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Seven Helpful Hints for Spiritual Growth

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his series on Spiritual Growth in Philippians, looking at the amazing passage of Philippians 3:1-16.  From this passage, he pulled out 7 helpful hints to help us grow spiritually.

1)  Remember that self-salvation projects will not work (verses 1-3).

We don't need go-to-church-ism or do-good-ism.  Those things may be helpful, but they are not essential.

We need Jesus.

The fuel is the Spirit of God, not our effort, not the structure of the church.

The point is not to know more and behave better, but to love God and love others.  The essence is Christ.

2)  Adopt a healty disregard for your own accomplishments (verse 7).

We want to impress people with our resumes, even with our children's resumes.  Paul had an impressive resume, but it was all loss.

3)  Encourage your own passionate longing to know Christ (verses 8, 10, 11).

Knowing Christ compared to everything else:  Everything else is rubbish!

This is the heart condition for dynamic spiritual growth.

Our passion may not always burn this hot, but we get it.

Whatever stokes your passionate longing for Christ, soak your heart in that.  (Romans 12:11)  Your life and infuence will follow.

4)  Develop a holy dissatisfaction (verse 12).

Paul wasn't resting on his laurels.

5)  Forget the things which lie behind us (verse 13).

Press ahead.  Don't wallow in the past, but remember as it helps you move forward.

6)  Strain forward to what lies ahead (verses 12b-14).

Streatch out, reach.  Again, this isn't casual spirituality.  The word used is also translated "upward calling" - your life can be richer and better.

If you don't get it, just try it!  Press in.

Perhaps the key for you is not greater effort, but greater surrender.

7)  Put into practice what you've been shown (verse 16).

Very few people need more information!

How has God stirred you?  Do that!

What has God said to you?  Do that, and watch God supply!

Our relationship with God is like everything else - if we aim at nothing, we'll get there.

Spiritual Growth - Inspiring Examples in Philippians

This week, March 4, 2018, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series studying Philippians with the passage Philippians 2:19-30.

This passage doesn't seem as inspiring, but Paul includes two examples of Christian service.  If you were writing a letter and including people as examples who touched your life, who would you include?

More important, whose letter would you be in as an example of someone who touched their life with Christian service?

[As it happens, we have many opportunities at Gateway to touch the lives of others, especially children!  We will begin having two services each Sunday beginning Easter Sunday, April 1st.  So we actually need twice as many volunteers.  

We had an opportunity to walk around and meet people and check the four tables with volunteer opportunities - which will also be up next week.]

Paul offers Timothy as an example because:

1)  Timothy understands and practices Christian unity (verse 20 - No one is like-minded with me like Timothy.).

2)  Timothy was principally concerned with the cause of Jesus Christ (verse 21).

This matches Paul - he, too, measured his circumstances by whether they advance the cause of Christ.

3)  Paul had mentored Timothy in the faith (verse 22).

Mentoring and being mentored helps us grow in our faith.

Paul offers Epaphroditus as an example because:

1)  Epaphroditus was well-known to the Philippians.  He was a more real world example for them (verse 25).

2)  Epaphroditus was a fellow soldier with Paul (verse 25).

This was not casual spirituality.

3)  Epaphroditus was an "apostle" and minister to Paul's needs (verse 25).

He was a "sent one."  He had a special calling and he accomplished it.

Honor people like this and follow their example.

We need examples in our lives.  We need people like that, who minister to the needs of others.  We need these people.  And we need to be this kind of people.

Who would you put in your letter?  Who would put you in their letter?


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