Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day 23 – Growing up in and with God

Growing up in and with God

Like every parent wishes and looks forward to their child or children being grown up and all mature, it is our heavenly Father’s goal for us to mature and develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Sadly many of us grow older never intending to grow up, thinking that spiritual growth is automatic refusing to believe that it an intentional commitment. To make that decision to grow it requires effort; and to do so we need to be discipled. Discipleship is the process of becoming like Christ which always begins with a decision in the form of a response when we are called by Jesus – Matt. 9 vs. 9bFollow me He told him and Matthew got up and followed Him, even if we don’t understand the implications of following.

We all know in our walk of life that a decision can make or break you; can develop or destroy you; but ultimately they will define you. We are what we are committed, and it is at this period in one’s life that many miss God’s purpose for their life. Many are afraid and just drift through life, others make half hearted decisions which leads to frustration; still others make full commitment to worldly goals and end up disappointed and bitter – so I ask you this question, what are you committed to today? Every choice has eternal consequences so we [you and I] had better choose wisely – 2 Peter 3 vs. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way what kind of people ought you be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.

As we learned from yesterday’s lesson that spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between us and the Holy Spirit, we have been shown through that lesson – and Philip. 2 vs. 12 – 13Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose, that God works with us not just in us. Because He wants us to grow. So now that God has given us a new life it is our responsibility to develop it with a serious attitude with ‘holy fear and trembling’, for the reason that when we are casual about it, it shows that we don’t understand the eternal implications.

In order to grow spiritually, we need to be careful concerning the way we think; in other words to change our life we need to change the way we think - Prov. 4 vs. 23above all else guard your heart for it is the spring of life, and allow God to transform us – Rom. 12 vs. 2b. – but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. This is the first step in our spiritual growth, as change always start first in the mind, and the way one thinks determines the way one feels and subsequently the way one acts - Eph. 4 vs. 23 - to be made new in the attitude of your minds. Therefore to be like Christ (make it personal) I must develop His mind which is known as REPENTANCEmeaning to change your mind - Philip. 2 vs. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, which is also a command.

In other words, to stop thinking immature thought which are self centred and self seeking – 1 Corinth. 14 vs. 20 - Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults, as this form of thinking is the source of sinful behaviour – Rom. 8 vs. 5 - Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires, and to start thinking maturely such as focusing on others, not yourself [which is a mark of maturity] 1 Corinth. 13 vs. 11 - When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Lessons Learnt on Day 23 – That spiritual maturity is not measured by the amount of biblical information or doctrine I know, as the Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions, as it also includes conduct and character; that my deeds and beliefs must be consistent and backed up with Christ like behaviour. That it’s all about my relationship with Christ which is core in the way I treat others – Rom. 15 vs. 2 – 3 - Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. That thinking of others is the heart of being like Christ – and the best evidence of spiritual growth, so even though this is an unnatural rare and difficult attribute I have hope, because I am not alone as the Holy Spirit is here to help me – 1 Corinth. 2 vs. 12 - found that the Lord had opened a door for me.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post .... keep doing what you are doing on this blog. Bless ..

Believer said...

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me..1st Corinthians 13:11. I am so excited as I was meditating on this verse this morning. You are truly in the Spirit. This series is like an answer to prayer. Every day I am growing, maturing and falling in love with him more. Remain blessed. Can't wait for TERC!