Archive for the ‘growth’ tag
In my Heartllight.org post this week, called “Godly Organic,” I share the “Spirit-natural” principle that we are made to live and grow. It is who and how God made us to be. When we don’t grow, we know that something is wrong. Yet so often, we settle for just treading water spiritually. The power behind this growth, however, can be found in the prayer we offer for each other and the power of God released to empower us toward this growth:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God … so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might (Colossians 1:9-11).
So I want to challenge you to ask yourself a few questions about your own personal growth in the Lord and commit yourself to praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ and releasing the power of God into their lives.
How has God continued to fashion you to be more like Jesus?
Can you say that God is re-creating life in you out of the barrenness and scars of your past life?
What is a sign of growth, God’s power, at work in you?
I’d love to hear your response to these questions!
Last Updated 9.14.08
Going Organic (1:3-10; 2:19; 4:5-6) – 9/21
- There is great power in the good news about Jesus to produce fruit – changed lives of faith, renewed hope, and love modeled on the Savior and empowered by the Spirit.
- This power of grace crosses cultural and racial boundaries and leads others to Christ and his joy [Harper Testimony @ China?]
- Look forward to Balloon Fest & Celebration Sunday (1 Peter 3:15-16) and hear a real call to be a front porch people of God – the way we talk to others is crucial [Wait Staff Testimony]
There is a great power in the Gospel as a seed – Jesus’ Parables (Mark 4 & Matthew 13) – and Satan can’t stop it. We can choose what kind of soil we are, the evil one can try to do everything he can to stop it and corrupt us, but there is great power … that nothing (as we saw last week with persecution) can stop! But there are things that keep us from being fruitful (Parable of the Soils, Fish, Tares) which are all the work of Satan and his forces! But Jesus has already triumphed (2:13-15).
Idea Image: Power of one seed to grow in harsh places and change everything [i.e., post glacial growth in Alaska that begins as rock, then simple plants, then complex plants, then forests.] Same should be true in us as we seek after Jesus, we change the world around us and God grows US together, as community, into a place of blessing.
There is something “hardwired” in the DNA of the good news of Jesus, and in us as His followers, that is all about growth — growth in numbers (“all over the world”), knowledge of God and His will, and growth in spiritual character (faith, hope, love) — cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23. While we have to make an effort to grow to be like Jesus (2 Peter 1:3-10), our growth in the qualities of the Lord are “Spirit-natural” (Remember the parables about the seed and the harvest!) and the result of seeking after Jesus. So let’s seek after Jesus (Bible Class emphasis and reading focus) must be our passion.
Emphasize that there is something “hardwired” in the DNA of the good news of Jesus, and in us as His followers, that is all about bearing fruit — about organic Spiritual growth. The Alaska image is good here, but for it to happen fully, each generation of plant life must produce fruit and also offer up itself to grow and provide for what follows. Fruit principle will lead into the Lord’s Supper time.
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(Look at the parables of Jesus for inspiration here, especially Luke 8:1-15; Mark 4:26-32; Matthew 13:24-30).
What keeps the “Spirit-natural” growth from happening in us? What keeps the Word from growing?
Which of the problems with growth keep you from growing spiritually?
Which of these is most challenging to spiritual growth for you?
What should we do with others who are not growing? … not even trying to grow?
Should we expect growth — spiritual, numerical, character — to be a natural process?
Is growth an easy process? In what ways does Jesus suggest that Kingdom growth is mysterious and easy, yet in other ways is very challenging?
What is our responsibility to grow and help the Kingdom grow?
I Owe My Soul to the Company Store [Joe vs. Volcano]
O God Whose Name I do Not Know I thank you for my life