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1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
If you've been born again in Christ, spiritual growth is a part of that process. However, if you haven't seen the changes in your life that you had expected, it could be because you haven't yet grown in Christ. This is what the Bible calls, a "baby in Christ" only able to partake in the "milk" of the Word instead of the "adult spiritual food" for mature Christians.
Today, let me help you get started with God to become the fully mature man or women you were created to become. When you've completed this lesson, I have something very special for you to continue your journey with Jesus.
Look To Jesus Introduction
Jesus discusses the four types of Christians in Mark 4:13-20, using the analogy of sowing seeds to help the people at that time better understand His message. Most of the people he was addressing were farmers so they were more inclined to be interested in it, hear it, understand it and then utilize it.
In modern times, we can still relate to the idea of sowing and reaping, and for this particular parable, it's a brilliant means of teaching us what kind of Christians we need to be if we want to live our salvation successfully.
The Look To Jesus Study, is going to help you discover which of the 4 standards of Christian you are. If you fit Jesus' description of Christians 1-3, in all His simplicity He teaches what to do and how to do it.
It's time you feel alive in your Christian walk, rather than feeling as if God doesn't care about you. Remember when you were first saved in Christ? Most Christians feel excited when they're first saved. But as time goes by and life appears to be no different than before salvation, many fall away from the Word and look to their experience or the wisdom of the world to live their lives.
Becoming self-ruled keeps one distant from God while continuing in the same lifestyle with the same results because no change has transpired in their lives--no Christian growth has taken place which is the reason new Christians become discouraged. They're not shown how to become overcomers in a world of difficulty and what could seem like impossible situations--especially for young people.
Jesus Has All The Answers You Need For Living
Jesus' has the answers to all of life's problems so we need to always look to Him rather than looking to ourselves or the world. So lets go right to where Jesus was teaching a large gathering of people over 2,000 years ago and listen to His Words (Mark 4:10). Picture yourself by the lake where He was speaking with the cool air on your face, and the excitement of being in His presence flowing through the crowd....
SOW THE WORD INTO YOUR HEART FOR A STRONG FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Discusses The 4 Standards Of Christianity
No. 1, The First Standard Of Christianity: - The Word is sown within the Christian's heart, but Satan steals it immediately before it can take root. In this experience the Word never reaches the heart. It goes into one ear and out the other.
No. 2, The Second Standard Of Christianity - The Word is sown within the believer's heart joyfully, but their foundation is rocky and shallow. It has no root.
When hard times come because of the Word to test them, they quickly reject God by rejecting His Word. These are the people shaking their heads in agreement with their pastor's sermon on Sundays, but the rest of the week, they turn away from the very truth they heard. They are not bad people, they are just afraid to trust God. In this state absolutely no spiritual growth from a Biblical standpoint is achieved.
No. 3, The Third Standard Of Christianity - The Word comes to this believer but it is unfruitful due to the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and desire for things. Greed and pride caused by a severely insecure nature must be overcome to move forward here. If this doesn't happen, there is little or no opportunity for developing a strond foundation of Jesus Christ.
Do you see how we must be careful what we listen to and what programs we adhere to? Christian transformation according to Romans 12:2 cannot be attained under any of these three circumstances.
The Third Standard of Christianity is happening to many Christians because they're rooting themselves in programs and influences which don't have a foundation of God's Word. That double-mindedness will actually cause them failure with whatever they try to do in Christ because they're not committed fully to anything. A double-minded person can't expect to receive anything from God according to James 1:6-8
They combine a little information here with a little information from somewhere else instead of sticking with the Word and trusting it. There is no "rock" or "foundation of Christ to give them victory." They need to look to Jesus all the way, 24/7.
It's like using a recipe for an amazing chicken dish, but only using part of the ingredients or combining it with another recipe. It's not going to taste as it's supposed to so it won't yield the satisfaction expected.
So let's listen to what Jesus has to say about the 4th standard of Christianity:
Christian Standard No. 4 Mark 4:20. "Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop of "thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."
What more is there to say about the fourth standard? It's Jesus' instruction on how to accept God's Word in a way that will produce a crop of fruit that is pleasing to God and that will provide the many blessings that belong to you as a result of being born again in Christ. This is how every Christian can create a strong foundation of Jesus Christ within their heart.
After The Word Has Been Sown
Jesus describes the fourth standard of Christianity in a manner so simple you can't help but get the truth of it. It should make clear how to receive from God with an inner sincerity to abide by the Word no matter what we're going through by trusting God. This is what brings Christian transformation to the spirit, soul, mind and body!
1. hear the Word (most effective method: personal affirmations)
2. accept it (believe/trust God)
3. produce a crop (receive!)
That matches what Mark 11: 23-24 says. Speak what you want (hear it to build faith), believe you have it, and receive it. Our desires being met will actually bring us closer To God by having good soil (a mature spirit) for the Word of God to be sown. Full maturity begins as we learn to rest in Christ with a trust in God that He is taking care of all of our needs and will answer our prayers.
FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST PRAYER
If you've gone astray from God's Word, you can always begin again with a fresh start. Today you can begin to build a strong foundation of God's Word within your heart to empower your life. Here is a prayer to help you begin.
As we act upon God's Word with a deep determination to rest In Christ no matter what our circumstances, our hearts or spirits will grow. This growth determines our spiritual ability to rely upon God's Word rather than backing down in fear and doubt that God will deliver us in Christ.
Here is a prayer I've paraphrased from Mark 4:20:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in all sincerity. I commit to building my life upon a strong foundation of Jesus Christ. I haven't always lived according to your Word, so I ask for your forgiveness. I thank you Heavenly Father, I receive your forgiveness and repent. I will now live by faith in your Word, allowing it to guide my steps in all that I do. In Jesus Name, AMEN.