Growing In Christ

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If I were to ask you what God's perfect will is for your life, what would be your answer? Monks have lived solitary lives to find out this answer.
Theologians have searched and searched to find this answer.
Have you ever wondered what God's perfect will is for your life? I'm here to give you that answer!It is not complex or unattainable, but very simple.
God's perfect will for your life is that He wants you to grow in Him.
He wants you to be a flourishing plant that gives off much fruit and fragrance.
2Pe 3:18(ASV) "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
" The word "grow" is also translated: enlarge, increase, become greater This is what Christ wants for our lives.
He wants us to grow, increase, enlarge, and become greater in our love and knowledge for Him.
Not for knowledge sake, but to have the tools to become a mature Christian.
He also wants to increase and bless us.
Psalm 115:14 - 15 (NKJV) "May the Lord give you increase more and more.
You and your children.
" CEV "I pray that the LORD will let your family and your descendants always grow strong.
" There are some things we need to know that will help us grow straight and strong.
One thing we need to remember is that it is natural to grow and increase.
Jesus grew and increased with God and man.
Luke 2:52 (KJV) "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man..
" It is natural to increase...
If I were to show a video of your life from you being a baby until now, we would see you as a baby in diapers and eventually toddling around on all fours.
We would see pictures of when you started to walk, with your shoes untied, and hear you learn to talk, and grow into a young child.
You would have school pics and vacation pictures showing the many stages through elementary school and to junior high and high school.
We might see you in college and grad school and find a wonderful job, and have a family of your own.
It is natural to grow.
It is healthy.
It is not something we try hard to do, it just comes naturally.
what if you were still in diapers and toddling around on all fours at the age of 12? What if you still had your shoes untied and could not talk like a twelve year old? We would think something was wrong.
We would see that you were not growing correctly.
It would not be natural to see you sucking your thumb at the age of 30 or 40 would it? No, we see you increasing and growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor.
Lets look at Luke 2:52 again: Luke 2:52 (KJV) "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man..
" The word "Increased" is translated in the Greek as: "to drive forward, to advance (in amount, to grow; in time, to be well along): - increase, proceed, profit, So to increase you are moving forward and advancing either physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
It literally means you are profiting by God's mighty hand.
He is bringing the increase in your life.
Think for a moment at what God has given you.
Think of how He has changed you from last year to this year.
Think of all the changes you've gone through physically at the age you are now.
1 Thess.
3:12 (Amplified Bible)
"And may the Lord make you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you," You might say; "Pastor Kris, how do I grow? How do I increase? How do I know I Am growing?" The Lord is kind and is always watching out for us.
His kindness brings growth in our life.
2Pe 3:18 "Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing.
Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.
" It is the wonderful kindness and understanding of Jesus that helps us to grow.
God knows what we need as individuals to bring about growth.
He is constantly watching for weeds that might grow around the plant to make sure they are weeded out.
Character and gardens both reflect how much weeding was done in the growing season.
In the process of growth we have to be aware of: 1.
Growth blockers
Don't compare your growth to others - every plant grows at their own pace, that's what makes it unique.
You might think, "I should be further along than I am.
" b.
Don't get side tracked into sin - this will stunt your growth, and allow weeds to grow.
When weeds grow they take away the nourishment from the soil around the flourishing plant and rob it of life.
It literally chokes the life out of a plant.
Don't hang around with the wrong people - It will cause weeds to grow They will influence you and stop you from growing.
Staying healthy by:
Forgiving others quickly - unforgiveness will block growth! b.
Give love often - Eph 4:15 (KJV)"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:: Learn to love people right where they are in their growth.
Love always builds people up, it never tears down.
Anger always tears down and nothing good comes from being angry.
It only puts people in bondage.
Being teachable always - Remember that you don't know everything, nor have you experienced everything.
If you think and act like you know everything people will think you are arrogant and not want to be around you.
Being teachable will allow you to learn and experience more in life.
Allow your self to grow
Let go of the past and reach for the future b.
Let God pull the weeds out - weeds are gathered and burned and that is what happens to the sin in our lives when we ask forgiveness.
Christ's blood takes it all away.
It can be a painful process, but well worth it as time goes by.
Feed our spiritual bodies
We need to take care of ourselves.
Power Bars/Protein drinks - Body builders want to increase their muscle strength and growth.
Muscles are made of protein and they need extra protein to grow bigger.
A spiritual protein drink is spending time in prayer and Bible study.
This will increase your spiritual muscle strength.
Eat right - watch what you put into your spiritual body.
Watch what you listen to, what you watch on TV, what you hear in conversations, and anything that will go into your body.
Get plenty of rest - Spend time resting in the Lord.
Spend time fellowshipping with other Christians.
Don't get caught up in perfectionism, just relax and be.
"Be still and know that I am God...
" Be yourself and enjoy who you are.
God did not create junk when He created you.
He created potential and you have value.
Exercise often - Spend time worshipping the Lord.
Listen to Praise and Worship music on a regular basis.
The words will penetrate you spirit and you will benefit from greatly.
This allows your mind to focus on God and Who.
2 Peter gives us insight into what we are to add to our faith to bring fruitfulness: 2 Peter 1:5 - 8 (NKJV) "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
" Let us be a people who take care of ourselves, who show love towards one another, and strive to live a godly life.
Allow yourself to grow in Christ.
Let him mature your character, even if it is painful.
This is God's perfect will for your life! Blessings, Kris Belfils
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