Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SPIRITUAL MATURITY -- Devotional for December 6, from "Good Seeds"

You who are spiritual, restore…. (Galatians 6:1)

Solomon wrote, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). This definition of a “woman of worth” applies directly to anyone who would call himself spiritual. Spiritual people are not ones who LOOK good but rather who ARE good, deep inside, and who DO good on the outside, for the good of others and the glory of God. The Bible tells us that when sin needs to be dealt with, when wrong needs to be made right, when weak souls need to be strengthened, when relationships need to be mended – when the body of Christ needs to be built up in any way – only spiritual people can be depended upon to do the job. What are the characteristics of a man or woman whom God would recognize as truly spiritual? These three would be paramount in God’s list of qualifications:
#1 – TRUE OBEDIENCE. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). It’s no good being a worshiper of Jesus if we are unwilling to be a worker for Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42 these two emphases are personified in Mary and Martha. In this case Mary was obedient in her worship and Martha disobedient in her service, but it could just as easily be the other way around. “Lord, Lord” are the words of prayer and worship, but Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and yet do not do what I say” (Luke 6:46). A man approached Jesus one day and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go, but let me first go bury my father” (Matthew 8:19,21). True obedience makes no room for this “me first” approach to discipleship. True obedience leads us from mere good intentions to…
#2 – GENUINE SERVICE. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created for good works which God planned from the very beginning for us to do.” Don’t ask a man to do a special job for God who is not already about his Father’s business in the everyday affairs of his life. James says, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only – for faith without works is dead”(James 1:22;2:26). Don’t ask a man to heal or mend or build in the kingdom of God who is strong in knowledge but weak in follow through. Again James is right on the money: “It is sin to know the right thing to do, and yet not do it” (James 4:17). We dare not ask such an unspiritual man as this to deal with spiritual matters.
#3 – VITAL REPRODUCTION. Christ’s last command must be our first concern: “Go make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). True spirituality is easily measured: by an obedience to Christ that shows itself in the way we put Him first, serve Him, and reproduce His life in others.

No comments:

Post a Comment