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Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” 6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.  John 6:5-6

      On many occasions Jesus sat down in front of His followers and taught them like many of the other rabbi’s who preceeded Him.  But for those who were called His disciples, Jesus did far more than teach.  They willingly entered into a process which Jesus used to grow believers.  There is a difference between a superficial follower of Christ and a disciple.  Which camp do you consider yourself to be in today?  Notice that only those closest to Jesus were tested! 

     All of life is a process.  A plant cannot grow unless it is first placed in good soil, watered, and given ample sunlight.  A child will not mature correctly unless he/she is nurtured, fed, and loved.  Are Christians any different? 

       Why do Christian’s believe that being a follower of Christ is different?  Most do not really believe God has them in a process.  If they do believe in a process, they cannot describe the steps and stages of growth.  Unfortunately, most simply believe spiritual growth happens automatically through osmosis.  This is precisely the reason they do not grow and mature. 

      The truth is the Lord uses a process to grow us into the image of Jesus Christ.  When we understand His process, we can cooperate with Him.  In John 6:1-14, we can see the three-fold process the Lord uses over and over again to create growth in our lives.  The Lord is always testing us, strengthening us, and feeding us.  This cycle is endless as we (disciples) constantly move from one stage to the next and eventually back to start over again in the next process.  The question is whether we are cooperating or resisting His efforts.  Join me in the next few days as we examine this process.