Faithlife Sermons

Practices to Propel Your Growth

How to Grow  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I think most of us have a predisposition to either do nothing to grow spiritually or bite off way more than we can chew (meaning - we dive in without considering the long haul)
Eugen Peterson “Long Obedience in the Same Direction” says this:
There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness. Religion in our time has been captured by the tourist mindset. Religion is understood as a visit to an attractive site to be made when we have adequate leisure.”
that is inditing to say the least - but when you stop to think about it - we live in our instant culture where if we don’t know the answer, we immediately pull out our phones and “google” it
I know I do
that’s why last week we broke down spiritual growth into 3 core habits that are so important for us
these are going to take time - but they are worth it
Primary - Engage in Fellowship, Engage in Prayer, Engage in Scripture
but as we begin to grow - there are other habits that we can add to our lives
these are called Supporting habits
Secondary habits the support the primary
the core habits - that’s to be our focus - that has got to be the main
we’ve got to master the basics - they’re simple but each one offers a lifetime of growth
they’re not always flashy - but they are tried and true
they form us into the person that Christ wants - more into His image
to ignore them is to our peril
but as we embrace them - the beautiful life of Christ in us becomes tangible in our world
and along the way there will other supporting habits or disciplines that will supplement or enhance the joy of engaging in the first
How do we choose which supplemental habits to add into our lives? How do we make sure they build and not distract?
let’s turn to in our Bibles
Big Idea: Engage in practices that help you grow
Big Idea: Engage in practices that help you grow

Focus on what’s above (3:1-4)

now that your focusing on 3 core habits (fellowship, prayer, word) it’s time to tune into what is truly important in life
focus is everything - you will find as you begin enjoying the core habits - that your outlook will start to look different
Illustrate - with my eyes now - at the age needing support to read when I get tired or late at night (READING GLASSES)
i notice that it’s harder to focus on things closer up… so I need a little support (glasses)
felloswhip, prayer and scripture will begin to auto-tune us to what really matters to God
when focus on what Christ has done for us - it speaks to what we should do now
what are the things in life that matters to God
only two things in this world are eternal - God’s Word - the Gospel AND the human soul
everything else will one day be destroyed - but these two still remain
how much to we put into the other instead of what is eternal?

Put away your old way of life (3:5-11)

we are constantly fighting our 1 nature and living for our 2nd nature - trying to make it out 1st nature again
by putting off sinful and unhelpful habits we are instead focusing on what is truly helpful to spiritual growth

Engage in new practices (3:12-27)

to see the new become our nature more and more - we are to engage in practices that will support
Paul makes a list (while remembering WHOSE we are, we are put build into our lives habitual behaviour that supports the primary habits that we should be already involved in
this new nature - the beautiful nature that the Gospel produces in us
Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, love, peace, the word of God, worship, serving
this isn’t necessarily a complete list - more habits can support
Darryl Dash, in his book, mentions -

So what?

Don’t expect the supporting habits to come before the primary ones

expecting supporting habits for spiritual growth will frustrate you and you will give up
once you have the core habits working well, start to focus on one of the supporting ones
what you do consistently matters more than what you do really well only occasionally
when we work these habits - and then the supporting ones into our lives, they begin to work on us
They’ll put us in the path of God’s grace and shape our hearts
building habits, and they’ll help to build you
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