Tag Archives: Spiritual Maturity

2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, Psalm 71, 2 Corinthians 3

After years of diapering, potty training and preschool, we are officially in the golden years of childhood and parenting. I remember before this stage kicked off how tired we were, physically. We thought that stage would never end. Three kids in 3 ½ years kicked our butts and most of the time we were simply in survival mode.

With that stage over and moved to the next all I can do (most days) is pray for Jesus’ return! This stage brings new challenges and a different level of tired. We are not only physically tired from the rat race of school and extracurricular activities but we are beginning the emotional tired that we know will only increase as they age.

This is our last year with all the kids in elementary school and I look back and think, “where did the time go?” The days that seemed so long are now just a memory and there are days I wish for them back. Now my concerns are no longer about potty training and playdates but about their spiritual well-being. We are faced daily with increasing challenges and difficult decisions that require research, prayer and many discussions. Today it’s praying about whether or not my 10 year old should read the Harry Potter series, tomorrow it’s discerning if my 6 year old can sleep over at a new friend’s house.

We are in the stage that control is slowly slipping away. We can no longer control their environment, their eyes and ears every moment of the day. So we make family devotion time important in hopes of laying a foundation that will remain with them for years to come and help facilitate a relationship with Christ. But that’s where my heart breaks a little. I can’t make any decisions or follow Christ for them. Reading the Old Testament I find heartbreak and encouragement with the Kings of Israel. The great king Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh did not follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, he did what was evil in the site of the Lord. It wasn’t until two generations later that his great grandson, Josiah ruled with honor and devotion to God. Upbringing is important. Helping to establish patterns is important. Leading my children by example and teaching them the commands of the Lord is important but it is not ultimately up to me. It’s the work of the Spirit and it is a process:

“The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in to the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

This unveiling, so they can see and understand him more clearly, comes only from the Spirit, not from me! That removes the pressure and requires my dependence and faith in the Lord. It’s a great encouragement and reminder in those hard days when they disobey or make unhealthy decisions. Just like me, they are being changed from one degree to another. This process didn’t happen overnight in my life, and it certainly won’t in there’s. It is not personal sufficiency, merit or works that earns salvation or special favor with the Lord, its His Spirit alive and active in us that enables us to do these things.

 

Dear Lord, thank you for loving my kids more than me. You are concerned with their spiritual health and love for you more than I ever could be and you know their future. Holy Spirit, unveil their hearts that they may see you clearly and learn to love and follow your commands all the days of their life. Let them say, “For you, O Lord are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth.” (Psalm 71:5-6). May their praise for you be continually on their lips. Amen.

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Corinthians, 2 Kings, Psalms, Uncategorized

Isaiah 23-25; 1 Corinthians 3

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen The Matrix, you’ve had fifteen years to do so. But then, if you’ve waited this long to see it, you likely won’t–and so my brief mention of a scene shouldn’t really affect you.

One of my favorite parts about the movie The Matrix is when Neo dodges the bullets near the end. He sees them coming and moves his body to avoid them, or just plain stops them. He figures it out–he knows it for what it is, and the bullets can no longer hurt him.

Paul writes to a group in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, NLT:

Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?

He calls them infants. He says they are still controlled by their sinful nature. He asks, “Aren’t you acting just like people of the world?”

Sometimes I have to take a hard look at myself: when anger, however justified, starts flowing through my veins and following me from room to room and place to place, I have to stop and assess my reality. This weekend, I reminded myself, “I am not angry at my family.” So why was this anger clinging to me when I should have been enjoying time with my people? I said, “I am not angry at my church.” So why was this anger penetrating my heart just before I walked into church to serve? My anger had nothing to do with my family or my church, but it was trying to control me and wreck places of peace.

I can’t know what form an attack will take or who will wield words against me or my family. But how will I respond? Will I be controlled by my sinful nature? Will it hit and hurt and lead to infection? Will it take time to heal? Or will I see it for what it is and dodge or deflect the bullet? I want to stand strong in Christ for things that matter to him.

Lord, please help me to see things for what they are. Help me to honor you with my response and thoughts.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

2 Kings 23, Hebrews 5, Joel 2, Psalm 142

Everybody gets dirty.

The best directions are on the shampoo bottle.

Lather. Rinse Repeat.

 

The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 2 Kings 23:13

 

Solomon built God’s house.

Solomon, tempted by his foreign wives, also built pagan shrines.

 

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 2 Kings 23:25

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. Psalm 142:1-3

With God’s help Josiah cleaned up the mess.

 

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32

 

Salvation is a gift.

 

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

 

Spiritual maturity takes effort. Without it, we too can make a mess.

Everybody goes astray.

The best instructions are in the Bible.

Read. Understand. Apply. Repeat.

Putting right what goes awry is hard, but God has given us everything we need to help us.  When He writes the screen play, no matter what happens in the scenes before, the ending will be a blessed one for those whose names are engraved on the nail scarred hands of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

yicareggie

from the archives, November 10, 2010

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Kings 23, Hebrews 5, Joel 2, Psalm 142

Everybody gets dirty.

The best directions are on the shampoo bottle.

Lather. Rinse Repeat.

The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 2 Kings 23:13

Solomon built God’s house.

Solomon, tempted by his foreign wives, also built pagan shrines.

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 2 Kings 23:25

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. Psalm 142:1-3

With God’s help Josiah cleaned up the mess.

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32

Salvation is a gift.

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

Spiritual maturity takes effort. Without it, we too can make a mess.

Everybody goes astray.

The best instructions are in the Bible.

Read. Understand. Apply. Repeat.

Putting right what goes awry is hard, but God has given us everything we need to help us.  When He writes the screen play, no matter what happens in the scenes before, the ending will be a blessed one for those whose names are engraved on the nail scarred hands of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

yicareggie

Leave a comment

Filed under New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms