Monday, October 24, 2011

How We Grow Spritually

My precious friend and sister in Christ who has contributed so very much to my life, Lisa Buffaloe, stumbled upon a new website, at least it was new to us. This description of Christian growth was the first thing I ever read on it. I have found myself reading it again and again and slowly it has answered some of my questions about children coming to the Lord early and then not really feeling like they have a "gutter to glory" testimony because they have heard about and believed Christ from such an early age that they cannot always pinpoint exactly when they were saved. Oh, they can pinpoint when they made a profession of faith and made it public in church but often they actually feel guilty for not having that "gutter to glory" testimony! How backwards that is! How precious it is to be brought up in a home that honors God and where little children take baby steps in their relationship with the Lord just as they take baby steps in other areas of growth. Of course, one must be sure that a child does not think that he is saved BECAUSE he was brought up in a Christian home but oh, how often we forget to praise God for the safety of being brought up in that environment. So many people with "gutter to glory" testimonies would exchange places with those brought up in Christ gladly. And yet, many of us who were brought up that way say it apologetically and almost ashamedly because we do not have some "one day I was a drunk in the gutter and the next day, God saved me and completely changed my life story". We should instead be grateful and praise God everyday for the priceless gift of being brought up in a truly Christian home where Christ was the center and was modeled for us on a daily basis. I hope the excerpt below is as meaningful to you as it has been to me. God's will; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else! "The soil produces grain-- first the blade, then the stalk, and then the ripe grain on the stalk." Mark 4:28 This comes from John Newton on how God works in us... The Lord compares the usual method of growth in grace--to the growth of grain, which is perfected by a slow and almost imperceptible progress. The seed is hidden for a time in the soil; and, when it appears, it passes through a succession of changes--the blade, the stalk, and lastly the ripe grain. And it is brought forward amidst a variety of weather: the dew, the frost, the wind, the rain, the sun--all concur to advance its maturity, though some of these agents are contrary to each other; and some of them, perhaps, seem to threaten the life of the plant! Yet, when the season of harvest returns--the grain is found ready for the sickle! Just so is God's work of grace in the soul. Its beginnings are small, its growth for the most part slow, and, to our apprehensions, imperceptible and often precarious. But there is this difference in the comparison: frosts and blights, drought or floods, may possibly disappoint the gardener's hopes. But the great Gardener of the soul--will not, and cannot be disappointed. What He sows--shall flourish in defiance of all opposition! And, if at times it seems to wither--He can and He will revive it! For the most part, God's people are exercised with sharp trials and temptations; for it is necessary they should learn not only what He can do for them--but how little they can do without Him! Therefore He teaches them not all at once--but by degrees, as they are able to bear it. "The soil produces grain-- first the blade, then the stalk, and then the ripe grain on the stalk." Mark 4:28 You may want to look up the path2prayer website and sign up to receive their free newsletter. On the site, you will find many wonderful resources and I wanted to share it with you. So you can thank Lisa for discovering it. When I signed up, the man who created it, Daniel Augsburger, wrote me several letters. He is now on his way to preach in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He is very interested in how people learn about his website so you might want to mention my name and Lisa's name. There are books to read online and wonderful things to read from the "faith greats of the past" such as George Mueller, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray and so many others. Do yourself a great favor and look this up!!!! Thank you for taking the time to read this blog! I hope it helps some of you who grew up in Christian homes

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