SERIES: Balancing Act
Sunday, January 7, 2018
- New Year = New Beginning / Diets, saving $ all begin on a Monday, the first of the month, or the beginning of the year
- Balancing Act / key areas of our life that we need to grow in and to keep in balance / while one area is Spiritual, I believe it’s all spiritual – it’s all about the stewardship of our lives and everything God has given us
- OT-NT / Gospel of Luke / Author / Gentile audience
- We know several details and historic facts about Jesus birth and childhood from Luke and Matthew (city of birth, government officials, etc.)
- Only Luke writes anything else about His childhood and then his account too takes a leap forward.
- Luke writes this one verse, sixteen words, that is the bridge from Jesus’ childhood to adulthood. He thought it was important that we understand this about Jesus.
TEXT: Luke 2:52 (782)
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
- “Grew” / prokopto / “made or became greater, advance, accomplish, or progress”
- Some versions = “increased”
- NASB: And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
- Prokopto is used in the imperfect sense, suggesting progressive force to the verb (kept increasing or continued to grow) – not a one time event or moment
- Luke tells us that Jesus continued to grow in four areas of His life:
- In wisdom (intellectually)
- In stature (physically)
- In favor with God (spiritually)
- In favor with man (socially, relationally)
- We tend to look at this list of growth and see four different things: intellectually – school, physically – gym, spiritually – church, socially/emotional – family/friends
- But to the audience that Luke wrote to, and the Jewish culture that Jesus was a part of, these things were seen much more holistically – every part of life was spiritual, everything was related to their faith.
- “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ – Luke 10:27 (792)
You may not have thought of some of these things as spiritual or worshipful toward God. We get why God would care about our spiritual growth and maybe our relationships and social circles. But what about intellectual growth – does God care about that? Or how you take care of yourself physically? Can all of these areas matter to God?
- Balancing balanced
- Concept of spiritual growth (not a Kindergarten faith)
- Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. – 1 Peter 2:2-3 (935)
- Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, – 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (871)
- There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. – Hebrews 5:11-14 (922)
- Decision to follow Christ isn’t a final decision, it’s a beginning
- Growth is intentional, not passive
We can help!
- Next Step Spiritual Surveys / last year-this year / where have we grown collectively, what do we need to do to help more people take their next step?
- Growth Coaches / back of your Connection Card
- Growth Track in near future (Ex: How to read and understand your Bible)
- RightNow media / feed yourself spiritually
- How do you want/need to grow spiritually this year?
- What is your next step?