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Summary: A good way to examine what life is all about, to stop and take account and re-evaluate! GOD’S DESIRE, DESIGN, DESCRIPTION FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

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THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

EPHESIANS 4:11-16

I Love My Life Sunday? [Kimberly-self!]

John 12:25

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

I Love My Lord Sunday!

This is a once in a lifetime day, the average lifespan will actually see it 2 x’s, but only once in the stage of life you’re in for sure! This is a good day to say time out, and take stock!

Question:

1) How long have you been a Christian?

2) Does your spiritual maturity correspond to your chronological age in Christ? How would you assess your spiritual progress?

Infancy

Adolescent

Young Adult

Median Adult

Mature Adult

3) How concerned are you...how passionate and driven are you...to move from where you are spiritually to the next level of spiritual maturity?

The older I get—the more I see that spiritual growth is the ultimate priority in life...because our spiritual growth, or the lack of it, controls every other area of our lives. When we are growing spiritually in Christ—every other area of our lives is growing as well. [not numerical]

Spiritual growth is foremost and central to all personal growth...it is the ultimate priority and yet it is without a doubt the most neglected priority. Churches are filled, quite honestly, with spiritual infants.

Ex: Aaron/Jeremy—special needs, 27, like a 2 year old.

I was very troubled. Then I began to think that is typical of many churches that are filled with Christians who have grown old chronologically but never grew spiritually and remain spiritual infants. These kind of Christians:

• Require constant attention

• Someone has to spoon-feed them

• They regularly raise a stink and someone has to change their diapers.

Listen—God does not intend for you to remain a spiritual baby. He wants you to grow.

2 Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 4—and let me show you from God’s Word how He plans for you to grow spiritually.

TEXT EPHESIANS 4:11-16

Focus your attention closely to V. 13. God is working to build up Christ’s Body.

And look closely again at V. 15

It’s God’s intention that you and I:

• “Become mature”

• “Grow up into Christ Jesus.”

Sometimes we don’t want our kids to grow up. “I don’t want you to get older!”

I wonder if that’s what has happened to you somewhere along the way? You got saved, you were excited to learn and grow in Christ—and grow you did. In fact, you felt like you could not grow fast enough.

But then something happened along the way.

• You got hurt.

• You went through a crisis.

• You got disappointed.

• You felt God taking you a direction and refused to go.

• You stumbled and fell—and you felt such shame that you never recovered.

• Or, you simply gradually became distracted by other things and neglected your spiritual life.

Many of you could go back to a very precise moment or event when your spiritual growth literally came to a grinding halt.

I believe God has given me the mandate and responsibility to be a catalyst for spiritual growth in your life. And I believe it is extremely important that the church give full attention to the spiritual growth of her members.

John MacArthur says, “We don’t hear much about spiritual growth these days. God’s design is that we be seasoned to maturity through a continual process of growth.”

“The contemporary church’s de-emphasis of spiritual growth has reaped a bitter harvest. Millions of professing Christians suffer from arrested development. Churches are filled with people who are spiritually immature, undiscerning, weak and fragile. Spiritual under-development is the rule, no longer the exception.” (Keys to Spiritual Growth—p. 13).

Hebrews 5:11-14

…we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. [12] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1 Cor. 3:1-2

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

No shame in being a baby in Christ, if you are just starting out for Him! [many new believers/making new start]

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