Yesterday, I had a wonderful day in church.
This is not to say I don’t usually; it’s with reference to what I’m sharing today. 😅
From processional hymn to recessional hymn and CEP (Christian education program aka Bible study), I was blessed.
Imagine listening to a sermon and the pastor is speaking to you. I was like — “God, I don’t like that!” 🤣🤣
But isn’t that the point – to be convicted by the messages we hear in church?
Else how do we grow???
Reminds me of one of my friends— eeei ; I’m sure he’ll know he’s the one. His words can be hard to hear, but after I get over the annoyance of it all…,I see the wisdom and the message he was trying to put across. Thank God for friends who can be that blunt – keep them close. You know they’ll tell you as it is, no sugarcoating 😬😅.
Yesterday at Bible Study we read this passage below — Ephesians 4:1-16.
Shout out to my group members 😃. Imagine we were given homework by one of our members. Please this is a gentle reminder to you 😆.
Ephesians 4:1-16 NLT
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.
7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.
8 That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights,
he led a crowd of captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.
10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.
12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
There were so many lessons I picked up, particularly about spiritual maturity.
What at all is it?
Spiritual maturity is measured by one’s likeness to Christ.
Wow! What an apt definition 😊
And, to be spiritually mature, we need to have a faith based relationship with Christ.
Recall that the believers at Antioch were first called Christians. Acts 11:26.
Following Stephen’s death and the persecution that broke out thereafter, believers travelled far and wide – as far as Antioch where the word was spread. In Antioch, Greeks were also spoken to. Paul and Barnabas met with the church there and taught great numbers of people and it was there in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Wow!
And who is a Christian?
A person who believes in Jesus Christ and follows Him.
That is why I have issue with the concept of the ‘soft life’. Though I joke about it sometimes.
Jesus didn’t have the soft life. So don’t expect to. Are you greater than your master?
That death on the Cross was no joke. He loved while they hated.
When I mentioned spiritual maturity to my counselor uno, she brought this word — SANCTIFICATION – being set apart , to be made holy or sacred.
Becoming more like Christ therefore falls under sanctification.
There are so many verses about maturing in Christ and it is not necessarily proportional to the number of years in the faith.
Listen to Paul:
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NIV Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.
2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
In our walk with Christ,.. we need to grow. Failing to grow implies drifting or stagnation and that is a dangerous place to be. I’ve been there, so I know very well.
How do we grow??
– Bible Study
– Drawing near to God. He says He too will draw near to us.
– Letting God be Lord of every aspect of our lives — surrender
– Walking daily with the Holy Spirit and listening and taking action on what he inspires us to do
– Being humble — that child-like faith,.. fully trusting in our Father – that He can do anything. Absolutely nothing is impossible.
How can we tell we’re maturing?
We see changes in how we respond to things, in our speech, in our thoughts.
We ask ourselves daily – “Would this please God?.”,… “What would Jesus do?”
Father lead me day by day
Ever in Thine own sweet way
Teach me to be pure and true
Show me what I ought to do
May we daily grow in our walk with Christ.
Aim for that higher ground, but remember we shall be refined, we will pass through the fire,.. else how do we grow??
I’ll end with my church’s theme verse for the year, plus some 😁
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Amen and amen!!!!