Mark Affleck

Turn Over This Leaf To See Who You Will Be On 6.30.21

June 1, 2021
Spiritual Growth

The summer breeze is flipping the calendar’s pages and replacing May with June. In the process, it will also produce a new opportunity for all of us to “turn over a new leaf.”
TURN OVER A NEW LEAF: to start over, to act in a different manner or change your attitude about something.
This idiom was birthed in the 16th Century when pages in books were referred to as leaves before being loaded with content. So when a person “turned over a new leaf,” they were moving forward to a blank page. Hence, the connection between turning over a new leaf and making a significant change in behavior or entering a new stage of life.
My theme for this month–Commit To Life-Long Spiritual Growth—is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our faith walk generally, and our spiritual growth specifically.
After accepting Jesus as our personal savior, connecting with him and growing our faith bolts to the top of our spiritual to-do list. Helping people to that end is my life purpose and it animates this ministry Love God Fear Nothing that was birthed after my business career as a corporate CEO. At that time, beneath a thin veneer of worldly success was a raging battle for purpose. I had been a Christian for over 20 years but did not have any spiritual discernment. No Godly wisdom. And no relationship with Jesus.
Everything changed when God used Pastor Tom Holladay and the Spiritual Maturity Class at Saddleback Church to help me turn over my first spiritual leaf and commit to live by the habits of a disciple.
Soon after taking that class, I captured the following vision for my faith walk going forward. Not a single word has been changed from the original. NOTHING that follows was in place at the time and while I had a Bible, I had no idea where it was. EVERYTHING was a prospective prayer to God for it to be transformed from vision to reality.
Below is that original vision I will be using as a goal this month for our Commit To Life-Long Spiritual Growth:
My life mission is grounded in Christ, with God at the center of everything. God is either first or last; there is no in-between. In the hub position, all other aspects of my life become subordinate spokes. God should never be on the outside of a “natural world hub” that relies on our own strengths or money or fame. I want to: 1) Connect with God daily in full surrender and obedience; 2) Know that God is all I have and all I need; 3) Realize that spiritual growth comes mostly from trial and tribulation; 4) Live with the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, kindness, faithfulness, self-control, goodness, peace, humility, and patience; 5) Be available and open to what God would have me do and who he would have me be; and 6) Find and live out my Kingdom purpose in the second half of my life–after a career of worldly success in the first half–by serving God and using my story to help others activate their faith.
I am praying that God will use this month of June to help us all see where he would have us go in our faith walk and how he would have us grow spiritually so we can glorify him.
Do you want to strengthen your commitment to life-long spiritual growth? Will this month be the beginning of something new in your faith walk? Will you commit to grow closer to Christ? Will your spiritual maturity expand over the next 30 days?
“But whoever listens to me will have security; he will be safe with no reason to be afraid.” Proverbs 1:33

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