Friday, March 4, 2011

Message from Donna Thornton, West/Central Campus Art

Luke 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Last Sunday I was teaching junior church and we were talking about the one passage of Jesus as a boy growing up, the day he got lost. I asked the kids to put the above verse in their own words. So one said, "Jesus got smarter." Another said, "Jesus got taller and stronger." A third child said, "God really liked Him." Lastly, a student said, "People liked him too." I have read this verse many times, but as I read it this time it occurred to me that this verse addresses four areas that the children and the adults who follow Christ should be aware of. Those four areas are: intellectual (smarter), physical (stronger), spiritual (God is pleased), and social (people like us). Jesus was growing in these areas, and we should grow in them too. God wants our best.

How can we as Christians grow intellectually? Sounds to me like we should be using our brains, becoming informed, be well read, get educated, and be speaking from knowledge. Maybe we should be life long learners and know what we are talking about. No matter where we start intellectually there is always room for growth, and I think God wants us to do our best in this area.

How can we as Christians grow physically? Say what? You mean to tell me that God wants us to join LA Fitness? It is possible. Maybe he just wants us to give up being slothful, get active, take a walk, ride our bike, or push the vacuum cleaner. He does not want us to be idle. The commandment to labor 6 days is just as much part of the commandment as to rest on the seventh!

How can we grow spiritually? One way to grow spiritually is to talk to God and read His word. It is equally important to walk according to His teachings and leadings. We all know we need prayer and Bible study, but we also need to listen. What is he telling you? Are you listening?

We also should grow socially. Sometimes Christians think because of their testimony they will lose friends. However, being trustworthy, compassionate, honest, friendly, helpful, kind, and thoughtful are all traits that Christians should cultivate. Will those traits win you friends? Oh, yes. And even if someone withdraws from you because of your testimony, you are often the one who they seek out in time of trouble.

Sometimes the obvious eludes us. I know I need to take this seemingly obvious revelation to heart. I'm going to try to address each of these traits daily.

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