Growing Closer to God

Have you ever come across something in your files that looks familiar—like it could be something that you’ve written but you’re not certain? Well this post contains a list that comes from that category. The thing that makes me think I came up with it is the quirky alliteration. I’m kinda known for that. But it could be that I developed this from notes that I took from someone else’s teaching somewhere along the way. Regardless, I hope it blesses your life.

The following is based upon Colossians 3:1-17. You’ll want to read these verses from which I (or, “we”) have extracted what I believe is a biblical strategy for growing closer to the Lord.

— The words “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is…” suggest the idea of INFATUATION (which literally means extravagant love or admiration) with Christ.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…” suggests PREOCCUPATION with Christ.

“Put to death what belongs to your earthly nature…” clearly indicates TERMINATION of worldly ways.

“Rid yourselves of all such things as…” stipulates REJECTION of ungodly attitudes.

“…since you have taken off your old self … put on the new self … clothe yourselves with…” specifies TRANSFORMATION into the image of our Creator.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” urges the SATISFACTION of our inner hunger to gratefully live our lives for God.

“Do all in the name of the Lord…” indicates the DETERMINATION we must have to live our lives under our Sovereign Lord’s authority, serving at His command and for God’s glory.

So, there you have it, a biblical strategy for growing closer to God…

1. Infatuation with Christ
2. Preoccupation with Christ
3. Termination of worldly ways
4. Rejection of ungodly attitudes
5. Transformation into the image of our Creator
6. Satisfaction of our inner hunger to live our lives for God
7. Determination to live our lives under Christ’s authority, serving at His command for God’s glory.

Hope you have a blessed Lord’s Day!

Grace and peace to all,
-bill

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” ~2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Blogroll, Christian Living, Christianity, Discipleship Training, Following Jesus, Kingdom Living, Preaching Notes, Writing Samples. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Growing Closer to God

  1. Lisa says:

    Oooh, that’s good. I like that.

    (And you’re up too late!!)

  2. janice says:

    yes this is a very good one ! thanks

  3. Neva Cooper says:

    Bill,
    Loved the post. Thankyou for a sermon idea for my husband, 🙂

    Peace and prayers,
    Neva

  4. Scotti says:

    Wonderful post. Thanks!
    Scotti

  5. Martin says:

    A very fine strategy. Thanks!

    Martin.

    Thanks for stopping by, Martin. Hope you will come back often. -bill

  6. Mark Wilson says:

    Nice Bill! But is it easy to do? I’m a part of the microwave culture and I want this done and dusted before fear factor comes on tv at 7pm.

    You’re right about this observation, but do we have to watch FEAR FACTOR! Reality TV, it is not! This is something we must apply ourselves to over the long haul, huh? -bill

  7. Keith Davis says:

    Your right brother. That really does speak to me right now in my walk. I need so much to be reminded of that list to avoid. I think we can consentrate so much on grace (the only chance and hope we have for salvtion)that we forget what kind of life that grace is motivating us to follow. Great post brother!

    Glad it spoke to your heart, Keith! Only because of God’s grace is it possible for us to pursue such a strategy!

  8. Dee Andrews says:

    You are strong on alliterations, Bill, that’s for sure. And it does sound similar to posts you’ve done before.

    But whether this is something from your past or is something you’re presenting for the first time, the list gives us lots of good things to think upon.

    So, thanks!

    Dee

    P. S. And thanks for all the input over at Finding Direction on my rare Saturday post! You and all the rest of my commenters made my weekend much fun!

    Cheers! Dee

    Enjoyed your rare weekend post and was glad to join in on the fun!

  9. Greg England says:

    Where was this when I was preaching through Colossians? Good thoughts, brother.

    It was probably languishing in my files. I believe I first included it in a handout for a class back in 1994ish.

  10. Kathy says:

    This sorta goes along with what you’ve entered here, Bill. Great post, btw.

    The last line of this devotional from Oswald Chambers really tugged at me.

    “My Utmost for His Highest”
    Oswald Chambers
    February 12, 2007

    Are You Listening to God?
    They said to Moses, ’You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die’ — Exodus 20:19

    We don’t consciously and deliberately disobey God— we simply don’t listen to Him. God has given His commands to us, but we pay no attention to them— not because of willful disobedience, but because we do not truly love and respect Him. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Once we realize we have constantly been showing disrespect to God, we will be filled with shame and humiliation for ignoring Him.

    “You speak with us, . . . but let not God speak with us . . . .” We show how little love we have for God by preferring to listen to His servants rather than to Him. We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we don’t want God Himself to speak to us. Why are we so terrified for God to speak to us? It is because we know that when God speaks we must either do what He asks or tell Him we will not obey. But if it is simply one of God’s servants speaking to us, we feel obedience is optional, not imperative. We respond by saying, “Well, that’s only your own idea, even though I don’t deny that what you said is probably God’s truth.”

    Am I constantly humiliating God by ignoring Him, while He lovingly continues to treat me as His child? Once I finally do hear Him, the humiliation I have heaped on Him returns to me. My response then becomes, “Lord, why was I so insensitive and obstinate?” This is always the result once we hear God. But our real delight in finally hearing Him is tempered with the shame we feel for having taken so long to do so.

    I can try all the things in your list, but if I don’t listen nor hear God, as Chambers says, I’m being obstinate and insensitive, setting me up for shame when finally I do hear Him.

    The wonderful thing about God’s grace is that even though we may feel this shame, HE will remove even that stain from us with His love, redemption and sanctification. How glorious is His grace! Praise You, LORD!

    This is soooo good, Kathy. Thank you very much for taking the time to share it with us here! I love your summary!!

  11. Lisa says:

    I thought alliteration had to do with the first letter of each word. Just caught that the second time around. I might be wrong, though. Now I’m going to comment on your new post. 🙂 Have a great day!

    To be sure, Lisa, “alliteration” involves the repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of words. However, according to The American Heritage Dictionary it can also involve “stressed syllables”. Thus, the alliteration is present in the repetition of the “shuhn” sound.

  12. Mr Neva says:

    Bill

    Neva has been after me for days about reading this poast. even telling me she “thanked you for the sermon Idea”

    as you were wondering it’s origin may I remind you of the words of Richard Rogers
    1st quotation full name 2nd quotation “someone said” 3rd time “I’ve always believed….” then its yours. Then he would smile and say “we all steal boys I just steal from a better neighborhood than you do”

    Good post, God Bless you

    ned cooper

    I’m glad that Neva talked you into stopping by. I do remember this rule of thumb from Richard. I also remember his oneliner: The key to originality is forgetting your source. Hope you will come back often! Blessings to you and Mrs. Cooper! -bill

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