Measuring Growth – Devotional for Friday, June 24, 2011

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:14-17
Do you remember pencil marks on a door post? It was the way our parents measured the growth of children. How do we measure our spiritual growth? It is dangerous to think that we must be growing just because time is passing. It’s not like when we were kids and physical growth just happened.

Here are some signs of growth:

1. A spiritually mature person is increasingly aware of their own sin and weakness. It’s not unusual for Christians to be aware of sin…in others. The mature Christian realizes he is weak and sinful. The more he matures the more that reality grows.

2. A spiritually mature person responds to sin with quick repentance. When we are new as Christians we are slow to recognize sin and slower still to deal with it. We go through a grieving process. At first we deny the sin and then we are shocked by it. We may try to negotiate: Is it really sin? If it is, is it really that bad? The mature Christian recognizes sin for what it is and realizes that the only proper response is repentance.

3. The spiritually mature person has an increased desire to obey and a reduced attraction to sin. This is a secret that Brother Lawrence learned. By practicing the presence of God, by realizing He is with us always, we are reluctant to sin in His presence and desirous of obey His word. 

4. The spiritually mature person experiences an increase in struggle. The walk gets tougher, not easier, as we take it more seriously. The more we are concerned about matters of sin and obedience, the more we recognize our own sin and weakness. 

5. The spiritually mature person experiences an increase in joy. With more struggle and maturity comes more joy. The closer we are conformed to the image of Christ, the closer we are to the person we were meant to be. With that comes more joy in our walk.

Grow in maturity and grow in blessings and joy.


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