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Summary: The primary lesson for spiritual children to learn is how to walk with God.

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Jesus is the only one who ever lived on earth who in every way pleased God the Father. He was everything the Father wanted Him to be. Now, it is the Father's intention to populate eternity with replicas of His Son. When He birthed you and me into His family, it was God's divine intention to conform us one day to the likeness of His Son. In between the experience of the new birth and eternal maturity there is intended to be a growth process, an experience of growing in grace and becoming more and more of what God wants us to be. These verses give marvelous insights into the psychology of spiritual growth. Here we have recorded for us three stages of spiritual development for God's children.

Stage 1 : Spiritual childhood - Seeking To Walk With God -

John speaks of two lessons that must be learned by the spiritual child if he is going to mature. Both have to do with our daily walk with God.

A Christian child needs to learn to walk with God . . .

A. Through claiming forgiveness - v. 12

One of the most basic lessons a Christian must learn is how to appropriate forgiveness for daily sin. Why do I say this?

Because undealt with sin ADDS to your troubles, SUBTRACTS from your energy, MULTIPLIES your difficulties and DIVIDES your interest in the things of God!

Although an atheist, Jean-Paul Sarte, in his play The Flies, gave a graphic description of guilt's burden: "You will think you are leaving it behind, but it will remain as heavy as before . . . Always it will be there, a dead weight holding you back . . . And nothing remains for you but to drag your crime after you until you die."

Although his description is vividly accurate about the effects of sin, Sarte's conclusion is wrong! Thanks be to God, we do not have to drag our sins after us until we die! God's forgiveness not only makes possible a relationship with Him through-out eternity, but fellowship with Him right now! That is why 1 John 1:9 is one of the most important verses in all the Bible! Through learning to appropriate daily forgiveness, a Christian can feel as clean everyday as they did on the first day they were saved. But in learning to walk with God, the

spiritual child needs to also learn how to walk with God . . .

B. Through consistent fellowship - v. 13c

A spiritual child needs to learn how to know God better through meditation on His Word and being aware of God's presence in his life.

Daily spending time with God is one of life's "essentials." It's impossible to develop intimacy in any relationship without consistent time alone; and our relationship with God is no exception.

My Precious Friend,

I am sending you this letter by way of one of my disciples. I just wanted to let you know how much I love and care about you and how I greatly desire to become a meaningful part of your life. This morning when you awoke, I was already there with you in the light of my beautiful sunshine that filled your room. So, I thought that you would say "Good Morning" to me; but you didn't. So I though maybe it was just a little too early in the day for you to notice.

Again, I tried to get your attention when you stepped out of your door. I kissed your face with a soft gentle breeze. I breathed upon you, my fragrant sweet breath scented with flowers. Then I sang you a love song through the birds in the trees. You just walked right past me.

Later on in this day, I sent you a refreshing shower and glistened to you from each rain drop. I even shouted to you a time or two with thunder trying to get your attention. Then, I painted you a lovely rainbow in the midst of my fluffy white clouds. I just knew you would see me then, but you were unaware of my presence. This evening, to close your day, I sent you a beautiful sunset. After that, I winked at you a thousand times through my stars, hoping that you would see me and wink back. You never did.

Tonight, when you went to bed, I spilled moonlight upon your face to let you know that I was there with you. I was hoping that you would talk to me a little before you went to sleep. You never said a word. It hurt me deeply; however, I continued to watch over you all through the night, thinking that maybe, just maybe, you would say hello to me in the morning. Each and every day, I have sought to make you aware of my presence, but you seem to ignore me.

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