Thursday, February 23



Philippians 3:13-15
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.


Reflection
The Apostle Paul did not believe that he had achieved a perfect state of maturity.  However, he was actively moving forward to achieve the goal of maturity in Jesus Christ.  Paul had a strong desire to know as much of Jesus as he possibly could.  He also states that everyone who desires maturity must have the same view and mind-set.  Maturity is the prize that God calls us to strive for.

Do you have a goal to attain spiritual maturity?

How are you intentionally moving toward that goal?


Wednesday, February 22



Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.


Reflection
When we come to know Jesus Christ it is not the end; it is the beginning.  Growing mature in Christ is a process.  However, we need to make sure that we are growing toward the goal of maturity.  Just as the Apostle Paul said in this verse of scripture, we are not perfect but we need to be pressing forward to become all that Jesus wants us to be.  That’s what we are called to do.  We are called to go forward.  Stagnating will not lead us into maturity.

Again, living life with other people in a group can help us keep on track toward growing in faith and becoming mature.  If we are involved in a group that has Christians that want to grow that will help us stay on track and continue our growth process as well.

Do you see yourself on a journey toward maturity?

How have you used your relationships with other Christians to help you grow in the faith?


Tuesday, February 21



Hebrews 6:11-12
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.


Reflection
We need to move toward maturity in the faith because that moves us toward the realization of God’s promises.  As we grow and mature in the faith then what God intends for us will also grow into a reality for our lives.  However, in order to do this we must be intentional and we must give the effort in order for it to happen.  There is not a magic pill for spiritual growth and maturity.  We can’t be lazy about doing the things that will help us to grow.

The scripture says that we should imitate other Christians who have made the commitment to move on to maturity.  How can we do that?  One of the ways we can do that is to develop relationships with other maturing Christians through being in a small group with them.  As the members of the group share life together, the less mature can learn from the more mature.  Involvement with a small group can aid us in growing in the faith.

Do you give significant effort into your journey toward Christian maturity?

Do you have a group of Christians with whom you associate and who help you continue growing in the faith?


Monday, February 20



Hebrews 6:1a
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…





Reflection
It is important that we learn the basics of the faith.  However, we cannot spend all of our time going over and over the basics and never going deeper into the faith.  Even though it might be hard we need to learn more than the basics of the faith.  If we do this we will grow in our faith and it will enable us to become more mature in our faith.  Many Christians never move beyond the infancy stage of the faith.  One of the signs of an infantile Christian faith is when people say, “I need to be fed.”  Infants need to be fed; mature adults feed themselves. 

How can we grow into Christians who take responsibility for our own spiritual nutrition?  One of the ways we can do this is by participation in a small group that is serious about helping one another grow in the faith.  Involvement in a small group can provide the accountability that we need to send our roots deeper into the faith.

Think about this as a line from infancy to adulthood.

Where are you on the continuum of spiritual maturity? 

Do you have someone or a group of people who help you stay on track concerning your spiritual growth?


February 19-25



We Grow Through Small Groups



Hebrews 6:1a, 11-12
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…  We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Philippians 3:12-15a
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things…

Maturity in the faith is not something that might happen; it is essential.  Growth in the faith that takes us toward maturity is something that we must take seriously.  In order for our faith to grow so that we move toward maturity we must cease to make our discipleship that which we add on to our lives and we need to make following Jesus the central and most important thing in our lives.  When we do that then we will have the commitment we need to grow and become mature in Jesus Christ.

This week we are going to focus on how we can nurture that growth and maturity through participation in a small group of Christians.


Saturday, February 25



2 Peter 1:3-9
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is near-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.


Reflection
Peter tells us that we should develop these qualities
in our lives: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  Why should we possess these qualities?  Peter says
so that we will not be ineffective and unproductive as we follow Jesus Christ.  Isn’t that the goal of maturity to be effective and productive for Jesus?  If we
possess maturity then we will be effective disciples
for Jesus Christ.

As you mature in your faith are you developing more Christ-like qualities?

Is a goal of your Christian maturity to become more effective for Jesus?


Saturday, February 11



Hebrews 5:13-14
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.


Reflection
Milk is for infants.  Christians that constantly stay at a basic level in their growth remain as spiritual infants.  If we want to mature and grow in the faith then we must begin to move to spiritual food that helps us to mature and grow into the Christ follower that we need to be.  When we graduate from the food of infants to the food of adults, from a spiritual perspective, then we will be able to make good, strong decisions in the faith and we will be able to distinguish between good and evil choices.

Are you consuming the food of infants or adults? 
What does this say about your maturity?  Are you
self-feeding, self-leading and self-multiplying?