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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Moving from Spiritual Milk to Maturity

In review of John 13:17 I read, Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIV)

Jesus didn't wash his disciples' feet just to get them to be nice to each other. His far greater goal was to extend his mission on earth after he was gone. These men were to move into the world serving God, serving each other, and serving all to whom they took the message of salvation.

D. L. Moody was a great evangelist and Christian educator in the late 19th century. He used to say, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”

I can receive God’s Word with an open heart. I can memorize it. I can meditate on it. And once I finish those things, I’ll have loads of Bible knowledge. But the ultimate goal is for God to use the Bible to change my life.

Jesus told his followers: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:17 NIV).

The book of Hebrews has strong words for people who don’t apply the Bible’s principles: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” (Hebrews 5:11-13 NIV).

This morning I should consider if I am consistently applying the Bible truths I have learned? Or am I still learning the basics?

Hebrews goes on to say: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity” (Hebrews 5:14–6:1 NIV).

To move on to maturity, It’s not by constant Bible study or constant conference-going. I become mature by intentionally and constantly applying what I’m learning in Scripture. I have to put my knowledge into practice.

If I have been practicing what I’ve learned, then it’s time for me to start teaching others. Teaching is one of the fastest ways to grow in spiritual maturity. God doesn’t need me to be a perfect teacher; he just needs me to be available to him.

I’m challenged to make three commitments today:

. Continuing a regular program of Bible intake by reading it, studying it, memorizing it, and meditating on it.
. Accepting God’s Word as the final authority in my life and starting to do what it says.
. Join a small group Bible study where I can learn and teach.

If I do these things, I’ll see Jesus’ promise in John 13:17 becoming true for me:

In summary, now that I know these things, I will be blessed if I do them. I am to move into the world serving; God, others and those who I take the message of salvation to. The ultimate goal is for God to use his Word to change my life. I become mature by intentionally and constantly applying what I'm learning. I put my knowledge into practice. It's also time to start teaching others. If I do these things, Jesus' promises will become true for me.

Father, I pray this morning that with your help, to continue to grow in maturity through knowing, applying and teaching your Word. I do accept your Word as the ultimate truth for my life. I also pray for wisdom and guidance for my day, my tasks, my leadership and my interaction with others. I pray these things through your Son Jesus name, Amen.