor into the things of God.
Practically, this is important because under great strain a week rope will break.
When the temptation is fierce… the shallow believer is brought down.
When the trials are overwhelming… the weak in faith crumble.
When the questions are profound the weak are found without answers or find their faith shaken.
But the greatest reason for pursuing a mature and deep relationship with God is simple –
God is Great.
His greatness cannot be enjoyed and grasped unless we spend much time with Him. God is worth the effort.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Chapter 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permit
The Problem of Weak Christians
Let me suggest several simple reasons for some of the shallowness we see prevalent in Christian circles:
Faulty Expectations - When we "signed up" we understood the brochure to say: "Follow Christ and everything will be wonderful." We figured that it would be all mountains....no valleys, all sweet...no bitter. When it doesn’t turn out that way, some lose interest.
Frustrated Desire for Intimacy. We desire a close relationship with God. We wanted a "personal relationship" but God still seems far away. We wonder what we are doing wrong. Others talk of "hearing from God" but we hear nothing. Nobody told us that this intimacy with God is developed like any other relationship - over time. We feel it is impossible so we set our focus on something else.
Superficial Commitment These are people who came to Christ on the wave of emotion. They were moved but they had no idea what they were being moved to. They failed to count the cost. As the wave of emotion diminished they tend to lose interest.
Spiritual Neglect There is no such thing as a static Christian. We are always either moving forward or moving backward. The Hebrews passage reminds us that mature people are clear about the essentials of the faith and they keep growing. Much of the time neglect moves in after a certain spiritual pinnacle is reached: you gain a certain amount of knowledge and then you figure you can stop learning. (This is why many people graduate from college and never read another book!); you attain a certain status (you are considered a strong Christian . . . you’ve arrived...you can go on to something else.); you have a certain experience like speaking in tongues, a vision, a warm "fuzzy", some great victory. In each case you reach the mountain top and then you conclude that you have "been there, done that". You lose interest and in the process, you lose ground.
Keys to Growing in Christ
Carve Out Regular time for Bible Study (Psalm 1)
In Psalm One the Psalmist tells us that the "blessed" man is the one who meditates day and night on the Law of God.
This person is rooted and healthy. They are not content with a casual acquaintance with the Bible . . . they want to understand all they can.
During Great Awakening....Men and women studied shorthand in order that they might take down the sermons that were stirring the English-speaking countries. ..
It was not at all unusual to see men with a portable inkwell strapped about them, and quill open thrust over an ear, hasten to join the long assembling on the village green. [F. R. Webber, ]