How to Grow

Text: Hebrews 5:6-14


I.         Each of us started life as a cell so small it would take a microscope to see you.

            A.        But we don’t stay that size, we grow – and rapidly – into a small infant born into this world, we become toddlers, children, adolescents, and eventually adults.

                        1.         Grow is very much a part of life. The absence of grow is a cause for alarm.

                        2.         If you had an infant child who did not gain an ounce in three months, would you sit back and think “oh, well,” or would you be busting down the pediatrician’s door wanting help?

            B.        At the same time, we understand that growth isn’t instantaneous.

                        1.         We would not respect a parent who takes a child at the age of six or seven, packs their bags, sends them out the door, and says, “You’re on your own now.”

                        2.         We call that neglect of the child. A neglect of a parent’s responsibility to the child.

            C.        Each Christian also starts out as a new born babe - I Peter 2:2

                        1.         Are we letting the newborns starve spiritually?

                        2.         Are we pushing them out on their own too soon?

            D.        Growth is important for life

                        1.         Grow in grace and knowledge - II Peter 3:18

                        2.         Grow up to be like Christ - Ephesians 4:15

            E.        But how is growth done? How does a Christian, new born or well-established, grow?

II.        Set realistic goals

            A.        Long term - Reaching heaven

                        1.         Press for the prize - Philippians 3:13-14

                        2.         Seek the heavenly country - Hebrews 11:13-16

            B.        Near term - Being the best I can for God

                        1.         Someone the Lord would commend - II Corinthians 10:17-18

                        2.         Someone told “well done” - Matthew 25:21

            C.        Near term - Being the best I can for those around me

                        1.         A loving spouse - Ephesians 5:23-33

                        2.         An obedient child - Ephesians 6:1-3

                        3.         An honored parent - Ephesians 6:4

                        4.         A good employee - Ephesians 6:5-8

            D.        In each of our roles, we can pick out how to be better. In that there is no upper bound. There is always room to grow.

            E.        Mid term - Things you would like to accomplish or become in this life

                        1.         All should desire to become teachers - Hebrews 5:12-14

                        2.         Some might desire to preach - II Timothy 4:2-5

                        3.         Some might desire to serve as elders - I Timothy 3:1

III.       Lay out steps leading toward that goal

            A.        Very few places that we want to reach are reachable in one step. Usually we understand that there are a series of things needed to be done to reach a goal.

                        1.         Spiritual goals are no different.

                        2.         We should be frustrated that we aren’t there yet.

                        3.         Instead, we should be thinking about what is the next step needed that brings me even closer to my goal.

            B.        It might seem over simplistic, but the first thing we need to accomplish growth is to admit we aren’t there yet.

                        1.         Unless we can see we haven’t made it, there is no need to take further steps - I Corinthians 3:18

                        2.         Pray to God for wisdom - James 1:5

                        3.         Wisdom is the plan for putting our house together - Proverbs 24:3-4

            C.        Learn what needs to change and what it needs to be changed to.

                        1.         That means study. Lots of it. - II Timothy 2:15

                        2.         Wake up! - I Corinthians 15:34

IV.      Apply it

            A.        Some want to wait until the entire route is mapped out in great detail.

            B.        But we generally don’t know what more is need until we get closer to our goal - Philippians 3:16

            C.        What we learn, we must do - Philippians 4:9

            D.        So when we find something we need to do, we need to apply it then - James 1:21-25

V.        Ask for help

            A.        Some people just never will stop and ask for directions. But there are going to be times when it is hard to tell what needs to be your next move

            B.        Need advice - Proverbs 15:22

            C.        But look for good sources of advice

                        1.         It is amazing how many people accept advice from people who have never gone to where you want to go.

                        2.         If you want to know how to be a good elder, find good elders with a proven track record to talk to.

                        3.         If you want to know how to be a good parent, find good parents with a proven track record to talk to.

VI.      Be willing to take course corrections

            A.        Don’t think you’re already there - Galatians 6:3

            B.        A fool thinks his way is always the right way - Proverbs 12:15

            C.        Watch where you are going - Proverbs 22:3

VII.     Are you ready to take the journey?

            A.        We’re ready to aid you along the way.

            B.        But the first steps to heaven require that you first commit your life to God.

            C.        And if you have started, don’t stop!