Growing up is hard, maturing is even harder. Someone once told me that it is so much easier to learn from other people’s mistakes but learning from our own builds character and maturity. The Bible is full of advice encouraging us to avoid and participate in certain behaviours. In essence, the Scriptures seem to have been provided for our good in order to help us know who our heavenly Father is and to help us navigate this temporary earthly life. This is where the stage of “Young Adult’ comes into play.
There are many words of wisdom given to us in order to help us overcome the evil one (1 John 2). In the past, I have understood the directives in the Bible to be laws you must do in order to become acceptable or to remain in ‘good standing’. Upon further investigation, I have found that ‘the commands’ are designed to help us navigate forwards in our maturing journey. It is like someone who has been there before (the Apostle Paul) mentoring all the new believers in what clothes they should be wearing. Some clothes look great on you, and others look terrible. Paul is encouraging us to wear what we have been destined to wear, our robes of righteousness. When we do, we fully reflect the nature of our new identity: Our union with Christ.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul lays out ‘armour’ we should be wearing for the everyday battle that we are guaranteed to face. It’s like he knew in advance we would be struggling with certain key things on a regular basis and then lays out the defence plan in advance. The entire ‘armour of God’ passage can be summed up as simply saying this, “know who you are in Christ, know your Identity in Jesus’. Each piece of armour is an affirmation of who you are in your union with the living saviour who loved you and gave his life for and to you!
Do you ever wonder if your clothes match on a particular day? Do you ever think, ‘ugh, that doesn’t look good at all for the occasion”. What about a loved one gently suggesting that you change that shirt, tie, or pants because, frankly, it doesn’t look good on you? This is exactly how we are to approach the commands of the New Covenant, not as a duty, but a guide in helping us grow up more and more into Christ.
As a child, any rules seem like ‘anti-grace’ but now you are ready to handle a more mature perspective on directives and discipline. It is time to move on towards the rest of grace!! Are you ready?
QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY
- Have you EVER worn anything embarrassing?
- Would you have welcomed honest and loving advice to ‘change your clothes’?
- Have you thought the importance of cultivating loving relationships ahead of time?
- Do you have a ‘good friend’ that will be brutally honest with you regarding anything?
- How ‘reluctant’ would you be to the advice of a person who ‘authentically loves you’ but points out something that really does not look good on you?
VERSE FOR THE DAY
Ephesians 6 NLT
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
VIDEO FOR THE DAY
What is Prayer part 2, with an emphasis on Ephesians 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aJXt48D9AU&list=UUvPC6OTYL9Mf1UX_5uIYB9w
Heavenly Father, remind me that you are in charge of my maturing process. Help me not to get my expectations too high. Allow me to be patient with others who are at different stages of growth and teach me how to simply love them, unconditionally