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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Learning That Daily Growth Leads To Happiness

In review of Philippians 3:12-13 it says, “I don’t mean to say I’m perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers, I’m still not all I should be.”

Bottom Line:
We have not gotten there yet, rather we keep working toward the point in which Christ saved us for and wants us to be. To do so, we must focus on forgetting the past and looking toward what lies ahead.

What this means to me:
I have in no ways become perfect or achieved what I need. Rather,  I keep working toward the day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. I’m still not all I should be, but I will focus on forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Following Jesus is a decision and then a process I’ll conduct for the rest of my life. I can’t follow without walking. I’ve got to have movement! Philippians 3:12-13 says, “I don’t mean to say I’m perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers, I’m still not all I should be” (LB). When Paul wrote this verse, he was an older man in prison in Rome. He was at the end of his life and incredibly mature. Yet he says he hadn’t arrived yet. He was still growing, learning and becoming more like Christ. The trap that will keep me from following Paul’s example and continuing growing in Christ is “pride.” Pride will keep me from growing, because when I pretend that I’ve got it all together, I won’t make an effort to become more spiritually mature. The truth is, that no one has it all together! Humility leads to happiness because it makes me teachable. A happy person never stops growing. A happy person will never stop discovering, never stop stretching, never stop learning. Happiness and humility go together because humble people are teachable. It’s the internal asking of, “How can I be a better husband? How can I be a better friend? How can I be a better boss? How can I be a better follower of Jesus?”  2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it” (MSG). Growing spiritually in the past year has come from having regular quiet times. Since I’ve been on disability for the last five months, I’m not sure that my growth can be seen by others. Those around me have seen how God has healed me and can see my attitude and positive outlook. I do need to pursue getting together with a few trusted men in my congregation for support and to hold me accountable as I strive to grow spiritually. Ultimately, I want to remain teachable and humble, so that I can be open for learning and honest critique I may need to stay on course.

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