Central Baptist Church
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Morning Worship Sermon

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!
Luke 2:52
 
Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
 
          It's a common experience to see a child we haven't seen for a month or so and comment, "My how you've grown!"
          The sad thing about that is that I saw a friend a while back who hadn't seen me in quite a while and he had the nerve to tell me I had grown (put on weight) since he had seen me. 
          I like to think of it as having matured instead of putting on weight.
 
          What I want to ask you today is this, in a year from now will anybody be able to look at you and say, "My how you've grown!"
          In this message I will explain with you what I mean by saying, "My how you've grown!"
 
          In 2018 we need to make a commitment to grow just as Jesus grew while He was here on earth :
 
Luke 2:52 -  "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
 
I.  WE NEED TO GROW MENTALLY
 
A)  We need to learn more
 
          The one thing we will and must never do is to stop being a learner.
 
II Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
 
Philippians 1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;"
 
Colossians 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 
II Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;"
 
B)  We need to remember more
 
          When Satan confronted Jesus in the wilderness and tried to tempt Him, Jesus quoted Scripture in the face of the temptation.
          Do we know enough Scripture to get ourselves out of trouble?
         
          Do we know enough Scripture to keep us from getting into trouble?
 
C)  We need to understand more
 
Ephesians 1:8 "Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;"
 
Colossians 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;"
 
          Folks it'll do us little good to learn and remember if we don't understand what we have learned.
 
          Solomon urges us to apply our hearts to understanding :
 
Proverbs 2:2 "So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;"
 
          In the Psalm we are urged to understand :
 
Psalm 119:169 "Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word."
 
          We need to grow mentally and we need to grow :
 
II.  WE NEED TO GROW PHYSICALLY
 
1)  All of us need to be healthier, for our bodies are the temple of God.
 
II Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
 
2)  We need to get proper rest.
 
3)  We need to get proper exercise.
 
I Timothy 4:7-8 "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
 
          It may be, as Paul says, that it profits little, but it does profit.  We've become a generation of "couch potatoes."  Get up, go outside and find something to do!
 
4)  We need to eat a proper diet.
 
5)  We need to be temperate in all things.
 
I Corinthians 9:25 "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible."
 
          We need to grow mentally, physically, and we need to grow :
 
III.  WE NEED TO GROW SOCIALLY
 
1)  We need to be kinder to our friends.
 
Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
 
          Friendship is never to be taken lightly.
          Abraham was called "the friend of God" and Jesus called His disciples friends.
 
2)  We need to make friends of others.
 
Proverbs 18:24 -  "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
 
          Friendship can be a bridge for bringing people to Christ.
          Many times we try to influence people without first making them our friends and this will seldom work!
 
3)  We need to know how to treat our enemies.
 
Luke 6:27-28 "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."
 
          Jesus not only told us how to treat our enemies, He showed us how to treat our enemies.
          His last miracle before the Crucifixion was for an enemy :
 
Luke 22:50-51 "And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51  And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him."
 
          One of His last prayers was for an enemy :
 
Luke 22:34"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
 
          We need to grow mentally, physically, socially, and we need to grow :
 
IV.  WE NEED TO GROW SPIRITUALLY
 
II Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.  Amen."
 
          To grow spiritually we will have to :
 
1)  Pray more
2)  Read the Bible more
3)  Give more
4)  Resist temptation more
 
II Peter 1:5-7 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."
 
          Here God tells us how to grow spiritually.
          We begin with faith, yet faith alone is not enough, we must next add virtue.  Faith must find its expression in character.  Character demands knowledge.
          We must know what is right and wrong.
          Notice that :        faith is in the heart
                                      character is in the life
                                      knowledge is in the head
 
          Growth must be outward as well as inward, so Peter adds self-control.
          Children do not grow steadily, but we must grow steadily and never stop growing.  This is steadfastness.  Such steps will lead us to godliness, brotherly affection, and love.
          At the end of the year will God be able to say to you, "My how you've grown!"