Christ Our Prophet – Acts 3:17-26
by Pastor Rod Galindo
Many people today acknowledge that Jesus was a prophet, but what does the Bible say about Jesus as a prophet? Join us as we learn from Pastor Rod as h...Download
The Word Says “iron sharpens iron”, referring to how we grow with those who grow with us. But think for a moment with me, what does that actually look like when the person you are growing with is a dull knife? In other words if you are dull and they are dull in your spiritual walk how will you sharpen each other? Probably very slowly if at all. What am I getting at?
Engaging the Christian faith is at times not a piece of cake, in fact at times it takes a great deal of thought and at other times heart-wrenching sacrifice just in making an effort to understand what God teaches through the scriptures. At times it helps to grow in the Christian faith to grow along with others. What I have noticed in the Christian Church is that many people want to grow with others like themselves, which in many ways makes sense because we want to grow alongside friends, people we get along with and people that help us to feel more comfortable and less threatened. However, there is one word of caution here that needs to be discerned “how and who are we growing into?” On the Christian journey if I only hang out with Spiritual novices or with other Christians who are less mature than myself it may not lead to growth, but may lead into spiritual stagnation. Now I am not one to usually paint such a bleak picture and my point is not to say for people not to hang out with other Christians who are relatively on the same spiritual wave length. Instead I am proposing that many times we ignore how the people and things we associate with on a regular basis affects our spiritual growth.
The old saying “you are what you eat” is remarkably true. In other words you become what you take, and accept into your life. A simple moral teaching that has lasted over a 100 years. Who or what do we allow in our lives so consistently that we drown out how God makes a difference in our life? Who we spend our precious time with will in part affect the direction we go in. Who do you choose to hang out with?Let me give you an example, it is observable that if you hang out with a person that is the equivalent of the fictional Homer Simpson it is safe to say that you will probably not find yourself Spiritually growing by leaps and bounds. Homer Simpson hangs out at bars to drink away his worries and fantasizes to escape his reality. Homer consistently finds himself in trouble because he does not think things through and his temper often digs him into a deeper hole until someone, usually his wife Marge, helps him out of a predicament. Now, while this may make for a funny show, the sad part is that too many people live out lives and hang out with people that too often reflect a very desperate and gloomy reflection of Homer Simpson’s life. What I mean is that in the show we see some sort of resolution despite great lack of reflection, but in real life Homer’s lack of reflection does not lead to a better outcome. What I have noticed through many years of meeting with people is that they settle to live a “Homer Simpson” type of life and never reach any sense of satisfaction, joy or even love in life. I believe that in part this is not only true of those who do not believe in Christ, but also some of us who are supposed followers of Christ.
What kind of life do you want to live? You may already believe in Jesus Christ, but live like your a follower of Homer Simpson more than your a follower of Jesus. Maybe you are not a watcher of the Simpsons, the point is that you may be living a lifestyle that reflects the darkness that only hurts you. You live out and do the very things you don’t want to do, but you follow a certain crowd a certain culture and a yes you even follow the identity that you have developed for yourself. In the Christian tradition we have called this type of problem idolatry. Who you follow, who you spend your time with and what you allow to shape your life will form you and give you a direction in life that will either end with fulfillment or becoming more like Homer Simpson.
There are so many people that can help us grow into solid joyful and strong followers of Jesus and we can experience a quality of life that is exuberant and life-giving. We learn to follow mature Christian leaders not because they are great people, but they do reflect a glimpse of Jesus better than we do so we learn to mimic them so that we may learn to be more like Jesus. There is a point in the scripture where the Apostle Paul says ’follow me as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Get to know Christians that are stronger, healthier and more Spiritually mature than yourself. Choose to connect with others who are looking to grow in their Spiritual Maturity and you will find yourself maturing. Make an effort to become open to letting others who are more mature than you help you grow, which may mean allowing yourself to receive constructive criticism. The Word in Proverbs 27:17 Says “iron sharpens iron”. I want to encourage you that if you find yourself needing some direction sometimes it is as easy as looking to Jesus and to make it easier sometimes it is as close as looking at a good Christian friend.
I have spiritually grown when I have allowed someone to “sharpen” me. I can engage a good Christian whenever I pick up a good book rather than turn on the T.V. and I find that I can always find a good elder, pastor or just friend to engage in talking about growing to be more like Jesus. I encourage you to find someone to connect with that helps you grow. Whether it means reading and engaging a good Christian author like C.S. Lewis or finding someone who you know can help you dig deep in your faith to grow closer to God. And a little prayer once a day doesn’t hurt either.