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He Must Increase -- I Must Decrease! (3 of 6)
INTRO: Maturity is a must both physically and spiritually. As is so often the case, the principles of the physical realm and the spiritual realm are often in conflict with each other, or work in opposite directions. When we mature in the physical realm we INCREASE in size. However, in the spiritual realm maturity means we DECREASE in size!
It is so easy to get trapped in promoting self rather than God; our needs often drive us to do whatever we need to do to lift "ME" up first.
ILLUS: Christian Herter was running hard for reelection as governor of Massachusetts, and one day he arrived late at a barbecue. He'd had no breakfast or lunch, and he was famished. As he moved down the serving line, he held out his plate and received one piece of chicken. The governor said to the serving lady, "Excuse me, do you mind if I get another piece of chicken. I'm very hungry." The woman replied, "Sorry, I'm supposed to give one piece to each person." He repeated, "But I'm starved," and again she said, "Only one to a customer." Herter was normally a modest man, but he decided this was the time to use the weight of his office and said, "Madam, do you know who I am? I am the governor of this state." She answered, "Do you know who I am? I'm the lady in charge of chicken. Move along, mister." This is a woman who knew her position and wasn't about to be intimidated. Do we as Christians recognize the significant position in which we stand because of Christ? -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 297.
The goal of spiritual maturity is to die to self, to promote Christ, a process that fights against our pride and sinful nature! To fail to do this means having a childish relationship with God that is never satisfying. We are to be "child like" in our faith, but not "childish" in our walk with God.
Even the pursuit of hum ...
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