Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dead People Don't Grow

As I was studying my Sunday School lesson this morning, this statement jumped out at me---"dead people don't grow." The truth of that statement caused me to think about my lost loved ones that I have been praying for to receive Christ for years.
Sometimes I think as Christians we go through our day and allow ourselves to forget some of God's basic truths.

How often do we get upset with the non-Christians around us? We expect them to act like Christians and they can't. They are "dead" because of their basic sin nature, and until they are given a new nature through Christ, they will only become more dead as they age. They have not been made alive in Christ by being born again. And yet we expect them to act as if they had. We expect them to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which they don't possess. They can act only on the nature which was given to them at birth. Until they receive their new nature, they cannot be expected to possess the qualities that new nature brings to them. Even when they become new creations in Christ, we have to give them room to grow in those areas of the fruit of the spirit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, long-suffering, etc.

Instead of becoming frustrated with the actions of our loved ones, we need to understand them, pray for them, and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives before them. If we lose our patience in front of them, they can see no difference in us than is in them. If we exhibit hate toward another person, they see us as no different from them. If we fret, worry, complain and murmur about everything, how can they know we have peace within? If we speak unkindly to another individual, they imitate us and see no wrong in it. Dead people cannot grow until they, too, are born again and receive the power of the Spirit in their own lives. We need to be more understanding and pray for them more fervently, and especially grow in the areas where we exhibit Christ more clearly to those around us. We need to show them there is a difference in our lives because of Christ.

Can others see Christ in you?


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