Mature in Jesus?

[A lot of the following I “adapted” from Chuck Swindoll’s sermon on December 2. I didn’t directly quote some just so I wasn’t too tedious. If it’s brilliant it’s probably Dr Swindoll, if it’s ????? It’s probably me]

“Most of us have a desire to understand the really deep things, we like to talk to people who are knowledgeable in areas of thought. There is a sense of gratification and satisfaction. Ours is a dry and thirsty land, there is little to satisfy the hunger of the heart… Too often we find ourself on that hamster wheel, racing from one event to another, never really taking in the significance of what this means in terms of the existence that God has given us. Much of our spiritual experience is talking about everything around us, but learning the true value of nothing. We’ve seen people like that, maybe too often we are the ones that have kind of let our life in Jesus go by.”

I would hope that we would continually review our own life and consider how our life in Jesus has progressed in the past decades. Have we grown deeper and more committed to Christ. Have we been good disciples, having a genuine interest to learn and grow and to pass on our teaching to our children.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deut 6: 5-9 Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.

There is confirmation, Sunday school. Things intended to supplement how we raise our children in understanding their role as Christian men and women in the church as well as in the culture.

No doubt we can’t guarantee that our children will grow up to be faithful in Jesus and sons and daughters of the church. But if we as parents don’t continue to grow and mature in Jesus, we can’t expect our children to continue to mature. If we only went as far as confirmation decades ago, we can’t assume we are even in proper relation with Jesus or we can teach our children well.

Chuck Swindoll asks the question, do you take in the world around you? Not all the cynicism we see and hear. Do you let some of the wonder in? Do you like to probe, dig deeper, not accepting the superficiality of the world we live in? Christians are called to hold the culture accountable in Christ, not to slavishly follow the culture. Satan, directs the ways of the world. We are Christ’s not the world’s, we follow His Word He gave us in Scripture. What is God saying to you when you read and ponder His Word?

Do we see through the shallowness of the world? So much that is “entertainment” in the world is really about life and pursuits that directly conflict with Christ and His Word. The culture really is very superficial, much of what we see and hear not only conflicts with Christ, but really is an insult to our intelligence. We have been educated in Jesus, yet the world insults our intelligence with the banality of what we see and hear. Too often you see people who are spiritually dull, they aren’t hard of hearing, they’re hard of listening. When the subject gets deep, they’re looking at their watch to see if the thing is over in order to get back to where they’re entertained.

Too many in the Christian church today should be at a point where they have learned and lived in Christ long enough to teach others, children, peers. Yet they aren’t sufficiently equipped. When our children are baptized, we as parents vow to raise our children in the knowledge of our Lord. But few seem to abide by that vow.

Chuck Swindoll asks if we, as many around the world are, were locked in cells, without any way to read God’s encouragement in Scripture, how much would you remember to encourage other Christians around you? We all need to continue in our maturity in Christ. Too many are still dependent on milk, and not the spiritual meat that we should have as mature Christians. St Paul wrote the Corinthians: 1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, 3for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man?…(1 Cor 3:2) The writer to the Hebrews: “ESV Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

We are called to discern what we are hearing, compare it to what is in the Bible. Lots of people express “opinions”, but many opinions are not correct and should not be considered, they are wrong.

Are you satisfied with your Christian life, can you look at your life and honestly say that you are genuinely in relationship with Jesus? Or are you too dependent on the world around you, and false, even spiritually dangerous ideas and practices? If we get to complacent in Christ we put the spiritual welfare of ourselves and our family in jeopardy and start a spiritual drift away from Him.

We are all called to continue to grow and mature in Christ. God should be continuing to work on us, to be better fit for heaven. As a pastor I take vows promising to do my best to guide that growth and maturity. I am held to account to God as to how well I led as a pastor and did what I could to help my brothers and sisters in Jesus to grow in their maturity in Jesus.

Feel free to share with me any ideas you have in order to provide the opportunities to grow in Jesus. This is to share what is in Scripture, to use the Bible as it was meant to be used, as the solid food we need to grow as Christians.

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