“Don’t just follow the stream and go downstream, anybody can do that. Dead things go downstream. It’s alive things that have to fight against the current,” Max McLean

Pastor Tom Brunner preached a great sermon on Sunday, “Help For Growing Up”. It was the first in his series, “Why Survive When You Can Thrive in 2015?” Nope, not going to a new church, we were on vacation. His message hit a chord with me as he encouraged his congregation to grow like Jesus. In order to do that we have to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who as a young man was found sitting in the synagogue while his parents looked for him. (Luke 2:41-49) Growing up like Jesus rather than just growing old involves

  • Listening and asking questions v.47
  • Living a  three dimension rather than one-dimensional which focuses on self, or two-dimensional, where the relationship is political and a trade-off i.e. ‘if you do something for me, I will do something for you.’ I want to live a three-dimensional life, where the hub of my life is centered on God my heavenly Father.
  • Taking responsibility for my own growth in Jesus. I want to live a purposeful life, grow in Christ, forge ahead.

The message came to a close with the question:

In this new year, how can I grow in Jesus? How can I grow to be more like Jesus? Too look more like him?

To grow takes effort. To look like Jesus and be conformed to his image will involve forging ahead, swimming upstream. I want to fight against the current of what is popular, comfortable and looks like the world.

I can’t stop thinking about Kara Tippetts. We are friends because we are sisters in Christ, but we’ve never officially met in person and I can’t recall how I came upon her blog many months ago. I did a review of her book, The Hardest Peace, where she recounts her story, a story of cancer. Today, Kara is dying, but she is dying well. She is swimming against the current of self-pity, doubt, and joyless living. Her focus is on pleasing her Savior today in the days God has given her. I can’t tell her story better than she does on her Facebook page and blog. She is choosing life today. She is choosing joy and love today. Isn’t that what we’re all promised? Today? (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-17)

Today will we choose to not follow the world but the Savior of the World?