Thursday, April 3, 2014

How To: GROW

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Happy Thursday! 

There's a theme that has been resonating in my heart. And that is the message of a better you, a better me. Last week I was reminded (as if we needed to be reminded) that the deeper we grow in the Word the more we are forced to change. And this change can be a natural byproduct of the Word, or it can come about through our refusal, our surrender, our obedience, our stand. What we can't lose sight of is that this change is not to make us better Christians. The goal has never been to be better Christians. The goal is to look more like Jesus, in word and deed. 

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Spending time with God will cause us to grow. And with growth comes growing pains. It just ain't easy to grow. There is nothing we can do to help God, other than to daily surrender. OR you may stunt your growth, prolonging your growing pains. I don't intend on painting a picture that our walk with God is to be painful and gruesome. But reality is that sin is painful, it is gruesome, "ratched", evil, and so much a part of us that detaching from it will be (at times) literally a death to self. 

Maybe you don't need to be reminded of this, but I do. Because I forget that in daily surrender, daily pursuit, and daily encounters with my God I grow. I grow in the knowledge of His worthiness and how unholy I am. 
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Isaiah 6:1-5
Oh wretched woman that I am. After considering this portion of Isaiah, I sat in silence and asked myself about my sin. I don't blatantly sin or curse God. I don't fornicate or self harm in other ways. I don't partake in illegal activities. I could check off my card and walk away feeling self righteous, but I got a glimpse of God's holiness and my lack there of. What does my sin look like? Laziness, Pride, Self Righteousness, Procrastination:
Laziness to read God's Word.
I know what it says, I could go without reading today.
I'll just take a look a YouVersion. as if it were a catalog 
Tonight I'll do.
Tomorrow I'll do.

I'm keeping it real. If we aren't in God's Word daily, how will we grow? How will be effective Christians?
I encourage you, as I am being encouraged, to open your Bibles daily and grow. Position yourself. Set a time. And do. As we have daily encounters with God, we will be radically and beautifully transformed into the image of Christ. That's the goal! And what I believe the only real way to be a better you, a better me. 

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:5-8

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