Did you know that when Jesus Christ forgave you of your sins, His work with you was not finished? He didn’t live a perfect life, die on a cross, and raise from the dead on the 3rd day just to give a “get out of Hell free” card. He wants to know us and grow us into what He has planned for us. You and I know a lot of people who have said they are Christ-Followers and yet nothing has changed- if they were arrested for being a Christ-Follower, their case would be dismissed for lack of evidence. How can that be? Is it possible to have a relationship with the Creator of this universe and stay the same? I think not- and I believe the Bible says “not” as well. A favorite verse of mine is
2 Corinthians 5:17 - This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
When we plant an oak tree- growth cannot be seen on a daily basis, but if measured yearly there is definite growth. I am not saying that we come to Christ by faith and we grow by trying harder. I do believe that we come to Christ by faith and grow by faith. It is true that mushrooms grow up over night and oak trees take time. Oak trees also grow for years and deepen their root systems, whereas mushrooms are here today and then gone.
So here are some challenging growth/transformation questions for you:
- Am I more loving today than I was a year ago?
- Do I care more about people who are far from God today than I did a year ago?
- What changes has God made in me in the last year?
- Am I more generous today than a year ago?
- Am I more forgiving today than I was a year ago?
- And on and on- add your questions.
What if the honest answer to growth, for you, over this last year is no? I would say you are either not a Christ-Follower or you are not abiding in Him.
Here is your homework- read John 15:1-17. This passage talks about how we are to abide in Christ and how He brings about transformation and fruit. God’s plan for every one of us is to grow and produce fruit- How is your fruit looking? Not a Christ-Follower? Why not surrender your life to Him today? By the way, this weekend we are talking about this very subject- How does Christ transform us? Plan to come and bring a friend!
Also… Neal, connections pastor, just talked with the school about our “HOT” Sunday. There response was great and they are making plans so it doesn’t happen again. Sooooo… come on back!