STEPPING UP TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
we become Christians we are to begin a transformation in our life.
Romans 12:2 And do not
be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
transformation does† not happen
overnight. This does not set well in the society we live today. We have been
trained to believe in instant gratification. All you have to flip through the
channels† late and night and watch some
of those infomercials. Most of them have something to do with make you a lean
mean fighting machine. They hire some buff model who has worked for years
developing physic and then they try to play off in your mind that you can† look just like that model with in few months
if you simply use their product 3 times a week 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Another example would be the fast food restaurants. You can run the drive thru
and have you supper with 5 min† and if it
take 10 min boy we began to lose our patients and get mad because we have been
trained to expect instant gratification.
However, we cannot have
that kind of mentality when it comes growing as Christian.
1 Peter 2:1
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil
speaking,† 2 as newborn babes,
desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,† 3 if indeed you have tasted that
the Lord is gracious.
Peter describes† the new Christian as babe. I think everyone in here can understand this concept. When a baby is born it can do little on it own it as to have it mother and it farther to care for it. As time goes by the new baby begins to learn new things. For instance they usual learn crawl first then sit up and finally learn how† to walk on their own. The also move from milk to more solid food as the mature. This same concept is true with new Christians they must grow in spiritual maturity one day at a time there are no shortcuts. Being a Christian is a lifetime commitment and every Christian no matter how or old they may be should always striving to grow.
2 Peter 3:18 †but grow in the grace and knowledge of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If we a child that was
not growing physically as it should we would be very concerned and we do just
about anything to give them medical attention they need to grow. In the same
manner we should very concerned with Christian who is not growing spiritual and
try to help them as much as we† possible
can. Its really sad when some become Christians and they simply do not desire
to grow and they become stagnate.
The writer of Hebrews ran
across Christians just like this.
Hebrews 5: 12
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you
again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need
milk and not solid food.† 13
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of
righteousness, for he is a babe.† 14
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by
reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.†
So you see there is great
need for every Christian to grow and to mature in Gods word so that we can be a
prepared people that is pleasing to God.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in
the evil day, and having done all, to stand.†
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth,
having put on the breastplate of righteousness,†
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel
of peace;† 16 above all,
taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked one.† 17
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God;
Now that I have pointed
out how important it is that we all grow lets us now† take a look a 4 ways to step up to spiritual
maturity. Our four steps come from
Ezra 7:10 †For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the
Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in
1. We must prepare our hearts
Preparing your heart is
one of the most important steps to become spiritually mature because if you
donít the desire or right mind set to do Gods will then you are going to fail
and your going to fall away from God. You see it takes dedication and
commitment to learn more about God and do his†
You have to prepare give all of yourself† to God.
Proverbs 23:7 †7 For as he thinks in his heart, so
Proverbs 4:23 Keep
your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Whatever you harbored in
your heart is what going guide your life.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ††4 For the weapons of our warfare are
not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,† 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself
against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to
the obedience of Christ,
If you do not fully† prepare your heart to serve God you will find
very difficult to remain faithful. We can learn about 4 different types of
hearts in the parable of the 4 soils.
Luke 8:4 And
when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city,
He spoke by a parable:† 5
"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the
wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.† 6 "Some fell on rock; and as
soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.† 7 "And some fell among
thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.† 8 "But others fell on good
ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said
these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Luke 8:11 "
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.† 12 "Those by the wayside are
the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their
hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.†
13 "But the ones on the rock are those who, when
they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a
while and in time of temptation fall away.†
14 "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those
who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and
pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.† 15 "But the ones that fell
on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good
heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
What kind of heart do you
have this morning? Are you stubborn like the wayside soil and donít allow
the† word of God† to sink. Or are you like the rocky soil you
once were excited about the word of God but lacked commitment and now have just
withered away. Maybe your like the thorny soil and you heart is only kind of
prepared for God but you allow the world to choke Gods word. In order to be
pleasing to God and to be successful at becoming spiritual mature we must a
heart like the fertile soil that is fully prepared for God so that we grow in
2. We† are
the law of the Lord.
In order to grow in
anything weather it be the word of God or be a new job or new hobby you must
seek out information and study it so you can become knowledgeable. Now that you
have prepared you heart for God and have passion for doing his will we must
seek out his† will by studying his word.
Psalm 119:10 With my
whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your
commandments!† 11 Your word I
have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!† 12 Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes!
David even though he fell
short of Gods will from time to time overall he loved God so much and tried his
best to seek out God commands† and it
even says he has hidden it in his heart. We should be the same way seek his
word and hiding it in our heart because Gods†
word is precious.
Psalm 119:127 †Therefore I love Your commandments More than
gold, yes, than fine gold!
There† is nothing in this earth that is more
valuable than the word of God because it will leads us to eternal life.
Matthew 6:19 " Do
not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and
where thieves break in and steal;† 20
"but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.† 21 "For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus was letting the
people know donít make monetary gain you focus life instead make heaven your
goal and it will be treasure.
"But seek first the
There are no shortcuts to
study Gods word you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to work studying
Gods every opportunity that you have. There not many of us that would miss a
meal to feed our body when it hungry but how many times to skip opportunities
to feed our selves the word of God when we are spiritual hungry? Paul tells
Are you studying the word
of God on daily basis? If neglect to feed yourself spiritual† notice what can happen to the child of God.
Hosea 4:6-9 ††My people are destroyed for lack of
knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from
being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also
will forget your children.† 7
" The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change
their glory into shame.† 8
They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity.† 9 And it shall be: like people,
like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their
3. We must do the commandants† of the Lord.
Its not enough to just
know the word of God you must also obey what you have learned otherwise you
will not grow. Let me give you a worldly example. Lets say that you read up and
study how to do heart bypass. You can learn all the ins and outs and learn all
the technical names but would you want this person to perform the surgery on
you when they† have never cut a person
open before? Of course not. You want the person that has both the knowledge and
experience one who has already done several heart surgeries. Its† one think†
to have knowledge itís another think to practice it and to gain
experience from it.
James put it best in..
James 1:21-25 †21 Therefore lay aside all
filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted
word, which is able to save your souls.† 22
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.† 23 For if anyone is a hearer of
the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;† 24 for he observes himself, goes
away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.† 25 But he who looks into the
perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful
hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
If want to become mature
you must practice† what you have learned
in the word of God. If are not doer of the word then James tells you† are deceiving yourself. Jesus had very important
question for those who were not being doer of the word.
47 "Whoever comes to Me, and
hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:† 48 "He is like a man building
a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood
arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it,
for it was founded on the rock.† 49
"But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the
earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and
immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
Friends† you have a choice you† can†
either be a doer of Gods which will lead you to spiritual maturity or
you can do nothing and find yourself swept away with life of sin† which lead to your destruction.†
Sometimes† following Godís command can† be very difficult for us especially when it
comes to us giving up what we hold dear to our heart but if we are going to be
pleasing to God we must sacrifice† those
things so that these temporary things† do
not separate us from God. Notice what the people of Ezra time had to do.
Ezra 10:2 And
Shechaniah (shek-uh-nigh-uh) the son of Jehiel, (juh-HIGH-uhl) one of the sons of
God had commanded them
not have foreign wives but many them disobeyed this command and married
them† anyway. But now they realize that
this was wrong and even though I am sure they love their foreign wives they
were showing that they God more so the sent these wives away so that they† could be right in the site of God. To many
today fall away from God or will not become a†
Christian because they are unwilling to give up what they† hold dear.
Matthew 10:37 "He
who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves
son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.† 38 "And he who does not take
his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
We must love God first
by† obeying his† commands then let everything else come 2nd,
4. We must share the truth with others.
All of us should be
prepared to teach those who ask us about God.
1 Peter 3:15 But
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a
defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with
meekness and fear;
Whenever you teach
someone about the word of God it helps you to become spiritual mature because
you learn how to speak to a person† more
effectively each time you do it. A person who teaches learns a great deal more
from their preparation those who receive the teaching. Try to use every† opportunity you have to teach others about
God either by example in the way you conduct yourself or sitting down opening
up the bible and sharing the good news with them. Parents are teach their
children about God.
Ephesians 6:4 ††And you, fathers, do not provoke your
children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the
Paul taught Timothy to
teach the word of God to others so that the word of God would be taught from
generation to generation.
2 Timothy 2:2 And the
things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to
faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Listen to the 4 steps to
spiritual maturity one more time from Ezra
If you will work these 4
steps in you Christian life you continue to grow and become more spiritual