An Invitation to grow in 2017

 

I remember taking my Little Bit to the specialist for the first time. She’d only grown 2 cm in nearly a year when she should have been sprouting like a root, growing like a weed.

She wasn’t. Her growth had plateaued.

“We just really need to know what’s going on,“ I told the doctor. “What is behind this stunted growth? Is it genetic? Neurological? Biological? And do we treat it with synthetic hormones?”

The question nagged us: How can we get her to grow?

After we got home from the doctor, I remember how defeated I felt.Spiritually I was stunted, just like my Little Bit. I was mediocre when I should’ve carried a sense of spiritual health and blessing, spilling over onto others who passed my way. In my home, I should’ve been much slower to anger. My words should more often be a fountain of grace and life. My vision should be much greater, my faith more compelling, more transferable.

I’d plateaued. Why? What happened?

That’s when I picked up a book I’d been reading and saw I Corinthians 3:1: “I speak to you as babes in Christ.” I Cor 3:1

It hit me HARD: It is possible for a Christian to spiritually experience the stunted growth that my daughter was experiencing physically.

The author of the book went on to say:

“We find in the Corinthians simply a condition of protracted infancy. It is quite right that at six months of age a babe should eat nothing but milk; but years have passed by and it remains in the same weakly state. Now this is just the condition of many believers. We come in contact with them and there is none of the beauty of holiness or of the power of God’s Spirit in them.”

You have had the gospel so long that by this time you ought to be teachers, and yet you need that men should teach you…” Hebrews 5:12

–From Andrew Murray’s The Master’s Indwelling

I was convicted. Challenged.

For many years I’d possessed what Paul describes as “the power of God.” It is no impotent thing. Yet it seemed to lay un-used and un-applied in my daily living out. It didn’t seem to be the power of God, say, for my speech. My witness. My vision and faith. My parenting and wifery and intimacy.

I wanted the gospel to be the power of God in my every day, moment to moment living.

I was hungry for an answer. I was ready to move beyond the plateau so I dug into the scriptures with fresh fervency. That’s when words spoken by Peter, one who grew in spurts and plateaus and flat-on-face falls crossed my path. Yes, give me faltering Peter!

“Grow in Grace…” he instructed his readers. And with those three words, burly Peter became a mentor. He took me aside and spoke it plain. (See II Peter 3:18)

“It’s like this,” he instructed my hard headedness. “Grace = Growth.”

Grace = Growth

I breathed in the wonder. Isn’t it glorious? It isn’t a ten step program or self help books or try hard attempts or performance or fleshly tactics. It’s Grace.

I admit it meant something coming from Peter, one who knew a thing or two about the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the failures and successes of walking the Christ life… because I sure could relate.

Peter taught me something vitally important. He taught me grace is much more than forgiveness for when I do wrong. It’s the power of God to do right!

This is where many of us get hung up. It’s why I wasn’t seeing the spiritual progress I longed for. I understood grace in terms of forgiveness but not in terms of enablement. And it was time for me to discover Grace as POWER.

Only when we know how to apply that power in the day-in and day-out moments of our lives will we see the spiritual growth we desperately long for.

Remember, Grace = Growth.

With fresh direction, I began studying, learning and appropriating GRACE as power. But how??? How to take this biblical concept and put it into practical, usable form??

I stumbled around a lot. I misstepped and had to start over many times… but I began seeing first small, then substantial changes in my life, such as better diet and exercise habits, ministry and writing projects finally getting completed, personal and family life growth, and much more.

Through the learning and stumbling, I ended up developing a simple, biblical process for setting goals and appropriating God’s grace in my life. It’s HOW to practically implement God’s lavish grace in usable ways and I call it the the “Grace Goals” process.

So what does all this have to do with you? Well, this week, someone challenged me to share what I’ve learned. He said if I really believe what God has taught me through His word, I have a moral obligation to share it with others.

I thought about that.

I questioned it. It’d be easier to brush it off and ignore it but ultimately I came away agreeing with what the gentleman said because no one is given a lamp to hide under a bushel. No one is given a talent to bury in the sand. I have a biblical obligation to share what I’ve learned with you.

I know from experience that growth happens best in community so I thought of a way to provide an opportunity for each person in this community to see true change this year. I can’t do the work for you but I can provide an opportunity.

So here’s a simple invitation for YOU to experience the Grace Goals difference for yourself. Here’s how this special invitation will work:

1. Grab your copy of Grace Goals here before Friday.

2. Get out your calendar and set aside the week of December 26-31 or January 2-6 to work through Grace Goals on your own. Since Grace Goals includes 5 mini-workshops, I suggest doing ONE workshop a day for 5 days.***

3. Then, Attend the exclusive, LIVE group coaching workshop with me on December 28th!

Everyone who purchases Grace Goals before this Friday, December 23rd will receive an invite to this LIVE online event. Here you’ll have a chance to connect with others, share your goals, pray with others, ask questions, and be encouraged. I’m SO excited for us to support and encourage each other in community! Exact time TBA. There will also be a replay in case you can’t make the LIVE event.

4. OPTIONAL: You can also join the Grace Goals Facebook group to connect with others, ask questions and find an accountability partner.(This is optional. Instructions for joining the group are inside Grace Goals.)

Friend, spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. It takes intentionality on our part. While I feel this offering is terribly inadequate- the equivalent of 5 loaves and 2 fish- I know God can take it and do abundantly above and beyond all we ask or think. SO… I can’t wait to connect with you during our live workshop and hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity to invest in your spiritual life. Come on to the table!

Grab Grace Goals here and I’ll see you soon!

In and for HIM,

AJ

 


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2 Comments

  1. I already have Grace Goals and had planned on going through it over Christmas break as I look to my year ahead. Is there a way I can get on the live workshop? Maybe pay a small fee or something? I’d love to join you guys!

    1. Hi Rosanne! I’ve been getting this question from some who’ve already purchased and we’re doing our best to see if we can work something out. The hiccup is that we have limited slots for the LIVE workshop and since it’s a bonus for folks who buy this week, there may not be space for everyone else. BUT… I’m checking into the replay option and seeing if it’s something I can send out to everyone. If you don’t hear back from me before the 28th, drop me an email to check on the status :)

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