March 2, 2014

growing spiritually

"The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God."
- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones 

This weekend, my pastor spoke on four realizations that the Spirit of God is working in you.  One point was that when it comes to being a Christian, you have a sense of wonder instead of entitlement.

Meaning, you don't arrive to a place where you don't need the grace of God anymore. You don't show up before God with a resume and credentials that explain why you deserve to be accepted.

"Most people measure their spirituality by some perfection in a spiritual fruit: how patient they are, how long they pray, how often they share Christ. The problem is that on this side of heaven, we have our sinful flesh, which is always at work in us, and we'll be constantly discouraged if we look within. God always wants us to be looking outside to the finished work of Christ, not inward, to our progress in righteousness. So God allows us to struggle all our days with indwelling sin so that we will become even more wondrous at the grace of God. On this side of heaven, spiritual growth is not getting to a place where you don't feel like you need the grace of God, but growing ever more wondrous of it."
- J. D. Greear

I don't know about you, but I find this incredibly liberating.

I don't have to measure my spiritual growth by my successes or failures. It's OK to struggle. Those struggles point me back to Christ.

I can also take myself a little more lightly and even laugh with delight in the fact that God chose me - me! with all my failures and flaws and sin and ugliness and mistakes and falling short and not being loving enough or having spiritual fruit perfected . . . and grow more amazed at His grace.

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