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Summary: The key characteristic of a growing and strong spiritual “young person” in God is that they have overcome the evil one. Notice that the word is overcome – not defeat. The idea is that you get past him – not that you crush him – that is up to God in the

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Growing Up is Part of Life

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Luke 2:52

I was a little child when I grew up in the small town of Kalkaska. It’s about 17 miles due east of Traverse City in northern Michigan and when I lived there it had about 2000 people – total. And every one of them thought it was their responsibility to tell my folks what I was doing. Kalkaska wasn’t a town of

In the summer between my freshman year and sophomore year in HS my dad moved to Escanaba, MI to start at new church. It was in this huge city of some 17,000 citizens that I spent many of my formative years as a “young man.” I completed those years in college here in Lansing at Great Lakes Christian College. It was here that I fell in love with Donna and married her. We moved to St. Joseph to begin our first ministry and it wasn’t too long after that Donna became a mother and that I became a “father.”

It wasn’t too long after this major event that I figured out that being a “father” was about a lot more than just making babies. It was about growing babies into little children, who become young men and women, and eventually, mothers and fathers.

Tyler: Charlotte growing up…

This is the cycle of life that has no end… or so it seems. Actually, there is an end purpose, at least in the spiritual realm there is – and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

God’s greatest desire is to know us intimately as friends and companions.

Let’s look at what the apostle who was closest to Jesus said about those who would follow Him. Turn in your Bibles to 1 John 2:12-14 and let’s learn about our new family together.

Your New Family

I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 2:12-14

Your New Family

I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 2:12-14

As Rick and I studied this passage together this past week we asked ourselves two questions.

First: What’s John trying to tell us?

Second: So what? In other words, what’s the point of what John is trying to tell us?

Last week we looked at the importance of making a definitive decision to change our direction. We urged you to repent from the ways of that creepy dude, Gollum and to instead choose the ways of Frodo, who was a steward of God’s mission with his life.

Today, as we looked at the text we began to see that after we make that decision to follow Jesus and determine to live a new way there is a process of spiritual growth in God’s family just like in your family.

John describes three different stages of spiritual growth.

First, there are the “dear children”. Literally these are the “little children”. They are the cute and innocent ones!


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