Maturity in the Lord is a lifelong process. The heavenly Father will continue to grow His children until He brings them home. Seek the Lord’s wisdom and truth, and ask that He reveal anything holding you back from a beautiful friendship with Him. He wants to walk closely with you all of your days—and for all of eternity.
The rewards of our maturity in the Lord are great. First, our Father removes any spiritual obstacles that impede a close walk with Him. Second, we gain greater intimacy with the Lord and with others. Third, as resentment, fear, and other ungodly attitudes stop draining us, our energy is renewed and serving God becomes a joy instead of a duty. Fourth, regardless of circumstances, we experience spiritual freedom through forgiveness.
All of these benefits lead to deeper fulfillment, peace, and joy. And, maturity in the Lord.
What’s the highest honor you’ve ever received? Good grades in school? A Blue Ribbon for the best pie at the county fair? Graduating at the top of your class? If you think about it, all these honors are about you and me. As believers in the Almighty God we know the top honor should always go to God and none other.
The Word of God describes believers, that’s us, as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3), and saints (Eph. 2:19) but, the highest honor we can receive is to be called servants of the Most High God. From the world’s perspective, those who die to self in order to follow the Lord may stand in last place—in reality, however, they are first in His kingdom. (See Matt. 20:16.)
Sadly, today service to God is often equated solely with what goes on at church. The preacher serves. The choir serves. The worker in the soup kitchen serves. But the guy pushing papers and the woman cleaning up others’ messes tend to be seen as simply doing their jobs. From the Father’s vantage point, though, work well done brings as much glory to His name as a song lifted in praise. (See Col. 3:23-24.) So take heart—if you’re doing quality work and striving to make an impact on those around you, then you are serving God.
Service to the Lord is not about what we do, but rather howwell we do all that the Lord has given us to accomplish (1 Peter 4:10). A good servant shares both Jesus Christ’s attitude of humility and His motivation to reach people with the love of God.
Jesus knew firsthand what it meant to have limited financial resources, to have those closest to Him question His actions, and to be rejected by those He sought to serve (Matt. 8:20; Mark 3:21; John 6:66). However, He never allowed such circumstances to control His emotions or dictate His actions. Instead, He chose to trust that the Father was able to carry out His Word.
We are called to follow Christ’s example and believe that God is able to do what He has said. For example, the Bible promises eternal salvation for everyone who requests forgiveness in Jesus’ name (Heb. 7:25). The Son satisfied His Father’s justice by dying on the cross for all of mankind’s sins—from white lies to vile acts. God will pardon everyone who has genuine faith in Jesus, and He makes each believer a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Regardless of the trouble we have caused or the mistakes we have made, He invites us to draw near in faith and receive the gift of everlasting life.
Having saved us, God says He will establish us in truth (Rom. 16:25); after giving us a firm foundation in Christ, He builds us up in righteousness. Through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him (Rom. 12:2).
By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention on your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you.
(reblogged from In Touch | Charles Stanley | 8.5.2017)
Today is my son’s birthday. 38 years ago today God gave me this precious gift to love, nurture and raise in the fear of the Lord. I am happy to say that my son has grown into quite the man and loving father I knew he could be. What made the difference? I always let him know that he is loved by me and our Father God.
Fathers everywhere, take some time to reach out to your children and let them know how much you love them. Doing so will plant seeds of confidence, well-being and peace in their hearts. God, the Father, delivers His love to us on a moment by moment basis, therefore, there is no time that we should feel alone, discouraged or unloved. God is there for us, all the time.