Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.

When we’re first saved, everything is new. Family doesn’t change but you look at things differently. We’re a new creature and even the trees look different. After a while things may become ordinary again. Peter went back to what he knew after Jesus died. He went fishing but he caught nothing. Jesus didn’t want him to go back to the ordinary life.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The Bible is rich to the poor in spirit. If we don’t have any needs, people may pick through the word of God and go back to living their life without considering God. They go to work, work out at the gym, and feed their family. Sometimes we might be zealous at first but then we go back to the ordinary. Marathon runners go through different phases and may start out feeling excited, find a runner’s high, but get bored so they’re only surviving, and then they may just give up.

After 2 years of being serious about working out, Josh said saw there were phases people go through. People usually start with a (1) commitment and then (2) set goals. In the church, we’re the body of Christ. We’re all different. One person will not have the same results. In the body we all have different gifts. We may have certain expectations but they need to be according to our gifts and our place in the body. If we see everything as gray, it’s like we’re unsure so everything is very big and beyond us. God wants us to know our part. If you want to be an ear but you’re a toe, you’re going to have a difficult time realizing your goal. Starting to work out is difficult. You’re working an area that hasn’t been worked before.

Josh was thinking about the difference between pride and vanity. He was 5 foot 3 inches and weighed 110 pounds in high school. He liked football but knew he couldn’t keep up with the big guys. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourself. Vanity is what we want others to think of us. How do we see ourselves? If we think we can’t do anything, the devil will beat us up. We must have enough self importance to know we can run the race. Josh saw he was vain because he wanted others to see him as equal so he didn’t pursue football. Part of vanity is you want to be liked. You think how will people see me if I do x, y, or z? There’s a saying, If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. You need to be more than a nice guy or an ordinary someone. People need to see us as having something special because we’re Christians. We can end up getting off on another trail if we’re just living an ordinary life.

Another phase people go through is (3) suffering injuries. Injuries can cause people to drop off and to have a sore spot. In church someone may encourage you to do something, but it backfires and doesn’t turn out like we expected or desired. Then we decide not to do it anymore because we’re hurt. Maybe you weren’t ready for it yet. Disappointments are part of life. We need to go through and things are worth fighting for. We need to keep an appreciation for what we have – not stop thinking about how things used to be before we were saved. The gospel is good news and we have to keep it new so it’s good news for others.

(4) Researching and continuous improvement is a phase where we need to grow. Muscle memorization happens when your muscles are no longer sore after activity. You stop increasing if you stop engaging. To build up muscles, you increase what you’re doing. For instance, in running – you run more. Paul went to the wilderness for three years after he was converted. It was like he was sitting and learning from Jesus. There are times when God wants us to have a refreshing by taking more time with him. The more you do something, the more you enjoy it – unless you fall into the ordinary and into a rut. When the disciples had fished all night, Jesus said to go fish and told them to cast their net on the other side.