I Love My Church

Introduction:

In every story in the Bible where someone meets Jesus, that person is changed. Jesus meets us where we are, but once we know Him, we won’t stay the same. As Christians, growing in our faith simply means becoming more like Jesus: modeling our lives after His life. In order to grow, you have to change. But changing isn’t always an easy thing to do. It require us to find out how God wants to change things in you, around you and through you, starting today. Real change isn’t easy and following Jesus really is hard because growth requires real change and real transformation.

Bottom line:  Growing People Change. 

Something To Talk About:

  1. Surrender to God: Change is always difficult, no matter what the situation entails because it often requires a transformation beyond what we thought possible. It removes us from our comfort zone. The goal of the Christian life can be summed up by Galatians 2:20: “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” To fulfill what that verse was asking requires both growth and change. And growth and change require us to surrender to God. And surrendering to God often requires a step of faith. Is God asking you to do something you are afraid to do? Has He pushed you to serve in an area that you are not comfortable? God can change impossible situations. We simply need to trust Him.
  2. Fight for Change: The Christian life is all about changing. Change is necessary to growth. You cannot grow and remain unchanged, nor should you want to stop growing. Christian growth is something that every Christian should be experiencing.  Change is rarely easy. The expression ‘growing pains’ exists for a reason. Spiritual growth can be hard too. Sometimes we think such growth should come easily or quickly or in a big, powerful way. However, sometimes we experience growth in other ways. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody wrote: “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.” Jesus often used parables that featured small things—mustard seeds, for example—to show great spiritual truths. Christians should be continually growing in Christ, in both big ways and small. The truth is change will not happen by itself. We must want to change and then fight every step of the way.
  3. What’s my next step? The most important question we can ask ourselves when it comes to growing in our faith is, “What’s my next step?” Why? Because life is a journey, so no matter where you are in life, you’ve got a next step. What is your next step to become more like Jesus and have Him further formed in you? After we come to Christ, a beginning step could be to get baptized. Maybe your next step is to join a serving team or having a consistent daily devotional time? Or it could be starting to tithe or to forgive someone who has hurt you or disappointed you? Maybe the next step is to stop being so easily offended.  Whatever step God is asking you to take, remember that is actually a step towards growth.

Questions:

  1. Does Christian growth require change?  What is your responsibility for personal transformation?
  2. Is Christian growth constant? In what ways is it or isn’t it?
  3. How can we evaluate our own spiritual growth?
  4. What are some stages of spiritual growth? Are there steps to take in each of these stages?
  5. It is never too late to start growing. What progress would you like to see in your spiritual growth one year from now? What action steps can you begin to take to start moving toward that goal?

Take One Thing Home with You

Healthy things grow and growing things change.

Growing in your relationship with Jesus means to know Him and to love, trust and and obey Him. So how can you cultivate a deeper relationship with Jesus?  While there is no simple answer to that question, let me give you something to think about: healthy things grow and growing things change. Change for the Christian is inevitable. Not any change, but change that enables us to grow.  Confused?  Jesus said in Matthew 9:17: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” The message of the new covenant in Christ could not be contained in the old forms of traditional religious practices. Jesus changed everything and growing in Him will require change from us. Change is hard—especially internal change. Growing spiritually starts with inner transformation.  External change is difficult, but true internal transformation is a monumental feat. So as you think about next steps in your relationship with Jesus remember that we must constantly grow and to grow we must be constantly adapting or changing.