I’m planning to do something I have never done before. I’m taking my daughter to New York City for a fast paced, sightseeing adventure. Daddy & daughter time is rare and I’m thrilled to be able spend some time with her. Tickets are booked, and now there is much to do, plan the itinerary, figure out transportation, etc. This advanced planning will save us a ton of headaches and potential travel glitches. It will be fun trying to pick the key places we want to see, figure out how to get there easily. Whatever we do end up doing, will be awesome, mostly because we are doing this together, it will be a fun & meaningful time.
Imagine trying to plan out your journey of ‘maturing into Christ’, sorting out each potential step. There will need to be some significant planning otherwise you could arrive at a place you didn’t plan on!! Wait a minute now, the journey of maturing into Christ cannot be ‘self-planned,’ instead it is done by the Holy Spirit. He is the one whispering directions and instructions deep into your heart & mind moment by moment. As we learn to recognize his voice and learn to listen to him, the fruit of our ‘awesome obedience’ will cultivate more faith as we mature in life.
What does the map of maturing look like? How do we move between ‘Child, Young Adult/Teen, and Mature Adult’? From a Biblical foundation, here is the best picture/diagram of what each stage can look like. The Holy Spirit will be your ‘GPS’ as you trek on this journey, listen for His voice. I hope you find it helpful.
THE GROWING IN GRACE JOURNEY OUTLINE
- Recognizing our Hope (salvation)
- Confident in Him (simple trust, simple faith)
- More focused on self and who ‘I’ am in Christ
- Certainty (of our acceptance and complete forgiveness)
- No expectations of teens or fathers put onto children
- Releasing that Hope to others (serve one another, focus)
- Competence in Him – Trust His life working through us, He is the source, In Him we cannot fail.
- More focused on who ‘CHRIST’ is in me.
- Ability – Spiritual Gifts discovery and development of skills
- Allow children to enjoy themselves without expectations, look up to Adults, seek out mentor
- Reproducing Hope in others (discipling others)
- Confidant of Him (intimacy)
- More focus on our ‘UNION WITH GOD” – ‘us’ for others
- Investing in the Discipleship of Child or Teen
- Allow Children to be children and teens to be teens
What does this potentially look like in our day to day lives:
These next five areas are not the ‘to-do’ list for believers. They are the ‘overflow’ of what it looks like to abide in Christ. We don’t ‘do in order to become’, but rather, ‘because we are, we do’!
Worship : It’s not about me, it’s about YOU!
- Recognizing his presence – child
- Experiencing his presence – teen
- Expressing his presence – parent/adult
Evangelism: Contagious enthusiasm of the life of Christ in us
- Recognizing His life – child
- Living His life – teen
- Sharing His life – Parent
Discipleship: Maturing in the knowledge of his amazing love and acceptance
- Seed- recognize the basics (identity in Christ), roots must grow
- Sapling- recognize need to mature and grow up (allow bark to grow)
- Tree- recognize importance of providing nurture and shade for others , bearing fruit, spreading seeds
Fellowship: Enjoying the life of Christ in one another
- Enjoying others – delighting in what others share- simple
- Enlightening others – sharing from the heart – learning to be transparent
- Empowering others – teaching hearts to share
Service: Loving one another in practical ways
- Discovering our gifts – learning we have been gifted to serve
- Developing our gifts – serve through our gifts, cultivation
- Worshipping through our gifts – experiencing the joy of our Union with Christ loving others
QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY
- Do you see the importance and value of growing up?
- What would you say if you saw an 8 year old still wearing a diaper? would you question the situation?
- Read all the verses below and look for the ‘encouragements’ to keep maturing, keep growing.
- What do you do when you see a believer ‘not growing’? Do you feel like telling them to ‘grow up’?
- Whose job is it to inspire, convict/convince the believer or unbeliever in their journey?
- Does the Holy Spirit ‘need’ your help? Are you ok with letting the HS manage your life and the lives of others?
VERSE FOR THE DAY
NASB 11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
12I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you. 19My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—
1 John 2:12-14
NLT 12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. 14 I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one.
NASB 12I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. 14I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been 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 evil one.
VIDEO FOR THE DAY
Chris Tomlin – Lord I Need You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR_Rdb1CTE
Heavenly Father, I want to hear your voice today. Still my mind and heart so that I can listen and enjoy your presence in me. My deep desire, which comes from you, is to know you better and to experience your love. I love you.