Pastor Steve Williams : Make Your Move!

Crawl Walk Run · 40:21 · Recorded January 8, 2017

Make Your Move!

Philippians 3:7-14 (NAS)  “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ…I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,  and may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death…Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus…I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Key ideas in spiritual formation

1. Lasting growth happens in gradual, successsive stages.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NRSV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

The journey of discipleship, not our salvation.

John 5:24 (NIV) “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

Our overall progress, not specific issues of obedience.

Insight & maturity, not our heart’s devotion.

Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)  Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

2. Reality rules, but vision always drives our improvement.

3. Risking & proceeding awkwardly is required!

Isaiah 41:10, 13 (ESV) “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

Form new habits, ways & diligence.

Proverbs 24:16 (ESV) The righteous falls seven times and rises again.

4. Momentum & direction will start taking over.

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Build on successes, while not lagging in easiness.

Enjoy satisfying fulfillment despite any unfinished achievement.

Proverbs 13:12 (NET) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life.

5. God will be prompting & calling you onward.

Philippians 1:6 (NJB) The One who began a good work in you will go on completing it until the Day of Jesus Christ comes.

Galatians 5:25 (NIV) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

It’s your move to make!

Study & Discussion Questions
  • Would you say that you’re more of a “slow & steady” or a “let’s take giant steps” personality? How has that worked out for you?

  • As you reflect on your journey of discipleship with Jesus, when did taking “baby steps” prove really helpful to you? When have you felt Jesus call you to a “giant step” for him?

  • What areas of your life would you currently characterize as just crawling?Walking confidently? Making great running strides?

  • Read 2 Peter 1:3-9. List the specific qualities mentioned in verses 5-7. Why are each of these important? Does there seem to be a reason for their order? Which do you need to give concentrated efforts to?

  • Which of the points in this message do you find real encouragement in? Which feel you need to give more thought and prayer to about your life?How can your group pray for you in this?

  • Read Luke 2:52 with your children about Jesus’ development as a person (may prompt some interesting questions!) – Jesus increased in wisdom (intellectually) and stature (physically), and in favor with God (spiritually) and people (socially). Talk with them about how we’re made to keep growing and maturing gradually over time. If you haven’t already done this, find a spot like behind a door on a wall to mark their height today and continue to do this over time to help them see how they’ve grown. Explain how God also wants us to continually be growing in our understanding of him, our world, ourselves and other people. Call attention to and express your pride in their areas of positive development.

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