Christmas Is Over. Now What?
Christmas Is Over. Now What?
How will you live this year in light of who Christ is and what he has done for you?
Seven Ways to Mature in Christ This Year:
- Remember you haven’t made it yet (12)
We press on not to be saved, but because Christ has saved us
You are being sanctified
Knowing you are not perfect is not an excuse for complacency
The gospel should humble you
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12, ESV)
- Train for what’s important (13)
Forgetting what lies behind does not mean you forget the past, it means you don’t let it define your future
“Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62, ESV)
There is no treading water in Christianity. You are either running towards Christ, or away from him.
C.J. Mahaney asks these questions:
- What one change could you make in order to pursue the one thing that matters the most?
- What sin or habit or activity could you throw off in order to run the race better?
- What could you begin doing that you aren’t doing right now?
Start a Bible reading plan
Listen to Christian podcasts
Join a group
Read theology books
Immerse yourself in the things of God
- Keep your eyes on the prize (14)
The prize is knowing and becoming more like Christ
Don’t be passive
Prioritize your goals
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)
- Seek spiritual maturity (15-16)
People who are spiritually mature realize they have more maturing to do.
Make prayer a normal part of your everyday life
Ask God to give you a desire for Him and His Word
Ask God to reveal places in your life where you are lacking in spiritual maturity
- Follow Christ-like examples (17)
You are who you hang out with
Spend time with people who are becoming more like Christ
Can people who want to grow in their faith look at your life and imitate you?
Who are you looking to imitate?
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV)
Everyone sets an example for someone
What kind of example are you setting?
- Beware of habits that lead to destruction (18-19)
Enemies of the cross of Christ celebrate sin, point people away from Christ and are in love with the world.
Am I burdened for the lost?
- Live with an eternal perspective (20-21)
Are you focused on eternity or the here and now?