"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever." Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." Psalm 92:12-14
This word grow as translated from the Greek is: to change into - enlarge or increase. To enlarge or increase our estate. To grow or change means that we will flourish like the palm tree - Grow like a cedar - Flourish in the courts of God - Bring forth fruit in our old age. These are not negative things. Change is not a negative thing.
If you are following Jesus Christ you are changing. The word of God is alive and written so that you would change and change and change. And each change is to make you more like God.
A static relationship with God is not a relationship at all. A static relationship is religion. With religion you can stop and get off anywhere you want to and still maintain your so-called relationship with God. With a static relationship with God you can easily be led astray.
You can fall into temptations
You can become unfruitful
You can abandon the brethren
You can even turn away from God
But with a vital and changing relationship with God, everyday brings new ground to break, new horizons, newness of life.
You can flee temptations
You produce fruit
You stick with the brethren
You draw nearer to God
You risk your soul when you bargain with God. God calls you to change so you can be more like God. An elder, mentor and friend of mine at age 87 told me, "A man or woman of God is always a teachable man or woman." Isn't it the truth.
The greatest opportunities in your life have been when you were open to receive what God had for you and the greatest moments among those opportunities are when you received what God had for you.
Each time this happened you made progress in our life. You allowed God to change you and every change that God makes in you is good. Pray that God will change you and not allow you to go another day without opening yourselfe to Him in a way that change could take place.
There are ten things that happen when you are not growing or changing:
You can become stiff, callous and un-pliable
You can be easily led astray
You can go back to your old ways
You will lose your sense of urgency in the things of God
You will waste time wallowing in the past or even in the present
You will stop producing fruit - Think about it - How long can fruit hang on a tree before you just cut it off and throw it away, because fruit becomes rotten on the tree.
You can miss your calling
You can become complacent and careless
You will slowly turn back to where you have been
Lastly, God cannot use you, because you are not willing to follow Jesus wherever He takes you.
Sometimes you get into ruts and just stay there.
You resist change.
Sometimes you hold on to the familiar because its easy.
You hold on to old doctrines of men.
You hold on to your own opinion, even after new light has been shown.
You hold on to the world and what it offers.
You hold on to the past.
You hold on to our guilt.
You hold on for FEAR OF CHANGE.
Yet, God calls you to trust Him in a way that demands change. Each step of faith with God is one of relinquishing the familiar or the stagnant and receiving what God has for you. That takes change. It's not easy to step out on the water expecting God to keep you up, but you must if you want to walk with Jesus, because your walk with Jesus is a faith walk, every step of the way.
There are ten things that happen when you are growing or changing:
You become softened and pliable, easy to be talked to and loving to others
You cannot be easily led astray
You will not turn back to your old ways, you abandon them
You recognize the urgency of the things of God
You live in the now and don't live in the past, opening old wounds
You will be producing fruit
You will find your calling
You will become excited and careful
You will never go back to where you have been
God can use you because you go wherever Jesus goes
Are you the same person you were ten years ago? I hope not. If you are you have missed much life. God has a precious plan to grow you into an holy temple. A place good enough for God to reside. No! I am not saying that you can of yourself make yourselfe good enough to be God's dwelling place.
God makes you good enough to be His dwelling place. God designed a plan to purge you and live in you. Each of us, because of Christ, are worthy to be God's temple and together we grow into an holy church. Growing or changing does not happen at the same time for everyone. What moves one person, does not move another. Sometimes a verse of scripture will change someone forever and another will not be moved at all. Some of change easily and some of us change slowly and with great difficulty. All change comes from influence. You are influenced by everything you come into contact with as well as being influenced by the omission of contact.
It is important that you allow yourself and your children to be influenced by those things that keep you on track with your faith. And it is just as important to dis-allow some of the distractions that can come your way or your children's way to keep on track. It is just as important to pull away from those things that distract you from keeping your eyes on Jesus. The direction you change will be the direct result of what influences to that change.
To hold to the things of God, you need to be influenced by the people of God.
To hold to the things of the world, you need to be influenced by the world.
If you are to change and be more like God, you will need to be around those people that are going in the same direction as you are.
And then the other side of this is:
What you allow to influence you - you will in turn influence others the same
You become more like God - others will become more like God
You allow the world to influence you - you then influence your children with the same thing. This principle cannot be circumvented.
Think about this. God wants nothing from you that God does not give you.
God gives nothing to you that He does not want from you.
You change so you can be changed.
You are given to so you can give away.
You are taught so you can teach.
You are blessed so you can bless.
You are loved so you can love.
You are changed so you can change others.
God moves and works through you, via change.
If you hold onto what God gives you, you will get no more.
If you bury your talent in the ground, it will decay.
If you use it, God will replace it or multiply it.
If God gives you a gift and you use it, God will increase (change) it
If God gives you a gift and you don't use it, God will take it away
If we learn a truth and teach others, you will learn more and more
If we learn a truth and keep it to yourself, you will die with it
Change is inevitable. Create change or change will create you. Which is better?