Sunday, February 23, 2020 - OVERCOMING Spiritual Stagnation
Pastor Roger C. Marcos
February 23, 2020
Our journey starts from Birth to eternity. Have you ever pondered how long eternity is or how important salvation is?
Life is dynamic. It is not static. All living things are either growing and increasing toward maturity or deteriorating toward decay and death. So how about you - Are You Growing Spiritually?
I mean Are you growing toward maturity in your relationship with God, with people, and with your family?
Personal growth is normal and exciting, but it can also be difficult. It doesn’t happen without any effort. At the same time, growth can also be stymied (PREVENT OR HINDER THE PROGRESS) and stagnated.
Stagnant means Motionless and Inactive. This might be an accurate description of some people’s Christian walk. “I just want to live mindlessly from day to day.”
Failing to pursue this spiritual relationship causes stagnation and hence no progress to the next level of knowing God intimately.
Hebrews 10:25 ESV Not neglecting to meet-together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Personal stagnation leads to boredom, a lack of purpose, and for those of us who are Christ Followers, it can make Christianity itself seem downright dull, no excitement, and no meaning at all.
Today I want us to look at some solutions to this problem, because I know that if you’ve been a Christian for long, you are either suffering from this now, have in the past, or are going to in the future - To overcome, let’s adapt.
KEYS TO GROWTH. TO GROW- We Will Never Grow Unless We Want to Grow. It’s just like when you want something in your life. HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT?
Depend in you and how to get it- Example If you want RESPECT- then live godly; If you want a friend=then be friendly; if you want forgiveness-then forgive; If you want salvation-then obey the Lord; if you want Bible knowledge-then Study.. so then if you want to Overcome Spiritual stagnation you need to have a passion and motivation on heavenly things.
Are you excited when Sunday comes?
1 - KEY TO MOTIVATION. Willingness to Expend Energy to Achieve a Goal.
Motivation is an important study because it reaches to the core of Christian spirituality.
The biggest problem that most of us have is not that we’ve quit believing, not that we’re caught up in some terrible sin, but we’re just not motivated anymore.
LIVE DAILY WITH THE END IN VIEW.
- And so many of us have no target to aim for, we’re just stumbling along through life, hoping that by chance we’ll get it right.
- “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” - Matt.5:48
- Now, how does perfection sound as something to aim for? It sounds unreachable.
- But the word translated “perfect” literally means “fully grown” or “ripe.”
- Jesus is speaking of a process here, of aiming for something, of having a goal and taking the steps necessary to reach it.
He uses the Heavenly Father as the example - God is the bull’s eye we need to aim for, and we do that by living a life in imitation of Jesus Christ.
- Now I know that in this life I am never going to be as fully grown, or perfect, as God is, but I do know that if I have this as my goal I will continue to grow closer to it with each passing day.
What The Bible Say About The Importance Of Spiritual Growth?
Aiming - Goal
Eph. 4:15 Instead, by speaking the Truth in a Spirit of love, We Must Grow Up in Every Way to Christ, who is the head.
II Thes. 1:3 “Your Faith is Greatly Enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another Grows Even Greater.”
- It causes me to live each day with the end in view - to be focused, not just on the moment, but on the big picture of our life, and it motivates us to grow.
2 - KEY TO OVERCOMING APATHY. lack of Interest or Concern.
Apathy (I don’t care to do it). When I’m lazy I can care about something but not put forth the effort to get it done; it’s not a priority. When I’m apathetic, I could care less whether something gets done or not; it’s not important. Nothing inspires me; I’m not enthusiastic about the things of the Spirit. There’s no excitement, there’s no passion. I’m not affected by my lack of motivation to get up and do something. I’m indifferent, complacent; I’m slothful. Apathy causes stagnation.
What Causes Stagnation?
MAKE A PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO GROW- The most important thing in the life of a Christian is to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- There is a decision involved here - one that doesn’t just talk, but acts.
- And it’s a decision that will lead us away from apathy, into victory.
Luke 9:23-25 23. “If Anyone Desires to Come After Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross Daily, and follow Me. 24 For Whoever Desires to Save his Life will Lose it, but Whoever Loses His Life for My Sake Will Save It.
25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
Jesus is asking for a personal commitment here, and it’s a big one - “put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.”
- And he gives us the consequences of that commitment - keep your life and lose it, or give up your life for Him and find true life.
- The negative here is this - if you want to live for yourself and be committed only to yourself, you will live a life of personal stagnation.
- The positive is - live for Jesus and live a life filled with meaning, purpose, celebration, victory, security, and assurance.
- Following Jesus isn’t “Let’s make a deal.” Jesus says if you choose me you will experience true life, but if you choose yourself, your life will be lost.
- There is a decision to be made here - a commitment to go into training for growth
- Have you driven a stake in the ground and said, “I am going to grow, I am going to commit myself to this process.” Until you do, growth will not occur.
3 - KEY TO PROGRESS
- So many of us think that we would leave personal stagnation behind if we could just find the right seminar, the right book, or the right event.
- And so we go to BIBLE STUDY, SEMINAR, CONVENTION
II Peter 3:18 “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
- While many of these events and books are helpful, they really aren’t the key.
- Here’s what we need to do - VALUE PROCESS MORE THAN EVENT
- It isn’t a one time fix that is going to solve the problem, it is a series of things that we purposely do and get involved in that eventually leads to growth.
- It is the process of growth that needs to be experienced and honored, rather than each individual event that is a part of the process.
- The writer to the Hebrews was talking about the need for spiritual maturity and he makes this analogy: A person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. - Hebrews 5:13-14
“Growing Into Maturity” For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe”
Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. - Heb. 5:14
- Notice this phrase - “Who have trained themselves.” He is speaking of a process of training for growth that is initiated by the one being trained.
- The process is not a seminar, or a quiet time, or reading a book, it is the cumulative value of those things over a period of time.
- The secret to your future is not found in the events you attend, but in what you do in your daily routine.
- Day by day, if you are in God’s Word, if you are praying, if you are being stretched by others, and if you are in fellowship, over time those things add up to a great amount of progress in the Christian life.
- Too many of us ignore the daily routine, and look instead for the one shot spiritual wonders or events to propel our lives into spiritual success.
- But true success comes in the way we fill our daily lives.
How Will it Happen? What Can I Do? STUDY THE BIBLE
- to know the Truth
- to increase Faith
- to please God
- to experience the joy of GIVING
- to change behavior
- to teach others
- to live forever In Christ
As usual, there is a choice that we have to make today - we can either keep living the way that we always have, and if we’re not there already, eventually we’ll end up living a life of personal stagnation.
- Or, we can decide that today is the day that we’re going to begin living life to its fullest, and with God’s help we will overcome whatever it is that has been holding us back.