Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
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Levels of Maturity ~ Where are you at? Let’s look at 1st John 2 and find out!
Did you know that the Bible describes levels of maturity in several places in the New Testament? If not, then you will likely find this really interesting! I'll briefly examine and break-down the 1st John 2 passage, and then also mention others to look at, for those who are interested, and I can plan to explain them later :) ~ okay, so, let's move down to the comments below - shall we? :)
"I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I... write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one." ~ 1st John 2:12-14
This passage is only talking about genuine followers of Christ (a friendly clarification for any unbelievers who may read this.) ~ :)
Little children, that this the young in Christ, are so relieved to be forgiven of their sins, and regularly rejoice in that! (and rightly so)
As we mature in spiritual growth, we then move to the next stage: 'young men' (and young women). Spiritual young men have become (and are continuing to grow in becoming) regular Bible students - not just content to read it, but to ask more questions and get more and deeper answers, and then meditate on them. And, spiritual young men overcome the wicked one, and his messengers - false prophets and false teachers.
And spiritual young men (and women) ought to all grow to the semi-final stage - Spiritual fathers (and mothers). Spiritual fathers (and mothers) know who Christ is and have established themselves as relying on and have a maturity of a regular walk with Christ, above reproach - so much so, that they can then teach both spiritual young men (and women), little children, and unbelievers - with the strong stabilizing authority of having seen God's Word play out over and again, and can speak authoritatively on it ~ :).
Now, some of you probably noticed that I didn't say that was the final stage, but he semi-final stage. Why, some may ask? Because, just like discipleship, the spiritual maturity process is ongoing. :)
You know something? The saddest thing I see these days is how many of my brethren (especially the ones who are older than me) seem to prefer to grow slowly to maturity, hoping that is okay. And by doing that, they are 1) limiting God's ability to use them and their eternal rewards and placement in the ongoing Kingdom after God wraps up the earth, and 2) they are, by their examples, encouraging others (young and old) to do the same - and the saddest part is many of them ought to be teachers already!... But, I do not say this to shame or condemn them, but to inspire as many as hear this young servant of Christ calling to them - compelling them to get busy studying and growing again!
So, that's a powerful passage, but there are at least 3 others I know of, and I'll post them in my next comment. ~ :)
Other similar inspiring passages:
"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins." ~ 2nd Peter 1:9
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." ~ James 1:2-5
Sadly, I cannot remember or find the 3rd verse on this at the momento... plan to post it when I find it again.
But, what I did find are other verses on spiritual growth and maturity.
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." ~ Hebrews 5:12-14
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." ~ Galatians 5:22-25
"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~ Hebrews 12:11
"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." ~ 1st Timothy 6:11
"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." ~ 2nd Timothy 2:22
Well, I think that's a head-ful for us all to ponder (as many as read this, that is) ~ For now, take care, and feel free to drop in and say hey (here on FB or in person) ~ your bro/friend, and a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH :)