(Message shared on 3 July 2016 by Rev. Patrick Foo)

PASSION – cultivate the spiritual hunger

Psalms 1:1
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

Passion – Desire, hunger, delight, longing, wanting…

We are more likely to learn something we are interested in.

In order to grow in the Lord you have to turn away from distraction and be focused on your desire to grow.  There are many things in life that will distract you from God…earthly or fleshly desires, materialism, career, BGR…relationship, laziness, entertainment etc…what else?

Cow don’t drink water, how can you press the cow head down.

Why people don’t have the passion to grow in the Lord…

Hindrances of Spiritual Growth

  • I don’t have time – wrong priority
  • I’m not interested – no love for learning…God
  • I’m not good in study – Bad pass experience or poor self-image
  • I already know it – Pride & Complacency
  • I don’t need any help – Self-righteous & self-independency

Psalms 42
As the deer pants [longingly]for the water brooks,

So my soul pants [longingly]for You, O God.
My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God.  When will I come and see the face of God?

 

Pauls immense desire, longing and passion for God…to know God.

 

Philippines 3:7-12
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.

Do you long to know God, to commune with Him, to be with Him…heaven. To related, to experience, to encounter Him…to grow in Christ…mature.

Are you willing to do whatever you can to grow in Christ…there must be first the hunger and desire to delight in God.

PURSUE – Make an effort

Discipline, determine, attempt, effort…

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

How many of us have things that we never finish completing…we left it half done… an unfinished book, task, hobbies,….

First week of the year in the gym…full house…new year resolution…then.

Paul’s discipline and determination…

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Hebrew 6:11,12
And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fullness of hope even to the end:  that ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Practice make perfect…practice make permanent

Spiritual Discipline…28 times.

PRACTICE – Life Application

James 1:23-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 
For if anyone only listens to the word [a]without obeying it (doing), he is
like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [b]what he looked like.
25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless]listener who forgets but [c]an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].

Mark 4:14-20
The sower sows the word.

And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,
but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who HEAR the word and ACCEPT it and BEAR FRUITS, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

 

Wisdom is the ability to APPLY knowledge…

A wise and understand man is able to apply knowledge.

Living it out

Luke 6:49
But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Spiritual Growth

  • Passion
  • Pursue
  • Practice

True Christian practice is a thing of growth; it is a process, and a process which has already begun, and is continually going on.

I pray that our Church…all of the members, have a

Spiritual passion for God, with a Spirit pursue for God and we practice want we hear, what we learn, what we know in our Christian life…and GROW SPIRITUALLY.

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