Today’s Sunday Leftover is from yesterday's sermon at the church I attend. The message was part of an ongoing sermon series based on the book Life's Healing Choices, by John Baker of Saddleback Church and this part dealt with how we can continue to grow in our walk with God.
Refrigerator Worthy (RW): If you aren't growing, you are dying.
The sermon presented three ways we can grow or mature in God:
1) Make a commitment to spend time each day with God
Referenced scriptures: 1John 2:28, 1 John 3:6 and Colossians 4:2
RW: If we want to be fruitful, we must be connected to the vine.
2) Fill your mind with God’s word.
Referenced scriptures: James 1:25, John 8:31-32 and Romans 12:2
Key points…you will dwell on the things that you put into your mind. When we are constantly filling our minds with things that are negative, we will dwell on the negative. If we fill our minds with things of God, we will dwell on God.
This reminded me also of a passage in Joshua that I love:
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night," Joshua 1:8a
3) Focus on your goal and not on the habit you are trying to change.
Referenced scriptures: Phillippians 3:12 and Phillipians 3:13-14
If we want to continue to grow in Christ, we need to set goals to help us in the journey. We all have things that we need to change and we all have a past.
Paul recognized this and in Phillippians 3:12, he said that he has not yet reached the goal, but he keeps trying to reach it and make it his. In Phillippians 3:13-14, he talks about focusing all of his energies on forgetting the past and looking forward to the end of the race.
RW: Focusing on our pasts is like trying to drive forward while looking in the rear view mirror.
This third point was very interesting to me and something that I had never really thought a lot about, which might explain why I sometimes fail in meeting my goals. Focusing on what we don’t want, draws us to the object of our focus. Think about a diet…do you focus on the thinner, healthier you or do you focus on all the food you love but can’t have? The more you focus on that ice cream you can’t have, the more you are going to be tempted to grab that half gallon of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s® flavor from the frozen foods section and eat the whole thing before you get the groceries put away. (Does it sound like I’ve been there?)
Whatever gets your attention pulls you to it. So, it’s really important to keep your eye on the goal and not the habit you want to change. If your goal is to spend time with God everyday, don't dwell on the things that are keeping it from happening, instead, dwell on the reward of being connected to God and drawing closer to him.
Remember to stop by tomorrow for Timeless Tuesday...have a great day!