Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Growth Boosters:

        [MY STORY]
a.       When I first came to college, I was not intentional about growing in my walk with God.
                                                              i.      I had most of Malcolm’s list in my life. Unhealthy relationship with a girl, sought for acceptance at the party scene, I had a load of un-confessed sins.
                                                            ii.      God’s help slowly removed those GROWTH BARRIORS, and he showed me some GROWTH BOOSTERS. That’s when I really started to grow. Those GROWTH BOOSTERS are what I am going to share with you tonight.
      I am right with you guys, there is lots of room for my life to better use these GROWTH BOOSTERS so I’m excited to grow along side you guys while we encourage each other.
a.       Side: We are all on different levels. All that matters is your next step.
                                                              i.      When I talk about Growing Spiritually, I’m talking about positive and continual development in a person’s relationship with God. Doing this will make become who God desires you to be.
1.      Developing this relationship with God, like any relationship, takes two-way communication, time, and prioritizing.
a.       []It is awesome to watch all of your growth; it encourages me more than you know. [Alex reading bible excitingly, Jake and Cameron getting excited to share the good news, angels and mortals, Encouragement].
                                                              i.      When I see that, I myself want to grow…
b.      I want to thank you all for encouraging me to grow, and as your brother in Christ I see it as a blessing to encourage you in your growth towards the Lord.

      JESUS is a booster
a.       Lordship (or making Jesus play a larger and larger role in our daily lives.)
                                                              i.      Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who love me and gave himself for me.”
                                                            ii.      2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
1.       Living by faith will make us live more like Christ.
2.      When we accept Jesus into our hearts we are made new. We start to live less like our old selves and more like Christ.
b.      We already have everything we need for growth. Growth doesn’t magically start later (after college, marriage, once homework slows down…)
                                                              i.      2 Peter 1:3-7 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through thes he has given us his very great an precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”
1.      One cool thing about God is he provides everything we need for growth. He prepares in advance our next step and puts everything in place for that step to happen.
                                                            ii.      Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
1.      We can rely on Christ to keep developing us little by little so that we may be usable by Him.
                                                          iii.      John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches, if a man remains in me an I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
1.       With Christ we grow and become fruitful, without him we can do nothing.

      Another growth booster is THE HOLY SPIRIT. If we daily ask the Holy Spirit to control our lives, scripture says…
                                                              i.      John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
                                                            ii.      John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
1.      The Holy Spirit will help us in our growth, and help us follow Christ’s teachings.
                                                          iii.      2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the lord, who is the Spirit.”
1.      We are reflecting the goodness of God, He shines through us, and we ourselves are being changed little by little to be more like Christ.
      THE BIBLE is a booster
                                                              i.      1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in our salvation.”
                                                            ii.      Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but one every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1.      We are either Starving/Growing spiritually. God’s word is our immediate food for spiritual growth.
                                                          iii.      Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
1.      Gives us guidance and understanding
b.      Become familiar/Memorization
                                                              i.      Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like trees planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in a season and whose leaf does nit wither whatever he does prospers.”
                                                            ii.      Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
1.      Scripture talks about meditating day and night, and hiding God’s word in your heart, which is another way of say memorization.
a.       Ways to implement becoming familiar with the Word like this is to Daily ready your bible.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Attend at least one bible study
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Write in a Journal verses that stick out to you.
                                                                                                                                  iii.      My sister put a blank piece of butcher paper on her wall and every morning, she writes a verse on the wall. Then she sees those verses every day.
                                                                                                                                  iv.      The Old Testament talks about putting God’s word on your forehead and on your door frames. So decorate your room, make verse of the day your home page on your computer, or put a bible in your bathroom.
                                                                                                                                    v.      All I’m saying is find a way to become more familiar with God’s word and you will grow.

      PRAYER is a booster
a.       Confession
                                                              i.      1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
                                                            ii.      Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
1.      When we confess our sins to God, he removes us of sin and hindrances, to live and grow in the life he as for us.
b.      Communicating with God. Like any other relationship…
                                                              i.      Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
                                                            ii.      1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1.      Jesus sought for alone quality time to pray to God. We should strive to do the same, like we would do in any other relationship
a.       Example: date night.
b.      Yes, we should set aside intimate prayer time, but we should also pray continually.
                                                                                                                                      i.      Walking to class, at red lights, pray for a person as you talk to them, pray before each meal, pray when you wake up, when you go to bed. Make it a priority to build your prayer life with God and your Spiritual Grow will boost for sure.
c.       Praise/Worship
                                                              i.      In your prayer let God know how stoked you are about his goodness. Let him know when we sing worship.

      FELLOWSHIP is a booster
a.       Body (Stick together)
                                                              i.      Romans 12:4 “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we how are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
1.      We all make up the body of Christ. We all belong to each other. Without any of you we are not the same.
b.      Iron sharpens
                                                              i.      Proverbs 27:17“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
1.      Like I said earlier, seeing you guys grow it deeply encourages me to grow.
2.      To have you guys be there for me to grow, pray for me, encourage me, to not tempt me, all really builds me up. That’s what fellowship is all about.
c.       Be together:
                                                              i.      Accountability (kota and I), hang out with the body of Christ like a family, get involved with a Church, hang out with Christian friends.
  SHARING YOUR FAITH is a booster:
a.       Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks  
                                                              i.      If we are pressing into God and His word, it should come out in our conversations with each other and with nonbelievers.
b.      Acts 1:8 “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
                                                              i.      A part of wanting to grow ourselves, we should also share Who Jesus is and what he has done for us so that they may know him and grow in him also.

a.       I have only surfaced in all the ways to “BOOST” your spiritual growth. I have shared,
b.      To increase the role of Jesus in our lives, pressing into Him more, daily asking to be led by the Holy Spirit, allowing to Holy Spirit to change us little by little to grow to be more like Christ,
c.       to crave the bible as spiritual food, to use the bible as guidance, meditate on and memorize the bible, to become more familiar with God’s word
d.      to confess sins, pray continually, worship, praise, and thank God,
e.       To stick to the body of believers,  sharpen and encourage each other, spend time together
f.       To share out of the overflow of your heart who Jesus is to non believers
  The final scripture I want to share with you is
a.       1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”
                                                              i.       If we give ourselves full to Christ in order to grow nothing we do will be in vain or will be useless, it will all be beneficial to our spiritual growth and make us who God planned for us to be.
  I don’t know about all of you, but I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to ask God “What will you have me do, how can I start now to become to man or woman you have planned for me to be?”
a.       Let’s close in prayer:

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