Part 6: Growing Choices!
May 23, 2021
Ephesians 4:14-15 (MSG)
No prolonged infancies among us, please …15 God wants us to grow up … like Christ in everything.
Growing Choice #1:
To grow, my need to go!
Ephesians 4:21-22 (NLT)
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust (unchecked cravings) and deception.
Matthew 9:17 (NLT)
“No one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
“Throwing off” our old ways can be “easier said than done” because:
- Our “old ways” are often sticky habits! (Heb. 5:11; 10:25)
- Our “old ways” can become our identity! (1 Jn. 3:1-2)
- Our “old ways” offer an immediate payoff!
Growing Choice #2:
To grow, my ways need to change!
Ephesians 4:23 (CEV)
Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.
Proverbs 4:23 (TEV)
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
Romans 8:5 (NIV)
Those who live according to the flesh (old ways) have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
Growing Choice #3:
To grow, I need to practice new ways!
Ephesians 4:22-32 (MSG)
…Then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life,
23 a life renewed from the inside 24 and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
26 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. 27 Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
28 Did you used to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.
29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted … 32 Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
We grow when we –
- Speak truthfully to God, ourselves, and others!
- Rightly manage our anger! (James 1:19)
- Use our words in careful, caring, and constructive ways!
- Are as gentle, sensitive, and forgiving with others as God is with us!