In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey instructs the reader to begin with the end in mind. While his point-of-view in the book is one solely about this temporary physical life, the principle is nonetheless valid for us as Christ-followers in that our end (our destination), as Pastor Lawrence preached this past Sunday, is eternity with God, along with the abundant life God wants for us while we are here. Covey’s suggestions throughout the book instruct the reader to establish a plan for changing oneself, aspiring to the goals developed from self-examination.
Similarly, how do we go about transforming ordinary, fallen (depraved, as Pastor Lawrence described) hearts into ones that love God and others, as Christ has instructed?
The path to glorification, the fourth step in the process as described in this ministry series, is preceded by deprivation, which is where every born person starts because of the sinful nature of man; justification (think, “just as if I had never sinned”) through recognition of a sinful life in need of salvation which we can’t achieve on our own, confession of that sin and faith in Jesus, who shed his blood for all mankind; the process of growing spiritually to become more like Christ while we are in these earthly bodies, which is referred to as sanctification; and finally glorification, which happens after this earthly life when we will see Him face to face. Fundamentally, as Christ-followers, we have passed the first two parts of the process and are now focusing on the third part, sanctification.
As with any discipline, spiritual growth requires the development and execution of a plan. For Jesus’ disciples, the plan consisted simply of following the Master around and learning from Him how to live. In today’s world, we study God’s word through Scripture, sometimes on our own, sometimes in a corporate environment like this past Sunday’s worship service, or in study groups like Mosaic’s Tables; and if we are wise, we meditate and act upon what we have learned, preparing for our final destination, not only in this life, but the one to come.