After accepting Christ you begin a journey that is a complete makeover from the inside out. Receiving Christ means becoming the “you” that He desires, not staying the way you were with your old ways and desires. Although, salvation comes like a flood, in a moment of faith and surrender, the new “you” takes time and effort to develop and grow. Growth doesn’t just happen; it must be intentional. God’s grace will grow you, but it requires your effort and cooperation. Many Christians aren’t on the move; they are stuck and don’t understand why. God offers a new way of living, a better way in life. If you are stuck, get moving! You should be on the move in your spiritual life from the day you receive Jesus until the day you go to be with him eternally.
Ps 119:105; Mt 9:17; Ro 8:34, 12:2; 2 Co 5:17; Ga 3:3, 5:16; Ep 4:22-24; Ph 1:6, 2:13; Hb 7:18-19
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ep 4:22-24) So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (2 Cor 5:17) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Ro 12:2)
To keep moving forward in your spiritual life, there are some things you must do to promote the process. First, you have to put off the old ways and ideas. You can’t grow if you are still entrenched in your old patterns and behaviors. Growth comes by putting off the old life and putting on the new life that God promises when you receive Christ. Once you become a follower you find that the old way gets uncomfortable, it doesn’t fit anymore. Some try to put the new life on over the old one, and that is awkward. Others try to switch back and forth between the old and the new to accommodate everyone and everything, but that just brings stress and guilt. As you put on the new attitudes, thoughts, beliefs and vision, you begin to see things as God sees them and respond the way God would have you respond. The key to this process is found in Romans 12:2. Renew your mind! How? By spending time each day talking to God, listening to God, and reading His word, the Holy Spirit works to renew your mind…to change the way you think. Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path. Scripture is powerless in your life if you never read it. You can’t renew your mind if you never read it, think about it, and memorize it. Until you actually invest yourself in your relationship with God, you can’t fathom the life change it brings. But when you do, you will hunger for God’s word and for time with Him. The Holy Spirit will begin to prompt you and guide you as you renew your mind. Living daily in your new self will bring joy and peace.
Is your spiritual life on the move? Explain. What tends to stall your spiritual growth process? Explain. How do you stay motivated to grow? Why do Christians fall back into their old behaviors and way of living? Why is it so easy to fall back into the old way? If a person accepts Christ but never grows, is he/she a Christian? Name one way your thinking has been renewed because of your relationship with Jesus.
Keep a daily routine of prayer, Bible reading and time to listen to God. If you don’t feel you are growing, share with a trusted Christian friend and ask for guidance.
Prayer (Ps 19:14)
Gracious Father, thank you for the new life available in Christ. Help me to fully embrace the relationship that you offer. Continue to renew my mind in your word. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.