The View from the Mature December 7, 2016
Big Point: Life is a test.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:15-16
Yesterday we looked at making forward progress in our Christian experience. Today we will see what happens after we have made progress. Paul opened with the words “all of us,” including himself in the group that he considers mature. The mature should take a forward progress view of Christian maturity. What is implicit in Paul’s statement is that the mature have a lot to learn.
Part of what happens as we grow in Christ and grow in our ability to live with the end in mind is we get a clearer view of Christ’s holiness, which gives us a heightened view of our own sin. Spiritual maturity is a double-edged sword where we grow, but at the same time we feel broken and needy. Living with the end in mind means having a realistic view of our sin. The mature are those who are able to see how much more they need to grow.
However, the need for growth should not halt our progress; rather, we continue to live up to what we have attained. In other words, we don’t move backward but always forward. Each day, we should seek to make progress in our heavenly calling. If life is a test, it is one for which we continually study and train ourselves. Maturity means that we maintain our growth and attend to it daily. It must be nurtured. The reason the mature don’t lose sight of the end is because they think about it often.
- How would you like to grow? What is one area of your life where you would like to see significant growth?
- In what ways should we respond if we find ourselves making backward progress? What is an appropriate way to address this?
- Pray that God would faithfully lead you to maturity.
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