Monday, January 27, 2014

Fertilizer = Growth

"A Christian can read his Bible daily, communicate with the Lord often in prayer, attend church regularly, be involved in outreach ministry, and give faithfully, but unless he is willing to change, to grow, to be perfected, and then to be used however and whenever and wherever God desires, these disciplines will not yield their maximum benefit." - Charles Stanley, Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines

I am reading through the book quoted above as part of my daily devotionals.  It's been a really good read, as anything by Charles Stanley would be.  Today I read over this paragraph that ended a chapter and it really stuck with me.  What Dr. Stanley is pointing out is that we can do a million things that a good, faithful Christian should do but if we do not allow God to use those disciplines as fertilizer to help us grow then the disciplines are useless.

Here's another way to look at it.  If we read the Bible and are constantly confronted by a particular area of life that we need to change (insert your own particular vice here) and do not allow God's Word to confront, convict and ultimately challenge us to change, then what good is it to read the Bible?  You can read a million self-help books and never put into practice what they preach but in the end what good does it do you to read them?

Think about it this way.  If we prayed daily seeking God's guidance and wisdom on a particular area of life (insert your own life issue here), and He revealed to us the way He wants us to handle it yet we still go our own way, then why pray?  It's like going to your doctor and him telling you need to lose weight and exercise or you will have serious health issues and you going away without heeding the counsel?

My church has heard me mention several times lately the idea that we are to be conforming to the image of Christ.  Simply put God is molding us throughout our life to resemble, or reflect the image of Christ.  He uses everything in life to shape us into the image of His Son.  Through our Christian disciplines of prayer, study, service, and others, we can be conformed to the image of Christ but only if we allow God to use those disciplines as fertilizer for our growth.  What part of your life do you need to allow God greater access to for you to grow and so that He can mold you into a better image of Christ?

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