God's truth for today's world

Currently we’re in a message series called “Growing In Life’s Journey.” God wants you to grow in every dimension of your life, growth involves change. Growth and change are good things that will make your life better. However, we tend to resist change. We don’t want to change, we just want our circumstances to change. God doesn’t work that way. He’s more interested in changing you than changing your circumstances.

The other day one of my children was preparing something for us to eat. They asked Carol if she had any more garlic. She said no, but she thought we had enough. Our child said she need more so Carol checked what she was doing. The recipe had called for one teaspoon of garlic as seasoning but our child had interpreted it as one cup of garlic. That was just a bit too much, so the dish was ruined. We could have prayed that God would remove the excess garlic from the dish but I doubt if He would have granted our request. The answer was not in getting God to change our trouble but in teaching our children to grow in their understanding of measurements. Too often people pray for God to remove the garlic or troubles in their life when God wants to teach them and change them through the trouble.

Today my message is entitled “Don’t Waste Your Troubles.” My title assumes you are going to have troubles in your life, everybody does. Sometimes you go through a period where everything is easy sailing but don’t get complacent, because eventually you will encounter storms. Storms or troubles are meant to make you stronger.NIV 1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

Trials and troubles are part of God’s plan for your life. God doesn’t cause them but He allows them to come into our lives. Most people just want to get through the troubles or storms, but God has a purpose in everything that He allows into your life. Troubles are meant to bring about change in your life, they are the pressures that God uses to shape us. Troubles are meant to draw you closer to God, to help you to depend on Him more than on yourself. Troubles are meant to teach you lessons from God and to help you grow. None of this happens automatically.

My title “Don’t Waste Your Troubles” also assumes that you can waste your troubles. You can go through all kinds of troubles and not change, not grow, not learn anything. That’s a wasted trouble. So how can you make the most of the troubles that you face in your life?

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 30, 2006 message entitled Don’t Waste Your Troubles

Currently, we’re in a message series called “Growing In Life’s Journey.” Whenever you want change in your life, whenever you want to do something new, you need to grow. As a believer, God has put the desire in your heart to grow. If you are not yet a believer this morning, God has put a desire in your heart to grow. Growth and change are a normal healthy part of life.

In order to grow you need three things. You need knowledge, an understanding of what you need to do in order to change or grow. For example, if you want to change careers and get into a new career with more opportunity for advancement, you need new knowledge, so you go back to school. The second thing that you need is the desire or will to make changes in your life. If you don’t have the desire to learn and apply new knowledge, it won’t do you any good. The third thing that you need is the power to bring about the change in your life. God is your power source.

Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important elements of bringing about change in your life. My message this morning is entitled “Discovering The Growth Manual.” God has provided a roadmap for change and growth in your life. It’s a growth manual for life. It has parts that are easy enough for a child to understand and other parts that even advanced scholars have yet to decipher. God’s growth manual to bring about positive change in your life is the Bible.

The Bible calls itself God’s Word, it is God’s instructions to every person who will learn. The Bible is God’s roadmap for growth in your life. I’ve got a lot of areas in my life that need to grow. How about you? NLT Matthew 4:4 People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God. What do your children need to grow? It is essential for them to eat physical food. The same is true spiritually, you must feed on every word of God written down in the pages of the Bible in order to grow spiritually.

Today most people don’t read the Bible regularly, most people have never studied the Bible in school and are ignorant of the most important of all books. NLT John 8:31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.” A true believer, a true disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who understands the teaching of God’s Word and obeys it. That person will grow in their life to become more like their teacher Jesus. So today let’s look at how you can discover God’s growth manual, the Bible.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 16, 2006 message entitled Discovering The Growth Manual

Today my message is entitled “How You Can Grow.” We’re in the middle of a series about spiritual growth. Today our picture is of a large tree with roots going down deep into the earth and leafy branches reaching up to the sky. Healthy trees continue to grow in diameter and height during their entire life span. Healthy believers grow spiritually throughout their lives.

God wants you to grow up, He wants you to mature. What is the goal, what is the point of life? We talked about that last Sunday. The point of growth, the point of life is to develop to become like Jesus Christ. NIV Luke 6:40 A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. So when a believer is fully trained, fully mature, they will be like their teacher, Jesus Christ.

Growth, however, is not automatic, a believer must cooperate with God in order to grow. In the parable of the sower and the seed, the four different kinds of soil represent four kinds of people. The seed represents the Word of God which brings forth God’s life into ours. You are responsible for the condition of the soil of your heart. Are you receptive to God’s Word or is your life like the hard packed road? Are shallow in your commitment to God, do you have rocks underneath the surface that prevent the roots of God’s life from going deep? Have you allowed wrong actions and attitudes thorns to grow up in your life and so choke out God’s life? Or is your heart’s soil good and fertile receptive to God, allowing the roots of God’s life to grow deep?

Remember growth is not automatic, it depends on you and your choices. NLT Hebrews 5:12 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. God doesn’t want you to remain babies, always needing to be taught the basics over and over. God wants every believer to mature and become a teacher of others.

When you grow up spiritually, every area of your life will be blessed, your relationships, your work, your family, your finances and your health.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 9, 2006 message entitled How You Can Grow

Today we begin a new message series entitled “Growing in Life’s Journey.” Life is a journey, it has a beginning and an end, you get one shot at life and that’s all you get. The Bible makes it very clear that you are not going to come back another time in another body or any such thing. Reincarnation is simply the result of over active imaginations, no truth to it at all. So since we’re all on this journey called life, it’s important to understand what it’s all about, so you can make the most of it.

Today my message is entitled “The Point Of Life.” Why did God put us on this journey called life? What’s it all about? What are we supposed to accomplish along the way? A lot of people have various goals in life. They think that when they reach those goals they will have accomplished something of great importance in life, then they will have arrived. The destinations that people long for in this life: saving x amount of dollars, retiring, getting to position y on the corporate ladder, winning this or that award, putting the kids through college, really aren’t what life is about. Life isn’t really about you and your goals. Life is about God who created you and His purposes for you.

In the beginning God created people in His image NIV Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. People were created to be like God in many respects, to display God’s character in our lives and to have a relationship with God. That’s the point of life. However something happened in the garden of Eden, both Adam and Eve sinned, they didn’t act like God, they disobeyed Him and so God’s image in their lives was now marred and distorted. Each of us in our own ways has sinned as well and so God’s image for people was not being realized. They were missing the point of life. When you miss the point of life, that sin will also keep you from experiencing eternity with God your creator.

That’s why we needed Jesus, who being God, was born on this earth as a man. He lived a perfect life and He fully reflected the image of God. NIV Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. By dying on the cross so that your sins could be forgiven, Jesus made a way for you to become like Him, so that you could once again bear God’s image, so that you could reflect God’s glory in your life as well. NLT Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.

So there you have the point of life, to become like Jesus. Life is a journey to become like Jesus. It takes a lifetime because we have a long ways to go. God knew you when He created you and you have been chosen to mirror God’s image as you become more and more like Jesus. So today I’m going to talk about how you can grow to become more like Jesus.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my July 2, 2006 message entitled The Point Of Life
https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifechurchstlouis/mp3s/2006_Messages/2006_07_Growing_In_Lifes_Journey/070206_The _Point_Of_Life.mp3