Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sweet Tea - Part 2 - Our growth in Christ

In my first "Sweet Tea" post I used the example of real sweet tea to demonstrate the reality of our identity in Christ. But Steve McVey actually uses this example in his "Grace Rules" book to demonstrate the transforming process we go through once we're in Christ. We have already become one with God, and there's nothing that can separate us from Him. But we do go through a lifetime process of growing and actually experiencing His life. Now, I'm only giving my own summary, in my own words, so just know that my thoughts may or may not stray from the full message Steve shares.

To make real sweet tea, the temperature has to be turned up in order for the ingredients (tea and sugar) to fully dissolve into the water. The ingredients have to be mixed together and stirred. In our life in Christ, this can be a painful and troubling process to go through! Have you experienced the turning up of the heat in your life, and the "stirring process" that has eventually led to growth and maturity in Christ?

If not, then come join the living world! Don't just remain floating out there as your own entity, trying to avoid having your life fully mixed in (experientially) with God's life! If God "turns up the heat" in your life or begins "stirring things up," don't run and hide and wait for a day when everything will be calm again. Understand that this process is necessary in order to help you truly experience the fullness of the life that you do have in Christ! The end result is very "sweet." Take it from me or take it from anyone who has been through it! Or look back on your own life and remember the sweet things that have come from the times you've been through it already.

Yesterday, the term "growing pains" kept coming to my mind. It's not until right now that I've begun to correlate that phrase with this post. I don't know if you're going through some of the growing pains of your life in Christ, but be encouraged that it's for a very sweet purpose. Growing pains mean that growing is happening, and it means that God's grace is at work in you! He loves you so much and He so wants you to truly experience the fullness of His life that He'll make sure the entire process is completed in every way.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Joel,

    I've loved these two posts. I also love sweet tea ;)

    I was just wondering something though. People always relate trials with physical sufferings. I was wondering your opinion on this matter. Do you think the suffering and testing is always physical? Like the death of a loved one, persecution or what have you.

    Do you think trials could also be mental and spiritual? Such as struggling with confusion, sin, doubt, etc.

    I was just curious. Because the majority of my trials are not physical issues like stress over financial situations or persecution or whatever.

    Thanks for reminding us of grace, Joel. I will go through a day when I completely forget these things all the time. It's a wonder I'm even able to wipe myself. lol - too much information on that one.