Participants: Eric Garloff
Series Code: WWJ
Program Code: WWJ000008
00:01 Have you ever wondered how you can have a closer
00:03 walk with Jesus?
00:04 Stay tuned and we'll share with you how you can do just that
00:08 in this edition of Walking With Jesus.
00:26 Greetings, I'm Eric Garloff, your host for
00:28 Walking With Jesus.
00:29 In today's episode of Walking With Jesus we're going to be
00:32 talking about how we mature in Jesus, or how we grow up in
00:36 Jesus, and walk with Him on a daily basis.
00:38 The Bible gives us much to guide us in this area, and I pray that
00:43 this episode will be a tremendous blessing to your
00:46 understanding of what it means to mature in Christ.
00:49 Many people, after yielding their life to Christ,
00:52 and accepting Jesus as their Lord, at some point tend to stop
00:57 walking with Jesus and begin to go it alone.
01:00 They take back into their own hands the control of their life
01:04 in which they had given to Christ.
01:06 It's as if they themselves now have somehow found the power
01:11 to over sin and temptation all by themselves and no longer
01:14 need the Holy Spirit in their life to empower them
01:17 or to protect them.
01:18 Friends, when we do this we are taking ourselves
01:23 out of God's hand.
01:24 We're removing ourselves from His wisdom, His guidance,
01:29 and His protection.
01:30 We are disconnecting ourselves from the very source
01:33 of our spiritual life.
01:34 We cannot go it alone.
01:36 We need to draw our energies, our wisdom, and our very life
01:41 from the Source of Life on a moment by moment basis.
01:45 Jesus speaks about our dependence on God
01:47 in Matthew 6:25-33 which says:
02:31 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
02:34 which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
02:37 will He not much more clothe you, Oh ye of little faith?
02:41 So do not worry saying what shall we eat,
02:44 or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear?
03:00 In essence, Jesus is telling us here that we should rest in Him.
03:04 We shouldn't go about our day worried as to how our provisions
03:08 will be assured, but instead He bids us to seek first
03:11 the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and in so doing
03:16 all of our provisions will be given to us by Him.
03:19 It's a matter of keeping our focus on the One who gives us
03:22 forgiveness of sin and salvation for our very life.
03:25 It's a matter of leaving our life in God's hands
03:29 and not trying to regain control over it.
03:32 It's a matter of trusting God and taking Him at His word.
03:37 Let's compare this new birth experience with the actual birth
03:41 of a new born baby.
03:43 When a baby is born can he take care of himself?
03:47 Can he feed himself, or change his diaper,
03:51 or drive himself to the doctor for a checkup?
03:53 Of course not!
03:55 He needs his parents to love him, nurture him, care for him,
03:59 and direct him in the right path.
04:01 So it is with us.
04:03 When we experience the new birth in Jesus
04:05 our heavenly father loves us, cares for us, and places us
04:10 on the right path.
04:11 Now, when this baby becomes a few years older,
04:14 and he's able to feed himself, and dress himself,
04:18 does this mean that he's now ready to face
04:20 the world on his own?
04:21 Of course not.
04:23 He still needs to rely on his parents for his daily needs
04:26 and protection.
04:27 So it is with us as we grow in Jesus.
04:30 We need to rely on Him every day for our provisions.
04:33 Reading from the book Steps to Christ, page 46 and 47,
04:36 we find this passage:
05:15 Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither
05:18 nor be fruitless.
05:19 You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of the water.
05:23 Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone.
05:27 They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin,
05:30 but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright,
05:34 but every such effort must fail.
06:13 And what beautiful thoughts these are indeed.
06:16 It's a fact of life, friends, when you cut a branch
06:19 from a tree, or from a vine, the branch begins to die.
06:23 It's been separated from the source of its life.
06:26 Its leaves wither, dry, crumble into pieces and blow away.
06:30 Who would even consider being removed from the vine
06:33 or cutting themselves off from the source of life
06:35 when understood like this?
06:39 Yet, my friend, this is what we then do when we try to take back
06:44 control of our life once we've given it to Jesus.
06:47 The new birth experience is like placing a seed into the soil
06:51 and giving it water.
06:52 By the way, water is a symbol of the baptism
06:55 of the Holy Spirit.
06:56 Then, in a few days, the seed sprouts and brings forth life.
07:01 This sprout of new life is tender and delicate.
07:06 If you disconnect it from the source of life by pulling it up
07:09 out of the ground, it quickly withers and dies.
07:12 So it is with us if we disconnect ourselves from Jesus.
07:15 Colossians 2:6,10 says this:
07:51 Now let me ask you this.
07:53 Verse 6 said, As you have received Christ so walk in him.
07:58 How have you received Christ?
08:00 I hope your answer to this question is that you've received
08:03 Him by faith.
08:04 Isn't that right?
08:05 By faith we come to Him and trust in Him.
08:09 So if we received Him by faith then we are also to walk
08:13 with Jesus by faith, Amen?
08:15 This is the key to growing up and maturing in Jesus Christ.
08:19 We do it by faith in the Son of God.
08:22 Verse 7 in Colossians 2 said that we are rooted
08:25 and established in the faith.
08:26 Being rooted is a symbol, or another way of saying
08:29 getting our nourishment from our faith.
08:32 Just as a seedling is rooted in the soil,
08:34 getting its nourishment from it, so our roots in Jesus are found
08:40 within our faith in Jesus, which provides us our
08:43 spiritual nourishment.
08:46 Over and over Jesus used things in nature
08:49 to teach us spiritual lessons.
08:50 One such lesson I've learned at home over the years,
08:53 while tending to our lawn, is that when you don't water
08:57 your grass during the hot summer months, the grass turns brown
09:01 and goes dormant.
09:02 It doesn't actually die, that is unless the ground gets that hot
09:06 and dry that the roots themselves dry up
09:09 and wither away.
09:10 When the lawn does go dormant, you can begin watering it again
09:15 and over a period of a few weeks the grass will return again.
09:18 The grass plants wake up out of their dormancy
09:21 and send up new blades of grass; new shoots,
09:23 turning your lawn green again.
09:26 Now another side effect of not properly caring for your lawn
09:31 is that weeds will begin taking it over.
09:33 It almost seems that the hotter, and the dryer the weather gets,
09:37 the more the weeds will grow, but when the grass is full
09:41 and healthy it forms a barrier against the weeds.
09:45 That's not to say that you won't get weeds, but with the proper
09:48 proper fertilization and weed control, you'll have a beautiful
09:51 looking lawn again.
09:52 The fertilizer adds the right amount of nutrients to the lawn
09:56 so that it will grow full and healthy with a deep vibrant
10:00 green color, and along with the watering this will produce
10:04 the best lawn.
10:05 Now let me tell you about weed control.
10:08 Weed control comes in two basic forms.
10:11 The first is what's known as a pre-emergent.
10:13 It's normally put down early in the spring, and it prevents many
10:17 of the weeds from growing in the first place.
10:19 The second type of weed control is targeted at weeds that have
10:23 already come up.
10:24 Some varieties of weeds are very hard to control
10:27 once they emerge.
10:28 Crabgrass is one of them, so you really want to use
10:32 the pre-emergent early in the spring to keep this crabgrass
10:36 from growing up into your lawn.
10:38 Here's how I think about my lawn as compared
10:41 to my spiritual life.
10:42 When I keep myself in God's word it's like watering the lawn
10:46 to keep it alive and growing.
10:47 When I follow God's word by putting into action,
10:50 within my life, those things that I'm learning in the Bible,
10:54 then that's like applying the fertilizer to the lawn,
10:57 making my spiritual life vibrant and causing it to grow
11:00 and mature at an even faster rate.
11:02 This gives my spiritual life a special vibrancy, color,
11:06 and enthusiasm.
11:08 Now when I read the Bible and God shows me that I have some
11:13 weeds growing in my life, then I need to apply the weed control,
11:17 which is, by faith, taking God at His word, and yielding my
11:21 sin, or my temptation over to Him, and allowing Him to
11:25 eradicate that weed, or that sin, from my life.
11:28 Thus it is that the Christian grows and matures as he reads
11:33 and applies God's word to His life.
11:35 Through faith, just as you receive Jesus Christ,
11:39 so you walk in Him.
11:42 Steps to Christ, page 47 gives us some very important
11:45 information to guide us in being able to do this,
11:47 and I'd like to share it with you.
11:49 It says:
12:28 Now wouldn't that be a great way to start out your day?
12:31 When I read this I liken it to the pre-emergent weed control.
12:35 If we give ourselves to God first thing in the morning
12:39 we are taking the first step each day to prevent
12:43 the spiritual weeds from coming up in the first place.
12:47 In closing this episode I'd like to leave you with one last quote
12:52 from Steps to Christ, and it's found on page 48, which says:
12:55 Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty,
12:59 the perfection of His character.
13:01 Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation,
13:05 Christ in His purity and holiness,
13:07 Christ in His matchless love,
13:09 this is the subject of the soul's contemplation.
13:12 It is by living Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him
13:18 that you are to be transformed into His likeness.
13:21 Well now, to be found in the likeness of Jesus,
13:26 to have the character of Jesus really is the ultimate goal now,
13:30 isn't it?
13:31 To be growing and maturing in Jesus each and every day
13:35 is the will of God for His people.
13:37 May God's rich blessings be upon you, and your loved ones
13:42 as you find yourself walking with Jesus.
13:47 When you walk with Jesus your faith will grow,
13:51 and His love will guide you in life.
13:54 We pray you will draw closer to Jesus every day.
13:57 Our next episode shows us how to be happy while working
14:03 for the happiness of others.
14:04 Please be sure to join us.