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How Not To Grow

An abbreviated step-by-step guide to personal stagnation that is GUARANTEED to diminish your relationship with Christ, expose yourself to temptation, lead to sin, weaken your example for future generations, stall out church growth, and assist the Devil in the snatching of the Gospel from the hearts of the lost. Avoid the Word - You’ve probably heard and know most of the Bible stories and characters before. Sermons and Sunday school are enough Bible time in your week. It’s old and irrelevant to the things of today. Your free time is too valuable. (do not read Hebrews 2:1 or 2 Timothy 3:14-17) Neglect prayer – Prayer can get boring and dry and takes too much time; God knows what you are going to ask before you do it anyhow, so why bother? (avoid this passage; Ephesians 6:18-20 ) Be proud & self-focused – Impress people with your skills, knowledge, wit, power, possessions, positions, legacy, and competence (forget that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 1:26-2:5) Stay busy with things that don’t matter – See how many things you can do, build up your resume, be consumed with the things of this world so you have a good excuse to avoid church commitments. (don’t take the time to look up 1 John 2:15-17) Forget about Satan – Pretend Satan isn’t real and that he doesn’t actually attack you and others. Go ahead and assume that Hell probably isn’t a real place either for that matter. (ignore 1 Peter 5:8-8 & James 4:6-8) Make excuses for minimal church involvement or practice church hopping – Take for granted the freedom and privilege we have to gather together and worship God. Rationalize missing church by saying “I can worship God anywhere,” “I’m tired,” or “They won’t miss me.” Forget that the primary purpose of church is to glorify God and not to meet your needs. (do Hebrews 10:25 & Matthew 18:20 really matter?) Think positively about Human Nature – Most people are good people and that is what really matters. If they say they are Christians or religious that is a good enough answer. (you probably haven’t read Psalm 51:5 or 1 John 1:5-10 anyhow) No true follower of Christ would desire or advocate the above positions or behaviors…however, the sad truth of is that many of us have and may be continuing to struggle in these areas (or know someone who is). We must not minimize or trivialize the damage that the habitual negligence of our walk with Christ has on our own spiritual health and the health of our church. We must become sober-minded in the spiritual aspects of our lives and more disciplined to run the race and fight the good fight that our God may be glorified through our lives! We should thank the Lord for His provision in the examples of many godly and spiritually-mature men and women within our churches….but we should also pray that the Lord raise up and grow many more to His glory (including ourselves)!

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