Christian Bible Teachings : Growing Pains

28 January 2012

Christian Bible Teachings : Growing Pains

(Part 2 of 2)  Sharon Hood
January 28, 2012

Children make many mistakes and will have to be corrected along the way. How often does a child fall while learning to walk?  They fall again and again, gathering bumps, bruises and even occasional stitches and maybe even a cast or a splint.  They spill their milk, don’t hold their spoon properly, put their shoes on the wrong foot and use training wheels and still take a tumble occasionally.

Parents are continually correcting, instructing, and gently pushing, till we almost feel sorry for the kids.  Growing up is tough!  If kids are going to become mature, they have to keep going in spite of mistakes and rebukes.  And someday they will look back on their own childish mistakes and just smile.

We all experience growing pains that affect all alike.  Those growing and stretching and those guiding and directing.  Likewise, new converts will make many mistakes and must often be told when they are on the wrong path and guided back in the right direction.  Some of the greatest Bible characters committed terrible errors and had to be rebuked.

* Moses made excuses when God called him to lead Israel out of bondage.
* David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed and was rebuked by Nathan.
* Peter denied Jesus three times.
* Paul persecuted Christians before his conversion.
* Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection.
* All the apostles forsook Jesus when He was arrested and crucified.

Matthew 16:21-23  Shortly after he had confessed Jesus and been highly praised (v15-18),  Peter contradicted Jesus and was severely rebuked.

Yet all of these are remembered as some of God’s greatest servants.   Great servants are not people who live without ever sinning, but people who learn from their mistakes and go on to serve God faithfully.

Judas betrayed Jesus and is remembered as a traitor.  Peter denied Jesus three times and is remembered as a great apostle.  What is the difference? Judas, after betraying Jesus, hung himself.  Peter, after denying Jesus, repented and went to work preaching the gospel, healing the sick and saving the lost.

Proverbs 29:1  A person is destroyed, not simply because he errs, but because he becomes stubborn when he is rebuked and will not repent.  What is needed is repentance and patience to learn to do right.

This story is told of a little boy who fell out of bed.  He was asked what happened, he said, “I guess I just stayed too close to the gettin’-in place.”  That is exactly why many people fall away from God after their conversion – they stay too close to the “gettin’-in” place and do not grow to maturity.

It is no shame to be a baby, if you were born a few months ago.  But if a person has been a child of God for several years and has not grown, he has a problem. Everyone needs to grow as a Christian,  and everyone can grow,  if he/she simply applies the Bible principles of growth.  Hold tight to sound doctrine, and don’t seek out religion, seek a close relationship with Jesus.  What are you waiting for?  We must sink our teeth into the Word of God.  Apply ourselves completely, get fully committed.  Move away from that “gettin-in” place and grow some deep roots into a firm foundation and become grounded in God.

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