Bonsai Christians

Your Environment Really Matters!

If you have ever been to Longwood Gardens, I am sure you have seen their impressive bonsai collection of miniature trees.

The very word bonsai means: an ornamental tree that has been artificially prevented from reaching its normal size.

Below you can see an entire bonsai forest!
In the wide ocean, sharks can easily grow to eight feet or larger. Yet, if you keep a shark in a fish tank, you can keep the shark to about eight INCHES!.

Again, the environment restricts natural growth.

Bonsai Christians

I started thinking about people, lives, and how so many people appear to be stuck, stunted, hampered, limited, restricted, and not the SIZE Jesus intends them to be.

What does God see when he looks at you?
What is God's vision for how large your life will be?
What are the invitations God is giving you to grow and expand to your true size?

What is keeping you from growing to the size God has planned for you?

Supersize is bad when it comes to food. Supersize is great when it comes to character, maturity, spirituality, relationships, purpose, mission, influence.

You should always assume that God's Spirit is at work to supersize your life.

Your Environment Matters

Like a bonsai tree or a miniature shark, we are often artificially and prematurely limited in size because of the environment we are in.

Sometimes we are in relationships, or places of work, or groups of people, or churches where we are held back. Sometimes we are those who hold others back.

Living Word is here to create an environment where you can flourish--where you can grow to the fullness  God has for you.

It is an environment of grace. Environments of legalism, guilt, shame, and fear work against you growing. Grace grows you God-size.

It is an environment of connections. A human being is designed as a relational being. You need others if you are to grow to the God-size person you are meant to be. Love, encouragement, support, wisdom, and all the "one another" experiences, these create an environment of LIFE TOGETHER and you soar to new places.

It is an environment of challenge.  You only grow when you get out of a comfort zone. That is a fundamental principle of growth. Whether it is physical exercise or intellectual stimulation, or creativity, or anything, you have to accept a challenge to do something you currently cannot do. But this environment is one where failure is not criticized. Failure is simply the way we learn.

It is an environment of spiritual life. God is in this place. This is a community of Christ. The Spirit is among us. The more you encounter God, the more you respond to God, and the more you follow God, the more you grow to the God-size, Christ-like, Spirit-filled person you are meant to be.
I'll leave you with this thought.

Everyone wants to live on the mountain top, but growth happens as you go climbing. Everyone looks forward to the destination, but the learning happens on the journey.

May you have a great week of growing.
Pastor Brian
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