A Sermon

How NOT to Grow

Michael Beck Michael Beck

Believe that there is nothing (or little more) that you have to learn.

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. (Ecclesiastes 4:13)

Let “other things” be more important than the concerns of your soul.

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)

“Rest upon your laurels.”

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:20-22)

Mistake zeal/allegiance/love for your church/”religion” with love for Jesus.

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:2-4)

Focus on “lesser” things in God. Appease your conscience.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)

Fail to make intimacy with Christ your one passion.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelations 3:20)

Fail to “mine” all you go through for spiritual “gold.”

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18)

Let prime seasons for growth pass by with nothing to show for them.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:12,13)

Despise the place(s) God has designed to “feed” you.

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. (Malachi 1:6,7)

Become weary with God’s correction. Only want to hear “smooth” things.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Hebrews 12:5,6)

Lose sight of why you have been saved and incorporated into the body of Christ.

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Become restricted, stagnated, and impoverished by the doctrines of men which deprive you from the riches of the whole counsel of God.

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house …Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:20,26-30)

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:6-8)

 


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. You can find him on Facebook.