Every GOOD parent wants their child to mature and grow up having a good and significant life, even if they don’t know the Lord. Every GOOD Christian parent wants their child to spiritually mature and grow up not only to have a significant life, but a life fulfilling their God given destiny—loving and serving Him a day at a time.
Remember that we are created in the Lord’s image and we are at our best when we try to emulate Him. The Lord wants us to grow up serving Him. He created something called “the church” as a place and atmosphere to help that happen. Eph. 1:22-23 says, “And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and He gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body…” If you are a believer, you are a part of the body of Christ. Those of us who believe are all a part of the universal church, and He wants us to be a part of the local church. Jesus loves the church! Eph 5:25 says, “…Christ loves the church and give His life for it.”
God goes on in His Word to say that He gave and put within the church leaders (like parents to children) to help us grow up and spiritually mature. Eph. 4:12-13 “…to prepare and equip God’s people to do His work and help build up His church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.”
One of the ways God helps us to spiritually grow up and mature is to learn to serve others and His plan, in and through the local church. When we work side by side and in unison with others in and through the local church, it forces us to learn to work together to accomplish His will and develop spiritual character in many areas. It can at times be difficult because people are people, even when they are Christians. They still at times act out unchristian attitudes and behaviors. Why? Because each of us is a work in progress. You might expect every kind of behavior from unbelievers in the workplace because they don’t know the Lord. but you have a higher expectation from Christians. And yet, Christians—each and every one—are a work in progress and consequently can still hurt you.
When this happens—Christians hurting you—why would you keep on? You would because you understand they are a work in progress. It forces you to develop Christian character. You have to learn to be forgiving, to overlook offences, to walk in love—literally to develop every Christian attribute that God’s Word says we should grow in and put on. You may quit your job when you are disgruntled, but God doesn’t want you to quit being a part of His church and serving His plan. It is part of His maturing process for your life.
Think about it: spouses fight, children fight, quarrels and fights happen all the time, but because you are a family—you work it out a day at a time, with learning to walk in love as your goal. That’s how it is in the local church. But if you don’t know that it’s part of God’s will, you’ll miss out on the plan that He has to help spiritually mature you!
If you read the story of Moses, you see that he had to manage all of God’s people —a whiny, ornery, sometimes rebellious bunch. But God still loved them and Moses still had to work with them. There were times where Moses wanted to quit, but he loved the people and kept praying and interceding for them.
One day God spoke words to Moses that each of us would long to hear from God. He said, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:14-23) This was the same as telling Moses he was God’s friend. Then God revealed Himself to Moses in a special way. Serving God from a pure heart has its special moments and rewards from God.
Learning to serve God’s plan by serving others side by side, in and through the local church is God’s plan to mature us. We are family. We don’t quit that plan, we realize that it’s God’s plan to help us grow up and mature with godly virtue.
We’ve all been hurt by other Christians, and we’ve all probably hurt other Christians. But, like family, we hang in there, do better, and grow up together to please the Lord and get His gospel preached and to strengthen His church! We are the benefactors in the long run!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
strong>Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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