Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Maturity’ Category

Signs of Maturity

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (TLB)

TEXT:  …even now you still have to be fed on milk. For you are still only baby Christians, controlled by your own desires, not God’s. When you are jealous of one another and divide up into quarreling groups, doesn’t that prove you are still babies, wanting your own way? In fact, you are acting like people who don’t belong to the Lord at all. 

OBSERVATION:   In our verses today Paul tells the Corinthian church, and our own churches that preach and teach the Bible today, that there are some tell-tale signs of immaturity, and when we notice these things finding their way into our circle of friends, we really need to seek God’s face in earnest. These recognized, unfortunate signs that go untreated will not only hinder the growth of Christians, but act as a cancer in the work of the church. Let’s explore this subject some more….

APPLICATION:   I believe that at times we may read our Bible and feel so sorry for the people referred to in the Bible. ‘Those poor people struggled so much in those days’ may be some of the things that we think or say about certain passages of Scripture. But friends, may I remind you that because our Lord is very much alive and well, His Word is just as applicable to our lives and our churches today. In fact, we hear way too often about divisions in families and in our churches today, over very silly things. While Satan is often at the root of our problems, these things happen because he first got to an individual who shared with another, who shared with a group that quickly grew into a larger group that distracted, or even disrupted the work of the Lord in that particular  church. I’m sure the BIG question is probably, how do we avoid this, or how can we possibly prevent this? Based on advice given to us further down in the same chapter, we must truly pray for our pastors and leaders. These individuals have been called to the awesome work and ministry of Jesus Christ, but they are mortal man. While Jesus is no match for Satan, our human leaders are, and Satan is out to get them and to stop the work of his rival. Furthermore, we should be in constant prayer for one another. There are not many things that we do each day where we have someone waiting to pounce on us and trip us up, like Satan. He is our opposer, our deceiver and our enemy. Unfortunately he is stronger than us, and will work his way into our lives without us noticing. Friends, separation from God leaves a playground for Satan. Just as you and your spouse might separate if you have no form of relationship, the same thing happens when your relationship with God is weak and struggling.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, take my hand, please lead me beyond the struggles of this world and its ruler, Satan. Lord, I pray that Your powerful hand will hover over Your saints today, so that we may represent You well and enable us to live and work in peace and joy to serve You before a lost world. The most important thing in this world is You Jesus, please help us to stand firm in our commitment to make You the most important thing in our lives today, 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

How To Mature In Your Salvation

Post Date:

Thursday, 2017-02-09
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Peter 2:1–3 (NCV)

Text:

1 So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. 2 As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, 3 because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is.
OBSERVATION:
To become mature in our salvation, there are things that we must rid ourselves of and things that we must yearn for. We will look at these things and how they are practical in our everyday living.
APPLICATION:
After doctors recently determined that I had heart decease, they counseled me on the things that I should stay away from, and the things that I must adopt into my lifestyle and diet in order to prevent additional issues with my heart. Similarly in this scripture today we are told that in order for us to mature in, or grow into, the full experience of our salvation, we must:

  • Get rid of: all evil from our lives;  all lying; all hypocrisy; all jealousy; and evil speech. Some translations include malice; pretense; envy; hurtful talk; hatefulness; and trying to fool people; and instead
  • Desire, and strive towards: wanting nourishment of the pure and simple teachings of the Lord, as much as a newborn baby cries for, and insist on, milk for their nourishment.

We are told that we should especially desire these things since we have already had a taste of the goodness of God. Friends, I believe it is super important that we keep both of the above lists right in front of us for a constant reminder. For those of us that have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and have tasted of His goodness, we should be striving for the desire of more and more of God’s Word. Anytime we see ourselves leaning towards, or practicing any of the habits from that first list, it should be a reminder that we are probably spending less time in the Word, or under the teaching of the Word, because we are becoming less impacted by it. May I suggest that you not look for anyone to blame like an ineffective Bible teacher, or a boring preacher, or a church that shows no love. Friends, this whole concept speaks to YOUR personal relationship with God. If you know Him, and love Him, you will be more like an infant who craves after milk from their mother’s breast. Needless to say, if you are not craving the latter, or getting anything from the Word, then I would recommend that you check your connection – your connection with God and His precious Son.

PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, thank You for all that You have done for the security, peace and salvation of Your children. Thank You for giving us Your precious Word to teach us Your ways and Your commands, so that our lives might be pleasing to You. Please forgive us for the times that we have messed up and allowed our lives to represent our previous leader, Satan, more than You. Lord, please continue to impress upon us the need to be nourished from Your Word every day, and may we constantly be reminded that You will return to earth one day soon to gather up Your children. May we be expectant of that day and ready to meet You face-to-face without regrets. I ask these things humbly and because of Your commands, 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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Maturity in Your Salvation

THE HOLY BIBLE (New Century Version – 1 Peter 2:1-3): 1 So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. 2 As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, 3 because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is.

 THOUGHTS: I believe that a very basic difference between an infant and an adult is that the infant is totally dependent on others, while the mature adult has experienced a lot, and looks for ways to share their experiences and/or knowledge with others. If we’re not careful, often we (adults) will become so independent that it becomes challenging to listen to advice and or follow good, sound advice. There are so many references in the Bible for us to consider the ways of a child, that I believe God is telling us to get over ‘self’ and be willing to listen to Him and or other saints that He may place in our path. Through Peter, God is warning us today that we should rid ourselves of some obvious sins that tend to impact our need for Him and/or His teachings. These include: all kinds of evil (think about this as a soiled garment that you should shed); all lying, all hypocrisy; all jealously and all evil speech. On the last item, I once heard: from the heart, the mouth speaketh. If your heart is full of Christ then You will speak of the One who was crucified, arose, and lives inside of us giving us hope and anticipation of one day living eternally with Him. I believe another way of saying this is that what’s inside will come out in our actions and/or our speech. In our group Bible study yesterday we learned from James 3:13-18 what we should look for in identifying our worldly actions vs our godly actions. I would urge you to read those verses in conjunction with this study today, because the sooner we could recognize Satan’s effect on our lives, the sooner we can realign ourselves with God and draw close to Him. When I think of maturing in our faith, I think of us realizing the futility in trying to solve all of the issues of the world ourselves, but instead realizing our dependence on God, who has proven Himself to us over and over again throughout our Christian life. So friends, I believe this is a message for all Christians today, let us shed off our cloak of evil, let us draw close to God, allow Him to draw close to us, and let’s be willing to stop and listen to Him as He works out His will and way in our lives. It is only then that we will be of any godly good to others.

 PRAYER: Lord God, You are merciful to us, in spite of our littleness, our weaknesses and our selfish attitudes. Thank You for loving us in spite of ourselves. Thank You for Your Word that is so alive and applicable to our lives every day. There is so much to be done with this child of Yours, and I am pretty sure that there are many out there in similar condition to myself. So Lord, I place myself at Your feet once again today and pray that Your perfect will might be accomplished in me, so that it might also be accomplished through me, and have an eternal impact on those that I come into contact with. I have a strong suspicion that my readers might all be in a similar condition today, so I pray for their total surrender and obedience also. Lord, we are Your hands and Your feet on the ground here, may we represent You well, and without wavering. May You be exampled in our lives so that the unsaved might catch a glimpse of Jesus. Like a baby, I need You Every Hour. Like an adult, I need Your wisdom, protection, direction, love and boldness to touch lives in the same way that You have been merciful to me. I ask these things in faith, and in the awesome name of Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, AMEN!

 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Spiritual Maturity

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Hebrews 5:11-14): 11 Much more could be said about this subject. But it is hard to explain, and all of you are slow to understand. 12 By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food. 13 People who live on milk are like babies who don’t really know what is right. 14 Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong.

THOUGHTS: There are lots of references in the Bible that speak to maturity in the Lord, so when I read this passage this morning I thought perhaps we should look at this a little closer and try to discern if you and I are making any effort to mature in the Word of God and our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that it would be good to see the values in an infant versus the values we see in maturing individuals. Infants are very needy and very dependent on others to provide for them and help them survive. In an infant Christian we see similar traits, for they need to be fed the Word of God and taught about how this new found relationship with God needs the Word of God imbedded in their knowledge and expressed in their character and life values. In the life of a maturing individual, we see where they are able to feed themselves and perhaps able to earn a living so they could provide food and shelter for themselves. In a maturing Christian, we should see where they go after spiritual food on their own – through personal Bible study and applying biblical principles in their lives. They become grounded in their relationship with God and depend on Him every day for their spiritual growth and maturity so that they in turn can turn around and help others who are still ‘infants’ in their spiritual walk. In physical life, when an adult remains a child in their maturity level, it may become very challenging for independent, maturing adults to respect them and treat them properly, for it often appears like they may have made a deliberate choice to be irresponsible. It appears like the writer of Hebrews may have faced similar frustrations with immature Christians, for he stopped his line of teaching because he realized that he was talking to a group of people still stuck in their infancy maturity level. Friends, we must be careful to not fall in the group who not only needs constant training and growth in the Lord, but our very existence depends on that spiritual food taught by others. This detracts from the teacher assigned to help new Christians get a head start on their walk to maturity, and adds to their frustration level as to why you insist on remaining in your infancy stages of Christianity. If approached about the hope that lives inside of you, be ready with an answer. Please don’t refer that person to your Bible teacher or preacher, they identify with you and want to hear your story. If you have to use the Word of God to tell the story, then always have a verse in mind that you feel explains your story. Develop a personal relationship with your Creator and be prepared to share your story with any that might ask, or need it.

PRAYER: Dear God, I believe that we are all challenged to say that we have attained full knowledge of You, for Your mercy is a daily thing and it endures forever. I believe that each time we open Your Word, You reveal new truths to us, but I also believe that it behooves us to always do our part by getting into the Word daily so that it might be a light unto our path for the day, and knowledge and leadership for sharing spiritual truths with all those that we come into contact with. Lord, please help us to strive for self-sufficiency and maturity in our relationship with You so that we might go on to be mentors to others who need You and not continue in our infancy stages of full dependency on our earthly spiritual leaders. I know that we will always increase our maturity under the teaching of our earthly Godly leaders, but I also believe that this only comes to those who have committed to a daily walk and personal growth plan in their personal relationship with You. Please have Your will and way in our lives today is my earnest prayer dear Jesus, that I ask in Your magnificent name, AMEN!

 

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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