Friday, May 30, 2008

#5 - Spiritual Growth Is Habitual

We grow by developing good habits.

How can I become a disciple? By developing disciple habits.

"You have put off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self which God is continually renewing in his own image to bring you to a full knowledge of himself."
Colossians 3:9-10

Notice it says God is able to make us in His image when we choose to put off old habits and when we choose to put on new habits. That's the way God changes us. Remember, God's number one goal is to make us like Christ -- that's maturity, to become like Christ. He says here that it's by putting off the old habits and putting on new habits is how we become like Christ.

DEFINITIONS OF HABIT - "It is a continual, often unconscious inclination to do a certain activity, acquired through frequent repetition."

What this is saying is that character is simply the habitual way of doing things. If you want to have Christlike character, then you just develop the habits that Christ had. Character is simply the habitual way of doing something. For instance, if I've got the character of kindness, it's because I'm habitually kind. If I have the character of saying "I have discipline", it's because I've developed the habit of being disciplined.

The dictionary also defines habit as "A customary practice" -- something you do over and over."

The fact is that all of us are simply a bundle of habits. If you were to look at your life most of the things you do in life you do by habit -- You get up, you brush your teeth by habit, you shave (if you're a man) by habit. I'll bet, men, when you shave you probably start on the same side ninety percent of the time. When you wash yourself in the shower I bet you habitually start with either your left arm or something like that. We are creatures of habit.

It's easier to form good habits than it is to get rid of bad habits? It is. The way you get rid of bad habits is by replacing them.

What bad habits do you need to replace with some good habits that will help you grow in Christ likeness?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

#4 - Spiritual Growth Is Personal

There is no
cookie cutter approach to spiritual growth; the reality is we grow according to how God shaped us.  II Corinthians 5:13 .

Some learn by hearing, some by reading, some by talking (discussing), and some by just doing it. There are about 8 or 9 learning styles. Most people don't grow by hearing, we learn in different ways, but we go through the same stages of growth though. The church has usually offered only two styles – take it or leave it.

Are you examining yourself against God's word?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#3 - Spiritual Growth Is Incremental

We grow step by step, we need a process, a trail to follow, a sense of accomplishment.

Growth happens in steps, not overnight.  I Corinthians 3:18!  A baby has to learn to breathe, to eat, to walk, to talk…what is true physically is true spiritually.

You've got to know Christ before you can love Him.  You've got to love Him before you can serve Him.  You have to serve Him before you can share Him

Jesus is our model, how did he build disciples?

Come and see; low commitment level. But, he didn't leave them there. He kept turning up the heat

  • you're my disciple if you love other believers,
  • you're my diciple if your in my word,
  • you're my disciple if you feed my sheep,
  • you're my disciple if you deny yourself and pick up your cross and follow me;

He said that about three years into the ministry.

We live in the microwave society, we want it quick, but it's a long way from "come and see" to "come and die" – at least a three year process for Jesus and His disciples.

It would be pretty arrogant to think it could happen sooner for us, right?

Then, He says you're gonna hate your father and mother if you follow me and then, right before the cross he says "if you want to follow me you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood."

Many people followed him no more, it was too hard.

It's called a process, taking people from "come and see" to "eat my flesh and drink my blood", it doesn't happen overnight. It starts by getting to know him, falling in love with Him, and then your trust in Him will deepen.

What's your next step?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

#2 - Spiritual Growth Is Intentional

You have to choose to grow!  You are as close to God as you choose to be.

If you don't feel close to God, who moved?

It is a choice.

We grow by making commitments.

Once people make the commitment then they grow through it, not from it; you grow through
commitments, not to commitments.

Jesus first asked people to follow Him…that's it!  It was three years later He asked people to take up their cross.  The level of commitment deepened with time.

Everyone will NOT BE at the same level of commitment.

To the non believer Jesus said "come and see," to the believer Jesus said "go and tell!"

We need to be a balanced church that challenges people to both "come and see" and "come and die!"  This is a process, it is gradual and systematic. We must have an intentional strategy to do this.

So, if we grow by making commitments, then commitment MUST be asked for!!!  The heat must constantly be turned up!

If you attend FOTH or Revolution we will ask you weekly to commit to something, usually by saying "here's what we want you to do" or "here's the next step", sound familiar?

What is it you need to commit to?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Growing up

What causes relational conflict? Immaturity. It's easy to measure financial and evangelical growth…but how do you measure spiritual growth?

Most churches are full of people who talk and relate to others in childish ways.

Maturity is relational–not intellectual. Jesus said love God and love others are the two MOST IMPORTANT commands.

A person can attend church all of their life and never mature…they are cranky, rude, irritable…how can some people attend all of their life and not love people?

So, how did Jesus do it?

How did He move people from "come and see" to "come and die"?

We must have a strategy, framework, process to move the believer to act, to do, to be, to think, like Christ.

How do you know when a church/person is mature?  Simple–when something is mature it bears fruitMatthew 7:17-20John 15:8

Over the next few days I'll post the 8 laws of spiritual growth that Rick Warren covered last week. The first law is…

#1 - Spiritual Growth in Incarnational

Spiritual growth is Christ in you…being a Christian is not trying to be like Christ…it is Christ living through you!  (Galatians 2:20)

The Word must become flesh in you, you cannot transform yourself.

Spiritual growth is both mystical and practical.  I Corinthians 3:6…in spiritual growth we have a part and God has a partPhilippians 2:12-13

We are to work out our salvation while God works in our salvation!

I work out to strengthen the muscles God has already given me, not to get them.

How is your work out routine going?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memory Verse for the Week

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard,
so that we do not drift away." Hebrews 2:1
Keep your head up!

Convictions this a.m.

I need to be quiet and listen to God more.

I can learn a lot by not talking.

I need to pray this more "He must increase and I must decrease." John 3:30

It's not about me – it's about God and others.

I must tain the next generation.

I must focus on building people to spiritual maturity, not building the church.

I've got to be growing spiritually myself.

If I am then, I should be more loving - I Corinthians 13:11, and my life should be bearing fruit - Matthew 7:17-20John 15:8!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Keep up

Since I've been a little more active this week with my blogging, I thought I would give you some helpful information about how to subscribe tothis blog and a new feature I am using called twitter.

Basically, by subscribing, you're getting alerted every time there's a new post up instead of having to manually visit the website to see if I've posted something new.

Here are two ways you can keep up:

1) Use a Reader. Most blogs use RSS (Real Simple Syndication) "feeds" which can be aggregated together and displayed by what's known as an RSS or Feed Reader. Some examples of free readers are Bloglines, Google Reader, or most of the newer web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari) have readers built in. Readers make it much easier for you to organize the feeds of all of the blogs you follow. If this is something you'd like to explore, you can click on the links to the left of this post that say "subscribe".

2) Twitter. For those of you who use twitter…I recently started a twitter that you can follow at You can get text messages or instant messages each time something new is posted to twitter. If you don't use twitter, you can read more about it here , it is basically micro-blogging.

By using a reader or subscribing to your favorite blogs by email or twitter, you can save a ton of time…which can free up more of your time to interact with others or explore and learn from other blogs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Risk adverse?

One of the most profound things I heard this week was the following statement:

“Institutions preserve the change of the previous generations.”

Is your church/organization about renewal or preservation?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What you think is what you be...

When you hear the word "repentance" what do you think of?
I would venture to say you don't think of your mind, but the word actually means "to change the way you think."
You can't change your behavior for the long term without changing the way you think. If you are not satisfied with your life, the key to changing it is changing your beliefs.

Romans 12:2 says, "be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

It's not hard to obey God when your mind is renewed, but it's impossible if it isn't.

Ask God to expose the lies in your life, to change your thinking and that will set you free!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've been coming to Saddleback and Purpose Driven Conferences for the last 14 years and everytime I come I am refreshed and reminded about the call of God in my life.

I am a listener and I have listened to too many voices other than God's lately, and the fire needed to be stoked. Being a trophy of His amazing grace, I have been gifted with an overwhelming passion for Him, but listening to things like "we don't get you", "your passion is too intense", etc. and I let it smolder a little. Lord, forgive me!

"Lord, have your way with me...breathe on me...stoke the flame so that it becomes a consuming fire...set me on fire so that I might shine bright for your Glory!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I love being... Southern California, but my body is still on EST!!! I woke up at 3 am and I'm sure I'll be ready for lunch at 9!!!

Yesterday was an amazing experience, we gathered with a select few strategist to look at what God is doing in India and how we might join Him. God is up to some amazing things and he is assembling and equipping some amazing people to do His work. I am so stoked!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Limited understanding

I've had quite a few conversations lately about the price of fuel, haven't you? What has struck me during those conversations is how limited our view of reality truly is. I guess growing up in the most prosperous nation in the world can make you myopic. Most people I've run into have no idea of the conditions in the rest of the world; extreme poverty, famine, hunger, disease (which we have a cure for most), etc. Most have no idea of the size of two other nations and how their rapidly they are growing and their impact on our economy: China and India.

China has 4 times the population of the US (1.4 billion vs 300 million) and India is almost as large (1.13 billion).

That started me thinking about our limited worldview and how hard it is to comprehend the size of these two nations. If I can't comprehend that, how am I to comprehend the vastness of God?

Walk out tonight and look up, and then let's get over ourselves! He is really, really Big!

4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have been busy living as a human doing, instead of a human being lately. If you'd like to hear more about where God has allowed me to wander you can listen here Big Hats & Belt Buckles.

This morning I woke to a freshness I hadn't felt in awhile. I think, no, I know I've been forcing things for the last month, maybe two and it has caught up with me.

I was reminded of a couple of things I say all the time, the first, which by the way I stole from Beth Moore, "I want to plant seeds that future generations will harvest." Well, I started looking for the fruit of my labor, pretty arrogant, huh?

Second, "I want to be a part of the next reformation." I was expecting the reformation to happen next week, "oh, if I just had my act together this could happen," arrogance again.

I truly believe that the next generation will get to see the reformation, but it may take 50 years. If that's the case, I need to slow down and look for the opportunity to make investments where God directs and not worry about the harvest.

Lord, help me to plant seeds that future generations will harvest for Your glory!