Friday, September 11, 2015

Spiritual Birth in the beginning of Spiritual Life

by Lara Cook (Some material adapted from sermons by Van Houser)
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:10-11
Spiritual Growth is a sign of spiritual life. After we become Christians, God expects us to grow, not just stay at the same level of maturity the rest of our lives. Faith is part of what helps us grow and mature as Christians. 

A good foundation is mandatory for construction of a powerful Christian life. But foundation is not the end result, it is the beginning. We all have to start somewhere.  A House with only foundation is incapable of performing its total purpose of comfort and protection.  A Christian who does not grow is not capable of performing their intended purpose as well.
In the Last Days Newsletter, Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" The old man replied, "Nope, only babies." A frothy question brought a profound answer.
There are no instant heroes--whether in this world or in the kingdom of God. Growth takes time. William C. Shereos.
Spiritual Growth is Fed by FAITH
God leads us to places where faith is required. The things that test our faith are seldom announced in advance. They tend to hit us from the blind side like a blitzing linebacker. They always seem to come at the most inopportune times too. If we never had trials in life to test our faith our declarations of faith would ring hollow. We would simply be echoing empty religious clich├ęs learned in church and Sunday school. If we had our way, our faith would never be tested…and God would never have the chance to prove that faith worked. It is through these times that we grow.  When the fog of life hides the God of glory from your view, you must rest assured that He is there and that He is faithfully executing His plan for the ages, and for your life!
The way to growth is many times identified by Bible Study and Prayer. These are the methods not the means.  How you study and pray is important. The same way we begin is the way that we continue. When we become Christians, God takes the initiative by calling and asking us to receive. In growth it is the same.  He calls us through life circumstance to “increase our faith.”  We must open the door of faith daily and allow God to uphold us.
Trials = Fertile Soil
Any gardener can tell you that some soil is more fertile than other soil.  For soil to be at its best, it requires some extra attention.  Soil needs to be tilled and turned.  It needs extra nutrients sometimes.  It requires attention to keep it good like pulling weeds.  Our lives are much like soil.  We get our lives turned inside out sometimes like a tiller does to the soil.  We add extra nutrients with Bible study and prayer.  We pick the “weeds” out of our lives if we want to grow in Christian maturity and have a close relationship with God.  During these times of trials and picking the bad things out of our lives, we grow and are the most fertile for God to use us.  Remember that growth is sometimes accompanied by growing pains but we have to focus on the eternal payoff for the temporary pain. 
Scripture to Claim:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

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