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  • J. Randal Matheny 10:52 am on 2017-01-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spiritual growth,   

    Growth in spurts and increments 

    With the arrival of a new year, new resolutions and plans appear in the mind. It’s good to reevaluate one’s goals and objectives, analyze past performance, and plan for better results.

    Usually, plans made at the new year tend to be ambitious. The exercise gyms, for example, have their best attendance in January. That’s understandable. But neither should the small, incremental changes be despised. To borrow the language of Zechariah, let us not despise the day of small things, or as NET puts it, “small beginnings” Zech 4.10.

    Sometimes it’s easier for us to nudge up our efforts in small ways than by big changes. Tweaks can often accomplish more than drastic measures. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:19 am on 2016-11-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FPress, spiritual growth   

    Would you consider including this in your church bulletin? 

    Or something similar?

    Get spiritually charged by email twice a week with UPLift.

    Just that, no more, unless you want to elaborate.

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:30 pm on 2016-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spiritual growth   

    Love fills every lack, because it is the generator of all the Christian virtues. In this way, love is able to make us co-participants of the divine holiness. Spiritual and personal growth of each one of us is not related to our gifts, knowledge, or talents, but with our learning to love as God loves.

    —João D’Arc

    #love #spiritual-growth #christian-virtues

  • Eugene Adkins 6:07 pm on 2016-05-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spiritual growth   

    Remaining fundamentally sound 

    In the opening “chapter” of his letter to the church at Rome, Paul tells his brothers and sisters in Christ, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.” (Romans 1:15)

    A question that comes to mind after reading that would be, “Why would Paul “preach the gospel” to a church whose faith was already being talked about throughout the world?” (Romans 1:8) Perhaps Paul’s desire was to help the church continue in their numerical growth, and such a desire would entail preaching the gospel to the unbelievers in Rome; while that may be true, we know for sure that he desired to help the church grow spiritually (Romans 1:11), and this seems to be more in line with the context. But nonetheless the question remains, “Why would such a spiritually strong church need to “hear the gospel” again?” I think the answer is so they would remain spiritually strong!

    When the fundamentals go missing from our faith, the foundation that supports true spiritual growth gets removed (for an analogy, think about professional athletes who quit playing according to the fundamentals of his or her sport and how their “game” suffers because of it). This is why spiritual growth is about staying focused on Jesus, his death and resurrection, what he means to us, what he means to the world and what kind of effect the gospel is continually having on our life. Just look at the entirety of Romans 1 and you’ll see how Paul draws this out.

    Now, a failure to add to the fundamentals of our faith can be as bad as not having any fundamentals of the faith in our life (2 Peter 1:5-11, 1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12), but, that fact withstanding, for a strong faith to become a stronger faith, we must from time-to-time be reminded what our faith is all about in order to remain firm in what matters the most…never forget that there is a simplicity found in the gospel that is meant to remain simplistic (2 Corinthians 11:3).

    To be fundamentally sound in relation to the gospel story is a wonderful blessing, but such a blessing will only remain as long as the fundamentals are a part of our heart, soul and mind.

    For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.” (2 Peter 1:12)

    #fundamentals-of-the-faith, #milk-of-the-word, #spiritual-growth

  • Eugene Adkins 8:04 pm on 2016-01-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spiritual growth   

    Make at least one 

    I know, I know – everybody isn’t a fan of resolutions. But try to make at least one this year, and really work at it. If nothing else, your resolution can be spiritual in nature.

    Don’t believe in making spiritual resolutions? Guess you don’t like singing, “I Am Resolved”, huh?

    I mean you want to grow spiritually speaking, right? I hope for your soul’s sake that you do. Ever read 2 Peter 1:5-11 or John 15:1-4?

    So think hard about what you want God to accomplish in you and what you want to accomplish in God and make a resolution to be more resolved when it comes to improving the part of us that God seeks to reward eternally.

    Betcha’ you can make at least one…if you want to.

    Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21


  • TFRStaff 8:04 am on 2014-07-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spiritual growth, , transformation   

    7 ingredients in Charles Box's recipe for spiritual change 

    There are consequences, negative and positive, to the things we think, do, and say in our life. All behavior has built-in consequences. When you choose the behavior you choose the consequence.

    Our daily goal should be spiritual growth.

    “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)

    Here are some things that will bring about those positive, spiritual changes. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 10:45 am on 2014-03-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spiritual baby steps, spiritual growth,   

    Scoot, crawl, walk, run 

    baby_crawlby Luke Bower — I can still remember when our daughter first started to crawl. She still lacked the strength and coordination to stay up on all fours, but that did not stop her from getting where she wanted to go. She would scoot and roll around until she reached her destination. It was not very efficient and sometimes took her a long time to figure it out. She would even get frustrated from time to time, but she kept wiggling around until she got there.

    It was because of all that scooting around that she eventually developed the strength and coordination to begin crawling. If she were to get too frustrated and just give up, she may have never learned the skills she needed to get around. (More …)

  • Eugene Adkins 6:53 am on 2013-02-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christian maturity, , , , , spiritual growth   


    Patience is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is also a two-edged sword…or at least a two-way street. There’s patience that we need to show to others, but then there’s the patience we need to have with our self.

    There’s nothing wrong with having expectations. In a roundabout way there’s almost everything right with having them. The danger comes from having expectations that go above and beyond what’s reasonable.

    I don’t expect my daughter to know how to do math right now – she still has to get a grasp on saying her numbers. For me to expect anything else would be ridiculous. She needs time. She needs to be taught. She needs patience and so do I! Is it a contradiction to put a “!” next to the word patience?

    Along those same lines we need to be patient with those whose knowledge about Jesus isn’t as great as our own. We should encourage others to study, we should encourage others to look to Jesus for their example and we should be ready to help if needed, but we must remember that at the beginning people need to learn to take “baby steps” as they learn about the gospel.

    At the same time we need to remember to have patience with our self. I know we’re not promised tomorrow, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s true that there is huge peril in not progressing, but there can also be huge peril in being too hard on one’s self. Patience is not an excuse for sin, but there is no sin in having or showing patience. In many ways patience shows maturity for maturity owns up but does not quit.

    The Bible is too clear to miss the importance of spiritual expectations, but the Bible is also just as clear when it comes to the importance of spiritual patience. Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of “wait” but patience is what God shows us so we can show it towards others.

    Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

    PS: In a ironic turn of events, for some reason the title of “Patience” won’t post at the top of this article – even after I tried five times.

    • J. Randal Matheny 8:25 am on 2013-02-22 Permalink | Reply

      Is strange that the title doesn’t show. Sometimes, I’ve noticed that when I edit a post from the front page, the title disappears. Don’t know if that’s the case here or not. All the settings seem to be right.

      But the content is good!

      • Eugene Adkins 10:01 am on 2013-02-22 Permalink | Reply

        I was editing from behind the scenes so I don’t know what gives other than it giving me an opportunity to follow my own advice 🙂

  • Eugene Adkins 6:35 am on 2012-09-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spiritual growth   

    Another Snippet from the Repentance Sermon 

    Whether it was God’s command to John the Baptist, Jesus’ command during his earthly ministry or his command in the great commission – there is no salvation, relationship with God or spiritual growth without repentance. Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 2:37-38 all agree with this principle.

    You’ll never find God’s people being promised a new anything worth having unless their willing to get rid of an old something that’s not worth keeping.

    The reason so many Christians never grow up/mature/learn how feed from meat of God’s word or teach others is because their minds aren’t made up. It’s because they may be converted to the seat on Sunday morning, but they’re not converted in their heart throughout the rest of the week (Acts 3:19).

    Repentance is essential because it begins in the heart, stays in the heart, changes the heart and keeps the heart yearning to please God.

    • robertebarger 6:59 am on 2012-09-18 Permalink | Reply

      No man comes to Jesus Christ unless the Father draws him.
      The reason that the bible is put togrther the way it is, is because the fear of God must be the driving force behind the person.The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. If a person is told that all you have to do to go to Heaven is accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, you have taken away the fear of not making it into the Kingdom. As many as recieve Him gave He POWER TO “””BECOME”””” A son of God, not already is saved. The only thing that will make you free is the Word of God. If there is no fear of the Lord, the person will not study their bible, and will not be set free. If a person does not understand why he is a sinner, and does not see that the plan of God is a growing proscess starting with being a babe in Christ, moving up in the Spirit through repentance in the babe stage to a child in Christ, next is the young man stage, than going on to be a father in perfection. We have lost the way through mans understanding. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof is death!

  • Larry Miles 12:46 pm on 2012-08-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: spiritual growth,   

    Be Strong In The Lord 

    Being “strong” is a trait that is desired by most people. It is really important in the Christian realm. We must, as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10, “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

    The emphasis in the preceding verse centers not on man, but on Christ. Biblical strength is rooted in Christ. We can attain it only through “growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.” (2 Peter 3:18) God wants His children to be equipped for service. Jesus said the He came that we might have an abundant and rich life.

    The Christian life is a life of action. In Ephesians 6:11, Paul tells us to “put on the whole armor of God.” He says that Christians should be as prepared as the Roman soldier. In Ephesians 6:10-17, he takes the different items of a Roman soldier and made some spiritual application.

    Christian, do you want to grow in Christ? It will require you to make a commitment to avail yourselves of all the resources the Lord has for us. Are you ready?

  • Larry Miles 1:32 pm on 2011-08-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: spiritual growth   

    Running the Race 

    One of the descriptions of a Christian in the New Testament is that of an athlete. The Apostle Paul uses this terminology often. We read in 2 Tim. 2:5: ”An athlete is not crowned unless he com­petes according to the rules.” Paul writing in 2 Tim 4:7 says that “I have finished the race.” In I Cor. 9:25-27 Paul further compares the life of a Christian to an athlete.


    During the time of Paul the Greek Games (Olympics) were very prominent and many particip­ated or at least had an interest. Paul used words and phrases that talked about how an athlete pre­pares himself for his “sport.” Then he makes an application for the Christian.


    To participate in the Greek games, one had to be a citizen of the city he lived in. Paul talked about “Christian Citizenship” in Phil. 3:20. The person would have pride in his city or country and would seek to bring honor to it. He would be willing to put in all the training so that he would be at a peak performance state when the games began.


    So it is with the Christian. The participants in the Games were competing for a physical crown, but we, an imperishable or incorruptible crown. Paul wrote in I Cor. 9:25: “Every athlete ex­ercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperish­able.”


    The athlete would put all he had into training and would not let anything hinder him in that area. The Christian must be the same. He or she must equip themselves with every thing the Lord has for us. Jesus said he came to give us “the abundant life.” We must keep our eyes on Jesus and ac­cording to Titus 2:12 “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, up­right, and godly lives in the present age.”


    The Christian life is not a bed of roses, rather it is an on going life of commitment and steadfast­ness. In I Cor. 15:58 we read: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”


    Let’s run with endurance the race set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus at all times (Heb. 12:1-2). If we will do that, concentrating on improving our spiritual life daily, we will draw near­er to Jesus! Being a Christian “athlete” will mean you are “growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus!” (2nd Peter 3:18)

  • Larry Miles 12:04 pm on 2011-08-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , spiritual growth, ,   

    Taking Up The Whole Armor of God 

    Many times in his writings the Apostle Paul used military imagery in describing spiritual things. One reason for this was that in many parts of the Roman Empire, the presence of the military was out in full force. Paul used illustrations and terms that the people were accustomed to.

    In Ephesians 6:10-17 he wrote about “taking up the whole armor of God.”. What did he mean? Paul was using the imagery of the different parts of the Roman soldier’s armor to illustrate some very important ways that a Christian can be equipped for service to the Lord Jesus.

    Most of the armor is of a defensive nature and some offensive. The Roman government provided their armies with everything they would need to do battle. They were equipped for service to Caesar. How much more should the child of the King be equipped for service to the Lord.

    Paul took the different parts of the soldier’s armor and made spiritual application. In Ephesians 6:10 he says “be strong in the Lord…”. Paul reminds us that our battle is not against an enemy we can see on the battlefield, but on a spiritual one, that is, Satan, himself. If we will let Him, the Lord will equip us door this battle. One important aspect we must understand up front is that we cannot win the battle in our own strength, but can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, win the battle. It is as the Word of God says, “greater is He. Who is in you than he who is the world.”

    Verses 14-17 speak of defensive weapons by which we can protect ourselves in this battle. It is in the later part of verse 17 that we are introduced to the offensive weapon, the “sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.”

    The Word of God is powerful! Paul told us in 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 that the Word is inspired of God. It is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    If we are willing to not only read God’s Word but to study it, mediate upon it, and tell others about it, we will “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ,” – we will be able to help and encourage other believers as we serve in the Lord’s army.

    The hymn writer, Sabine Baring-Gould penned these famous words, “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before; Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe, forward into battle, see His banners go.” Let’s go forward lifting up the Name of the Lord Jesus before a lost and dying world, reaching the lost with the Gospel and strengthening the saved!

    • Mike Riley 2:45 pm on 2011-08-02 Permalink | Reply

      Good thoughts and a good well-written article, Larry!

      • Larry Miles 9:48 pm on 2011-08-02 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks a lot, Mike for the words of encuragement

  • Larry Miles 8:28 am on 2011-07-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spiritual growth   

    The Benefits of Christian Living 

    Benefits are something that that the Lord has for us now! Spiritual benefits are the most precious. Being a Christian brings benefits, not only for eternity, but in the here and now. Christianity is a here and now religion. We don’t have to wait till eternity to enjoy what the Lord has in store for us for us.

    The Apostle Paul, in Col. 1:20-23, contrasted their lives before they came to the Lord with the life in the Lord Jesus. He reminds them and us that we were reconciled because of our faith and obedience to Christ. He tells us that Jesus will one day “present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach..” Is that automatic or must we do something on our part? In Col. 1:23 we have the word “if;” many times in the Word we might be able to substitute the word “since.” (More …)

  • Larry Miles 7:21 am on 2011-06-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Armor of God, , , spiritual growth   

    Rescued from The Domain of Darkness 

    “For He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14) Most of us, I’m quite sure, prefer light to darkness. Without Jesus, all of us were in darkness, members, although we may not have known it, in the kingdom of Satan. Our heavenly Father desired that we all come to a saving knowledge and has provided the means through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We are glad that we can share in the inheritance He has for us (Col. 1:12).

    The Word of God describes this transformation as changing kingdoms. We have been brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. The terminology used here by Paul is a military illustration. It pictures Rome going into a free country and as a result of waging war and winning they subdue that nation and take them into captivity. But in the spiritual realm, we are the ones in bondage and when we accept The Lord Jesus and obey the Gospel, we are “transferred” (NASV) or “translated” (KJV) or are “conveyed” (NKJV) out of that bondage into the light of the Gospel. But it does not end there. Since we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (Col. 1:14) we must put our new found faith to the test. We have been called out of that dark kingdom, changed by the light of the Gospel and now have the privilege to go back into that kingdom, now empowered by the Holy Spirit and utilizing the Whole Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to help others find their way out. We can never work our way to heaven, but upon salvation, we are to be the best workers the Lord has. Let’s be found letting our light shine for Jesus (1 Peter 2:10)!

    Note: The graphic used came from Ministry tech Online, the on line blog of Michael Hite, Instructor at The Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver.

  • Larry Miles 7:56 am on 2011-06-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spiritual growth   

    Be An Example! 

    The New Testament teaches that Christians are not “to forsake the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25) With this in mind, all of us must do our best to heed this Scriptural admonition. But, just being present for all the “services” of the congregation is not enough if you want to live the Christian life to the fullest.

    The Christian life is a life of continuing action. All of us are called to serve the Lord. We are to live our lives with an aim to please Him.

    In everything we say and do, we are to be an example. People are watching us to see if our profession of faith is true. So, by living for Him daily and seeking to reach others with the Gospel and help strengthen the saved should be our goal. As 1 Tim 4:12 admonishes us, let’s live out our faith!

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