DEVOTION FOR THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2018
CALLING: GROWING TO MATURITY
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Did you know medical research supports this idea? Specifically, one recent study found that eating fruits and vegetables with white flesh, such as apples, pears, bananas, and cauliflower, may protect against strokes. The white flesh contains beneficial chemicals that in the study lowered the risk of stroke by 52 percent.
Righteous knowledge is key to spiritual health. Verse 14 in today’s reading begins a contrast by describing bad spiritual health, or immaturity. It’s like being a baby—helpless, ignorant, and completely dependent. It’s also like being a small boat in a storm, one that cannot hold its own and is at the mercy of the waves (see James 1:6). Finally, it’s like being a loose piece of paper being blown about in a windstorm. The danger in each case is bad or deceitful teaching that misleads those who do not have an accurate understanding of salvation and God’s plan and purposes in it. Immature believers are weak, gullible, unstable, confused, and easily led astray.
Verse 15 finishes the contrast by describing spiritual maturity. It’s like being a grown-up, able to stand on one’s own two feet. It’s about the ability to speak the truth in love to one another and thus to grow together. Mature believers are wise, loving, and submissive to Christ, and they embrace mutual responsibility within the body. Their faith is strong.
The church stands firm when it understands who Christ is and what He did. This doesn’t mean growth is something we “do,” for it comes from the Head, Christ (v. 16). We each definitely have a responsibility to do our part, but the power to do it and the glory for the results belong to Christ alone.
APPLY THE WORD
As followers of Christ, we’re to be growing in our understanding of who Christ is and what He did and in our understanding of scriptural truths and doctrines. In what ways are you currently seeking to learn in this area? It’s part of loving God with your mind! Remember, spiritual growth should be a community or relational endeavor.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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