Ephesians 4:11-16 "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men intheir deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it work."
This passage was shared Wednesday night at church. The youth pastor was speaking about how summer can be a time of growth in Christ, or it can be a time of "slacking off". One of the things he said was, "people spend so long trying to find our purpose (God's purpose for us), when we need to focus on maturity (growing in Christ)". WOW! For years, I have seeked God's purpose for my life. In fact, it was the reason I began a blog.... to share my random thoughts and search for a purpose. However, finding a purpose shouldn't be my goal. My goal should be maturity. Maturity...... really? me?
The pastor spoke of how so many youth come to him saying that they just LOVE God..... Loving God is basic/entry level..... it's awesome to love God, it is a reaction to the cross. The important thing is to DO something about our love for Christ! What is it that we should do to show our love? "and find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10) Pray! Read the Bible! Spend time with other believers! Share our testimony and witness to others! Love those around us! Be a servant! Avoid temptation! Obedience to His commands! By showing our love, we become more mature in our faith.
I think about my students and how much they grow during the school year. They become more mature by following the rules, studying, showing self control, living up to their potential........ should it be any different for us Christians? These same disciplines help us to become more mature also. It's amazing to see what they can accomplish at the end of the year, when their third grade time is finished. How much more can we accomplish in our lives by focusing on maturing?
One of my students never took responsibilty for his own actions. Whenever he got in trouble, it was always "someone else's fault" or "they did it to and you didn't say anything to them". However, now, at the end of the year, he has learned to accept responsiblity for his own actions. Is he perfect? No. Does he still get in trouble occasionally? Yes. Has he matured? Absolutely. This student has learned that maturity is the willingness to accept responsiblity. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours (God's) be done" (Luke 22:42).
The pastor closed the message saying, "If we focus on maturity, our calling will find us". That is my new focus: Maturity..... I wanna GROW UP!!!!
Lord, Help me to remember that my growth should be my focus. Help me to please You through my words and actions. Help me to outgrow childish things that attract sin. Help me to accept responsibility when I fail You. Help me to trust You, knowing that You will reveal Yourself to me as I seek You and grow in You. Amen.