What Does It Take to Grow - Outline (filled)
A. The Purpose of this series:
"That you may become mature Christians and that you may fulfill God's will for you." Col 4:12
Ephesians 4:14-15 "We are not meant to remain as children but to grow up in every way into Christ." (Phillips)
B. What is Spiritual Maturity?
Eph 4:13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.(NLT)
C. Overview: Seven Basic Habits of Maturing Christians
1. In order to grow we need to eat—The Bible
2. In order to grow we need to breathe—Prayer
3. In order to grow we need good spiritual hygiene—Confession of sin
4. In order to grow we need a caring family—Fellowship
5. In order to grow we need regular exercise—Service
6. In order to grow we need protection—Temptation
7. In order to grow we need to give—Stewardship
D. Facts about spiritual maturity
1. Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen automatically
Hebrews 5:12-13 "You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. 13And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right." (NLT)
2. Spiritual maturity doesn’t happen quickly
2 Peter 3:18, "Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior, Jesus Christ." (GN)
3. Spiritual maturity won’t happen without discipline
1 Timothy 4:7 "Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit." (Phillips)
"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." (NASB)
1. The Bible teaches that mature believers are called disciples.
2. The Bible teaches that I cannot be a disciple without being disciplined.
3. The Bible teaches that the more disciplined I become the more God can use me.
4. The mark of a disciple is cross bearing.
Jesus said, "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27
5. How often am I to do this? Daily.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (NIV)
6. What is involved in cross bearing? Whatever it takes to give Christ first place in my life.
E. The Goal: That I will commit to the habits necessary for spiritual maturity.
A. The Bible is like an instruction manual for a car owner. Without it life is hard at best, impossible at worst.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Read God’s instruction manual!
B. The Bible is like a flashlight for a camper. Without it you’ll stumble and get hurt, or wander and get lost.
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
Turn on God’s light!
C. The Bible is like a weapon for a soldier. Without it you’ll be captured or killed.
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Master the use of God’s sword!
D. The Bible is like a mirror for an actor. Without it you’ll never know what you’re like or change how you act.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-- he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 (NIV)
Look in God’s mirror!
E. The Bible is like nutrients and water for a plant. Without it you’ll be stunted and starved.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
Eat God’s food!
A. Suggestions for individual growth
__I will read my Bible __ minutes a day, __ days a week this year
__I will listen to the Bible on cassette tape __ minutes per week this year
__I will pick-up a Daily Bread booklet and read it and my Bible __ days a week
__I will record my insights from the Bible in a journal __ days per week this year
__I will purchase and use a Bible study book/tool this year (Bible Dictionary, Bible Encyclopedia, Bible Commentary, Bible Concordance, etc.)
__I will plan to attend the “Open Book” Bible Study seminar on March 3, 9:00 to noon, and practice some new methods of Bible study this year (register by calling 924 4525)
__I will read a book this year on how to study the Bible
__I will eliminate some non-essential activities from my schedule and spend __ hours per week in Bible study this year.
__I will memorize __ verses of Scripture each week this year
__I will study and practice the art of Scripture meditation ___ minutes a week this year
__I will attend a Bible study group (Precept, Bible Study Fellowship, Women's/Men's Bible study) and participate this year
__I will buy a different translation of the Bible and use it this year
__I will buy a Bible Study program for my computer and use it this year
__I will register for a Bible study course at Moody Northwest
__I will begin attending a Adult Elective class on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays
__I will write out my Bible Study objective on a 3x5 card, give it to a friend, and have him/her ask me regularly how I’m doing (for example, “My goal: 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week”)
__I will join a Small Group and ask them to help me achieve my Bible study goals this year
B. Suggestions for family growth
__We will do the Family Time Bible study this week
__We will begin a family Bible Library
__We will memorize a passage together each week this year
__We will read through a book of the Bible this year
__We will ask each other once-a-week, “What have you learned from the Bible this week?
__We will attend a family Bible camp or conference this year