Do You Need A Fresh Start?


Monday Morning Heart-Check!

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Do You Need A Fresh Start?

(Transcript)

Good morning everyone, this is Monica Dennington with your Monday morning heart check, and this morning we’re going to be asking ourselves the question, “Am I really as spiritually mature as I think I am, or is it time to begin again?

Now Jesus Christ told his disciples that they were going to have to start over in their relationship with God, that the only way for them to enter the kingdom of God was that they were going to have to be converted and become like little children. [Matthew 18:3 (NET) ]

Now speaking to grown Jewish men — people who had grown up in church; who had grown up learning the Word of God; men who believed that they had a relationship with God — this really could have been taken as a slap in the face, and a slam on their personal pride. And maybe this suggestion — that you would have to start over in your walk with God — feels the same way to you, because you consider yourself to be mature in your faith. Maybe you’ve been serving God for many decades… maybe you’re even a pastor or a teacher.

But what I want to show you is that when Jesus tells us that it’s time to start over, it’s for our benefit, because he sees that the ways that we have been raised up in, they may have been partially the ways of God, but they also have something else impure mixed in with them — maybe human traditions or teachings — and that impurity opens up the door for sin. So what he was giving his disciples was an opportunity to start over and be raised as children of God.

We are going to go to first Corinthians chapter three to do our heart check this morning, and really take an honest look at how spiritually mature we are. It says, “Brothers I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly, mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” [1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NIV) ]

So here Paul is talking to Christians who considered themselves to be mature; though they were supposed to be acting like sons of God, he said that they were acting like mere mortals. The reality was that they weren’t mature and they needed to go back to the pure spiritual milk. And the markers that Paul gave to them to show them that they were still worldly, that they were not spiritually mature, was the fact that there was jealousy and quarreling among them.

And so, if we look into our hearts and find these things — if we find that we are coveting what other people have; that we’re wanting to put other people down to raise ourselves to a higher place; if we’re expressing our faith by arguing over words and doctrines, instead of by walking in the power of God’s supernatural love for our neighbors — then according to this Scripture, it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a Christian, we’re not spiritually mature, we’re not ready for meat — we’ve got to go back to the beginning.

So here’s the heart check: Are you harboring any jealousy in your heart? Have you been participating in quarreling or strife with your neighbors, or especially with your brothers and sisters in Christ? And if that’s the case, can you humble yourself — as Jesus is inviting you to do, as the Scriptures are inviting you to do — to admit that you are not really spiritually mature, and that you need to start over in your relationship with God?

If so, then God has an instruction and a promise for you. He says, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it, you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” [2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)]

The Spirit of adoption is going to come and cause you to cry out to God simply as a child, as your Abba Father, and it’s going to raise you up in His ways and purify your heart of all of those things that are causing you stress and anxiety — your own jealousy, and the strife that lives in your heart. Brothers and sisters, can you imagine the freedom that you would have if you didn’t have that quarreling in your life. If you didn’t have jealousy, or malice, or envy… if you could be contented and at peace and walking in faith and in power. Imagine the beauty of that place, and let that inspire you to allow God to take you to that place, by making the decision to begin again and to become a little child in the kingdom of God.

Brothers and sisters, read your bible and do what it says!

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“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”

John 9:4

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