Springtime Greetings! I pray this month will be a wonderful time of Spiritual awakening and growth. Springtime is not only the season between winter and summer, but the period of life in which one passes from childhood to maturity. 1
“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” 2
From Childhood to Maturity…
During the past months, we have shared testimonies of Spiritual growth from those responding to the website. Floyd wrote, “Your monthly view has an excellent format. The Holy Spirit is so wonderful! I’m looking forward to your views during the months of 2017.”
Many write about their past mistakes, identifying with my fall in ’69. I hear myself saying, “What were you thinking?” I tell myself, “I wasn’t thinking”, but I was, only childishly! The apostle Paul breaks it down to simply three things we were doing as a child, sharing,
“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” 3
We were not only thinking, but speaking and reasoning as a child. Don’t you think it’s about time we move from childhood to maturity by putting away childish things?
I’m sure you’ve seen the “no whining” sign with the word “whining” crossed out in the middle of the circle, meaning “NO”!
We were born crying, until we learned to trust our parents to meet our needs. Likewise, until we “…taste of the Lord’s kindness”, the “whining” doesn’t stop. Sadly, many of you didn’t have role models who spoke words of affirmation – faith, hope, and love – so you never grew up to experience a prosperous future.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 4
As we mature in God’s love, we begin to speak of God’s goodness and grace, “…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 5
We’re all tempted to speak and think childishly, but as a maturing Christian, we are held to a higher standard. Instead of “whining”, “…we have the same kind of faith the psalmist [David] had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 6 God is in control!
Sometimes we are tempted to think that God has somehow lost control of things. The psalmist David exhorts us to, “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.” 7 To our generation, this means meditating the New Covenant. Listen to the words of the apostle Paul,
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” 8
This doesn’t mean that we deny the harsh realities of life. Paul is simply encouraging us to stay focused on Christ, which is a different perspective than most. We realize that faith, hope, and love trumps what seems hopeless. The struggles don’t disappear, but as we think maturely, they don’t terrify and overcome us like in the past.
I’m sure you have your own examples of childish reasoning, but my dropping out of college at 21 in Texas and moving to California was childish-adult reasoning. I can hear myself now “whining” to my parents how they were controlling my life. The rest is history. I was speaking, thinking and reasoning without maturity and wisdom. The psalmist David’s son, Solomon wrote,
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” 9
We develop good judgement by focusing on Christ’s finished works, this, being led by the Holy Spirit. “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” 10 Therefore, we are free to reason with maturity.
Remember, it is all about speaking, thinking and reasoning with maturity. The best is yet to come as you focus on God’s love and grace exhibited at the cross. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” 11 So rejoice, there is no need to “whine”, God is in control!
An Exhortation for You…
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” 12
Scripture References (NLT):
2) 1 Pet. 2:2
3) 1 Cor. 13:11
4) 1 Cor. 13:13
5) Eph. 5:19,20 NKJ
6) 2 Cor. 4:13
7) 1 Chr. 16:15 KJV
8) Col. 3:1-4
9) Pro. 4:7
10) 1 Cor. 10:30
11) 2 Pet. 1:3a
12) Phil 4:4-9