Join us for Worship
at 9:00 AM
in the College Hills Worship Center
June 26 - July 24, 2011
Kevin Owen spoke on the topic of
If you think about it the spiritual growth process is really a miraculous and mysterious thing. As much as I would like to make my tomato plants produce lush, ripe tomatoes I am powerless to make them grow. Certainly there are some things I can do to promote growth like feed and water them and yet ultimately it is a mysterious process. The same is true for us. Paul notes in speaking about the growth of the church in I Corinthians 3:6 it is God who ultimately makes things grow. Take the analogy of a speedboat and a sailboat, with a speedboat you crank the engine and drive the boat wherever you wish. You are very much in control. A sailboat on the other hand is much different. You are dependent on the sails catching the gentle breeze to guide and direct the vessel. It is fascinating to note the Greek word for Spirit (pneuma) can also be translated wind or breath. This is seen in places like John 3:8 where Jesus says “The wind (pneuma) blows wherever it pleases. You hear it’s sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going…” Spiritual growth occurs as we set our sails to catch the gentle blowing of the Spirit. Like wind you cannot see the Spirit and yet we see evidence of it all around. The Spirit in turn guides and directs us.
June 26 Miracle Grow Philippians 2:12-13; Romans 12:1-2 This introductory message will be a bit of a primer on spiritual growth. In Philippians 2:12-13 Paul tells us to “work out our salvation” not work for our salvation. Spiritual growth is active/passivity. Just after Paul says work out your salvation, he follows in verse 13 by saying “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Certainly we are involved in the process of growth but ultimately it is God who makes things grow; God who wills and acts. God desires for us to grow in our relationship with Him.
July 3 Growing Deeper I John 2:28-3:2 As the old saying goes, “God doesn’t just want us to know more, he wants us to be more.” If we are not careful we can be drawn into our shallow and often superficial world. We can be satisfied with that which is temporary and sensational. God has a promise for us if we continue in Christ. One day when Jesus appears John tells us “we shall be like him!” That is a glorious thought. I am far from being like him. This hope or this truth will transform us. John say’s “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure!” We grow deeper not by merely trying harder, by gritting our teeth and promising to do better but by staying near Jesus, growing more deeply into him. “Spiritual growth does not come by trying harder but by getting closer.”
July 10 Growing Deeper in Love Ephesians 3:14-19 (message by Larry Locke) Paul prays that the Christians in Ephesus will be strengthened with power in their inner beings so that somehow they might be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. When we come to understand or know this love it surpasses knowledge. In the end Paul’s prayer is that we will be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
July 17 Growing in Giving II Corinthians 8:1-7 The Macedonian Christians were amazing. Although they were poor and had experienced in Paul’s words “sever trial” their joy welled up in “rich generosity.” Paul challenges the Corinthians and us to excel or grow not only in faith and speech and knowledge but also “the grace of giving.” In the midst of difficult and uncertain times economically this is a message we all need to hear. Paul was not writing to guilt or shame the Corinthians but to remind them they are missing out on wonderful opportunities for growth and blessing.