Is my spiritual growth determined by my:
- decisions or by default?
- choices or by chance?
- planning or by passivity?
Do I really want to believe the most important thing about me is determined by luck, accidental good fortune, or the false concept of karma?
Will I rise to the challenge of intentional spiritual growth? Philippians 2:12
The Bible reveals that even the ant lives by decisions, choices, and planning rather than by default, chance, and passivity. Proverbs 6:6-11 (Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys)
The Apostle Peter is insightful when he explains, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
I am ransomed from the way of life that has “absence of purpose or failure to attain any true purpose (Moulton and Milligan).”
Jesus models living life on purpose or intentionality in the Gospel of Mark 3:13-15.
The direction of my intentional spiritual growth is not determined by chance but by Jesus’ revelation in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5, 6, and 7.
Augustine (354 AD – 430 AD) rightly stated, “If anyone will piously and soberly consider the sermon which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life: and this we do not rashly venture to promise, but gather it from the very words of the Lord Himself.”
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus invites us to the following intentional spiritual growth:
- Kingdom blessings Matthew 5:1-12
- Kingdom impactMatthew 5:13-16
- Kingdom priority Matthew 5:17-48
- Kingdom righteousness Matthew 6:1-7:12
- Kingdom gates Matthew 7:13-29