DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-04-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I cannot address you as people who walk by the Spirit; I have to speak to you as people who tend to think in merely human terms, as spiritual infants in the Anointed One. 2 I nursed you with milk, as a mother would feed her baby, because you were not, and still are not, developed enough to digest complex spiritual food. 3 And here’s why: you are still living in the flesh, not in the Spirit. How do I know? Are you fighting with one another? Are you comparing yourselves to others and becoming consumed with jealousy? Then it sounds like you are living in the flesh, no different from the rest who live by the standards of this rebellious and broken world.
OBSERVATION: Paul’s test for spiritually immaturity: Do you argue? Do you compare yourself to others? Are you jealous? Answer “yes” to any of these, then you are spiritually immature. Let’s look closer at this today, for the sake of the Gospel, and for the sake of Christian growth and maturity – so that the world may be saved.
APPLICATION: I believe that the downfall for most pastors is not for neglecting to dedicate themselves fully to the preaching of the Word, nor attending to the needs of their flock, but rather when spiritually immaturity rears its ugly head. This is no different to the secular world, for during my years of supervising and managing staff, it was always the most challenging part of my job – to deal with the ups and downs of my staff. Yes, we could get the work done, but there always came times when an employee saw the need to show their immaturity and they would become fixated on pulling a coworker down. As a supervisor wanting to make sure that all staff are happy workers, one might make the mistake of trying to ‘fix’ these problems. But often, it is just a matter of trying to help mature the employee who has the issue. Like Paul, many pastors become so burdened with these acts of immaturity that it pulls them down, through discouragement, anger and resentment. It can also destroy a church, for as word gets around, good, mature Christians will leave a church to avoid confrontation. This also serves to keep the unsaved from knowing Christ, for they look at the church and have no desire to gain the kind of disharmony that they hear about at their local church. Ministering to immature Christians is a persistent challenge for a teacher or pastor as they are forced to always teach or preach from an elementary level, or from the basics of the Bible, even if others in the class or church long for the depths of truth from the Word. So I believe that the reason God had Paul share this lesson with us in two different areas: 1). For the parishioner: work towards an intimate, learning, experience with your Maker. This means developing a personal relationship with the Master and getting to know Him better each and every day by studying His Word and conversing with God (praying) on a regular basis. If you only met with your spouse once per year, you would have to reignite the love relationship you once shared. In studying the Word of God, you learn more about Him and long to spend more time with Him, and this becomes a key reason for you to meet together with other believers; and 2). For the teacher and/or preacher: Patience is a virtue, and I believe that we will always need the love and grace of God to work with folk who refuse to fully develop their relationship with the Creator of the World. It gives us reason for seeking God’s help and understanding on why He brings certain circumstances into our lives and ministry. Often these folk are needy people who will always want our attention and our love to help them move on to greater heights in their relationship with God. Will it keep others back, perhaps. However, let’s use this as good reason to seek the help of the Master and follow what He tells us to do. It may be a growing experience for us as we deal with this each situation. There may eventually be another leader who will look to us for advice on how to handle these delicate matters. God may be preparing us and placing us in the right situations at the right time, for His ultimate glory. So let us learn to be content in whatever situation we may find ourselves, so that we may learn to praise God in our storms, in our growth opportunities and in our times of celebration – all glory goes to the Lord!
PRAYER: We probably use the word ‘WHY’ way too much Lord, and almost every time we realize that we are sadly questioning You. I believe that You created us to worship You, with absolutely no reason to question You. Please forgive us for placing ourselves in a bad position with You. To question You is just as immature as in the case of those we just pondered over in the above thoughts. As long as we are alive, please remind us that we are the clay and You are the Potter. You will provide situations that will mold us and shape us in the way that is pleasing to You. Please touch the hearts of those that will read this devotional. May they find total peace in knowing You as Lord, and as their personal Savior, regardless of the storm we may face while still here on earth. Please teach us and lead us to grow in You daily. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!