April 29, 2009

Baby Believers - Part III

If you've been keeping up, I shared a couple of ways over the past week that human babies are a lot like spiritual babies. A spiritual baby is someone who is a new believer, or it could be someone who has been a follower of Christ for many years but just hasn't grown or matured very much in their walk with Jesus. I'll finish up this series today. So far we've seen:

1. Babies like to be handled
- and we like to handle babies.

2. Babies have their "safe place" - and they don't like to change it.
3. Babies want milk - and that is enough for them.

Now let's move on:

4. Babies like to sleep - a lot! If you go to church, let me ask you this - Why? Why do you show up on a Sunday morning to you local church? And where do you sit, and why? Do you sit near the front, hungry to hear? Or near the back for a quick escape? Do you listen - pay attention? Or does your mind begin to wander? I guess what I'm trying to say is "Are you sleeping in church?"

I remember the story about an elderly gentleman who showed up faithfully Sunday after Sunday. But as soon as the sermon began, he would fall asleep in his regular seat on the back row. One day, the pastor, who had noticed this trend for years finally decided to teach the man a lesson. He said to the congregation "All those wishing to have a place in heaven, please stand." Of course, the sleeping man was the only one who didn't stand. The preacher had everyone sit back down, then said to the congregation in a very loud voice "All those wishing to have a place in hell please STAND UP!"

Immediately the man was awakened, and having heard the words "STAND UP!" he did! After a moment of confusion, the man said "Pastor, I don't know what we're voting on here, but it sure seems like you and I are the only ones standing for it."

Babies in Christ, though they don't necessarily fall asleep while sitting through a sermon, are certainly content to sleep through life - in a spiritual sense. Rather than look into the things of God, study, learn and grow, they pass the time doing other things. They waste a lot of valuable time involved in activities that have no value. Are you a baby Christian? Are you sleeping through life when you could be learning and growing in your walk with Jesus?

5. Babies want their own way - now! Babies learn quickly what it takes to get what they want when they want it. They scream, cry, yell, throw tantrums - all in an effort to get us to give in to their every desire. It is so much easier to give in than to try and ignore the selfish longings of babies.

Baby believers, especially those who have been believers for many years, are this way in the church. "I want my favorite kind of music." "I want to hear a certain kind of preaching only." "I want to park in my favorite spot." "I want my kids to get special treatment." On the list goes. These are baby Christians!! These are people who don't understand God's kingdom, and kingdom growth. They are only concerned about what they can get, and making sure they get it now.

Are you a baby Christian? Grow up! Go on to maturity. Get over yourself, look around, learn, grow and find someone else you can help in this journey called life.

Spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes work, it takes discipline. I hope you will do whatever it takes to move forward in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

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