Sunday Service: 10th Sept, 2017
Preacher: Pastor Ola Ijimakin
Text: 1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby”.
God’s primary reason for saving us is to make us become like his son Jesus. In Romans 8:29, the bible says “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son, that He might be the firstborn among many children”.God saves us where we are, but his primary aim is for us to grow to become like Jesus. He does not expect us to remain where we are but that on a daily basis, we become like Christ.
The primary agency for changing us is the word of God. This is why teaching is an integral part of the great commission(Matt 28:19-20).Teaching is critical in growing in the image of God. Any child of God who is not learning the word of God cannot grow and if we do not grow, there are many benefits of salvation that we cannot access. Paul in Gal 4:1 says “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all”. in other words, as long as we remain children, there are many benefits of salvation that we will not access.
In the natural, when you are talking about bringing forth, maturity is required. A ten year old girl is naturally not expected to bear children yet. This morning, we will discuss the topic “Growth”
James Ryle, wrote in his devotional about Spiritual growth. There are seven facts about Spiritual growth; each one leading to another.
1. Healthy things grow. Anything that is alive and healthy will grow. Plants, businesses, investments, churches that are healthy will grow. Same way, God expects his children to grow. In Hebrew 5:12-13, Paul while scolding his followers mentioned that they are expected to have grown. As children of God we should ask ourselves the question “Am I growing?”
2. Growing things change. 1Corin. 13:11, Paul says “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things”. If things grow, the evidence of growth is change. Brethren, is your walk with God changed, has your prayer life or hunger for the work of God changed? Has your commitment changed? if there is no change, you are simply not growing.
3. Change brings Challenges. There is a saying that the only person that likes change is a wet baby. Ordinarily, we are creatures of comfort. Infact the greater the change, the greater the associated challenges. If a church grows, you will need a bigger space. If a business changes, there will be more challenges. Beyond natural challenges, growth would also attract the enemies. People throw stones at a fruitful tree. In 2Timothy 3:12, Paul told Timothy that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. If you have no challenges, it might mean you are not growing.
4. Challenges will force us to trust God. Adversity has a way of dragging men to God (Psalm 61:2). When we are troubled on many sides, we are tempted to run to God. Although prosperity is a promise God has made to his children. However, wherever you find this promise in the scriptures, there is a warning attached because the risk of being taken away from God is higher. When changes come, it comes with challenges that pushes us to God. So, when we have challenges, it may be God trying to draw us to himself. I pray that as we run to him, may every storm be still in Jesus name.
5. Trust leads to obedience. The root of all disobedience can be traced to a lack of trust in God. A man will steal because he is not sure that God will provide. A man will lie because he is not sure that if he tells the whole truth, God will protect him. Every sin can be traced to lack of trust in God. Paul tied the obedience of Abraham to his faith, Heb 11:8 says “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going”
6. Obedience makes us Healthy. When we obey God, he has a way of flooding our lives with joy and peace (Isaiah 48:18).Obedience is not just the key to peace, it is a key to victory(Psalm 81:13-16). If you are obedient, God says he will humble your enemies.
7. If you are healthy, you will grow
Therefore the cycle is: If we are healthy, we will grow. Growth will cause challenges. Challenges will drive us to God, challenges will make us trust God. If we trust God, we will obey him.Our health is in obeying God, and when we are healthy, we will grow. As children of God let us grow through the phases of growth. we need to complete the process of Growth. we must deal with every issue on each stage to move on.
It is God’s desire that his children should have spiritual growth I pray that spiritually we will grow, in finances, in grace we will grow, in our marriages, investment and businesses, we will grow(3 John 1:2), may we grow in all phases of our lives.
1. Lord Help me to grow. Give me the desire for your word. Give me a hunger for your word.
2. Knowing the word is the beginning, Obedience is the end. My father, as I learn, help me to obey.
3. My father, please help me in this area; mention the area you want God to help you.