Family Bible Study lesson for June 19: Get Growing! : Friday, June 3, 2005
June 3 2005 by Phillip Hamm

Family Bible Study lesson for June 19: Get Growing! : Friday, June 3, 2005
Friday, June 3, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for June 19: Get Growing!

By Phillip Hamm
Focal passage: Philippians 2:12-16a, 3:10-19

I decided to plant trees in my backyard this spring. I've planted several varieties of oak, pecan and maple. One tree in particular hasn't done so well. I've watered it, fertilized it, and (with the encouragement of my neighbor) even given it an aspirin, but nothing seems to work. I think it's dead.

There are two reasons that I think my tree has kicked the bucket. First, the leaves have shriveled up and turned brown. Second, it's not growing. All the other trees I've planted have new buds, fresh leaves, and new limbs appearing. But this particular tree shows no signs of life.

I think the same philosophy holds true for Christians. If we're not growing in our walk with the Lord, it is a sign of serious trouble.

Don't Compartmentalize

(Phil. 2:12-16a)

Paul tells those in Philippi to work out their salvation. He's not contradicting himself and telling them to earn their salvation. He's merely encouraging them take what God has already placed in their lives and develop it to maturity.

I looked in the mirror recently and wasn't really pleased with what I saw. I used be active - playing basketball, racquetball, baseball and such. But now I mostly sit at my desk and study. To solve my dilemma - and regain a portion of my youth - I decided to work out. I bought weights and began doing sit-ups and pushups. Am I creating muscle by exercising? No. I'm simply developing the muscle that is already there. Paul is telling the Christians in Philippi to develop what God has already placed in their lives.

Imitate Mature Believers

(Phil. 3:10-16)

Paul gives the people in the church of Philippi a practical way to grow in Christian maturity. He tells them to imitate those who are doing it right. He wants them to follow the examples of people who show evidence of having a growing relationship with God. At the same time he warns them to stay away from those who show no evidence of walking with the Lord.

My son Jonathan will soon be three. He's 30 pounds of blonde-headed, endless energy. He wants to be by my side, helping me with whatever I'm doing. If I'm working in garden, he gets his shovel and comes to "help." If I'm hitting a golf ball around the backyard, he gets his golf club and plays with me. If I'm leaning up against the counter in our kitchen with my arms folded, he comes and stands right next to me and folds his arms. He's my little shadow, doing whatever I do and saying whatever I say. Yeah, you guessed it: it's a little scary. While playing a serious game of "Hi Ho Cherry-O!" the other day, he was forced to put some of his cherries back on the tree. He did so, but not without proclaiming in protest "Oh, maaaan!"

We have a tendency to become like those that we spend time with. If the majority of your time is spent around people who exhibit ungodly character, the chances are pretty good that you will begin to take on those traits. But, if you make a point to spend time with those who have a growing walk with the Lord, you will soon begin to reflect those attributes in your life.

Your walk with the Lord is either growing or dying. Spend a few minutes and take an inventory of your spiritual life. Do you see any evidence of new growth or are you still clinging to something that grew years ago? God wants to walk with you in a vibrant, growing relationship. He wants to hear from you in prayer and know your deepest fears and strongest joys. He wants you to come closer to Him. What do you need to do today to grow as Christian?

6/3/2005 12:00:00 AM by Phillip Hamm | with 0 comments




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