GROW in 2018

So here is part two of my Sunday message (which I didn't get to share with you.) 

In 2018 what are you going to do differently?  I listened to a podcast this morning which helps me understand myself a little better.  Let me share a bit of the story I heard. 

Michael Jordan was playing for the Chicago Bulls.  They have just won their 4th NBA title.  But this one was particularly difficult for him.  His dad, his #1 supporter, and encourager had passed away that year.  In fact, the Bulls won the title on Fathers Day.  That had to be tough.  But Michael pushed through.  Now he could have gone home and taken a couple of weeks off after winning the series.  But as he was leaving the court to go to the locker room he sees his personal trainer and says.  "I'll see you in the morning!"

Wow!  On to the next thing.  No hesitation.  No question.  No stopping.  If you want to experience a year like none other - ask yourself - What's Next!

GROW - Here are another three things you need to look at this year.
- The Word of God - Your Character - Your World Point of View

#1 The Word of God - Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
I addressed the Word of God yesterday.  But let me add this.  Before the Christians in Antioch reached their world, they understood God’s will. They allowed it to affect every area of their life.  They allowed it to tell them how they should behave and act. 

For this to happen, it requires a submission to the Word of God that is unprecedented. But it also needs an attitude.  A good one.  This is an attitude that sees this Word as Holy, necessary, life-giving, and essential.

This year I challenge you to join a life group at your church (even if it is for one semester) this year.  It is your understanding of the Word of God that will change your life.  Not a sermon, the next big book or a conference.  The Holy Spirit works through the Word.  The Church works with the Word.

#2 Your Character - Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Paul gives you a list of character qualities that should exude from your life.  Now you may look at this list and say, "I don't have any patience or goodness in me."  That may be true.  But Paul had to write this passage with the understanding that some of us would be starting from scratch.

This is why you need the Holy Spirit.  He will teach you how to do these things in your every day life.
Remember this, to force someone to do these things is legalism. To ignore these qualities is foolish.  To allow the Holy Spirit to lead your life through each and everyone is rewarded with peace and joy.

Most followers of Christ don’t understand that this list is the key to happiness.

In 2018 I challenge you to examine your life.

How good was Antioch at these qualities?  Well, you've heard the term Christians before, right?  The believers in Antioch were the first followers of Jesus who were tagged with that title.  It was a compliment.

#3 Your World Point of View

How do you see your world? The believers in Antioch understood the world around them from God’s point of view.  Before they accepted Christ into their life, everything was about money, having a job, keeping the government happy, staying out of trouble, raising a family and being a good person.

Wow, not much has changed today has it?

But when they grew in the Word they knew that they were only a pilgrim in a foreign land. They were looking forward to the day when they would be with Christ always.

Whatever was happening in the world wouldn’t have any impact on the outcome of their life. With that peace and security, they were able to live their lives with purpose and to the fullest.

In 2018, define your hope with Christ's will, and you will have it. Define your hope with this world's view, and you will lose it.

Tomorrow SERVE in 2018 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I need to grow in the grace and knowledge of who you are.  Help me do so.  AMEN