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Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:9-12
Am I Growing Weak or Strong?
1. We all know that growth is vital to one’s physical well-being. Good nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle contribute to the body’s growth, wellness and stamina.
2. How is your spiritual growth? The Scriptures teach that we either grow weaker and away from Christ or stronger and closer to Him.
3. Use these check points from God’s word to “examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). And then, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Jas. 4:8).
I. SPIRITUAL GROWTH DEPENDS ON:
-The same things are needed for our spiritual growth and wellness. Spiritual growth depends upon:
A. Proper Nutrition (partake of Christ, the bread of Life), Jno. 6:35, 48-51, 63, 68; 1 Pet. 2:2.
B. Spiritual Exercise, Heb. 5:13-14; 1 Tim. 4:7-8 (exertion).
C. Disciplined Lifestyle, 1 Cor. 9:24-27 (Heb. 12:1-2).
II. I AM GROWING WEAKER AND AWAY FROM CHRIST IF:
A. My Heart is Dull to God’s Word, Matt. 13:15 (Acts 28:27).
1. When it is a chore to read and hear God’s word.
2. No desire to consult God’s word before making life’s decisions.
B. My Love Grows Cold, Matt. 24:12.
1. Obedience becomes a burdensome ritual, 1 Jno. 5:3.
2. Love for God and man is feigned and forced, Matt. 22:37-39.
3. Prayer becomes an afterthought, Lk. 18:1, 8; 1 Ths. 5:17.
C. I Become Weary of doing Good, Gal. 6:9 (2 Ths. 3:13).
1. No zeal (burning up, eager, enthusiastic) to do good, Tit. 2:14.
2. Forgotten that serving others is serving Lord, Matt. 25:40, 45.
D. I am Increasingly Eager to Satisfy the Flesh, 1 Tim. 5:11.
1. Wanton: “burn fiercely”, sensually stimulated; “their passions draw them away from Christ, 1 Ths. 4:3-5; Rom. 13:13-14.
2. Instead of putting off deceitful lusts, growing corrupt through them, Eph. 4:22.
3. Instead of fleeing and abstaining from fleshly lusts, Curious and satisfy them, 1 Pet. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:22.
III. I AM GROWING STRONGER AND CLOSER TO CHRIST IF:
A. I Speak and Live the Truth in Love, Eph. 4:13-15 (Matt. 12:34).
1. Careful to speak the truth to gain a soul, not win an argument.
2. The truth of God receives the focus of attention – not self.
3. Speak honestly, truthfully and purely with others, Eph. 4:25, 29.
B. I do my Part as a Member of the Body of Christ, Eph. 4:16.
1. Understand I am part of a whole – Not entirely independent of my brethren, 1 Cor. 12:14-27.
[Each Christian is vital (12:14-19), needed (12:20-22), honorable (12:23-24) and is to have mutual care of others (12:25-27).]
2. By doing my part the whole church is strengthened (Eph. 4:16).
C. My Personal Faith is Growing, 2 Ths. 1:3 (cf. 2 Pet. 1:5-11).
1. Love and patient endurance of the Thessalonians, 1:3-4.
2. Diligent, faithful labor and service, Heb. 6:10-12.
D. I am Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of the Lord, 2 Pet. 3:18
1. Diligent holiness, 3:14-15.
2. Taught, learning, grounded – using Scriptures properly, 3:16.
3. Not led away by the error of the wicked, 3:17.
E. I am Putting Away Sinful Attitudes and Conduct, 1 Pet. 2:1-2.
-Deliberate attention to eliminating sin and developing traits of the “new man” in Christ, Eph. 4:20-24.
1. Spiritual growth is not completed in a day. In a real sense, it never comes to an end, Phil. 3:12-14.
2. If you are growing weaker and farther away from Christ:
a. Know the danger: Sin causes your eternal death (Jas. 1:15-16).
b. Repent and start to grow now.
3. If you are growing stronger and closer to Christ:
a. Qualified (fit, equipped) to be a partaker of “the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:9-12).
b. Endure to the end (Matt. 10:22).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: August 8, 2014