Summary: Several advantages of growing up in all aspects into Christ
Advantages of Maturity
Illustration:God delights to increase the faith of His children...I say, and say it deliberately--trials, difficulties and sometimes defeat, are the very food of faith...We should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.
1. Why are so many believers seemingly content to remain at their present level of Christian maturity? Perhaps, so few people have considered all the advantages available to the mature in Christ.
Furthermore, fewer believers have considered the consequences of failing to grow in all aspects in to Christ. The Berean believers were characterized as “Being better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message of Christ with an inclination of mind and eagerness to search and examine the Scripture daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
These Christians were not willing to just take Paul’s ideas at face value. Instead, they diligently compared the missionary’s message with scriptural teaching. Ask the Lord to help you to follow the fine example of Bereans.
2. Mature believers tend to have greater insight into the will of God. The Bereans realized that the immature are subject to all the vicissitudes of emotions, circumstances and social-political pressures. These were people who wanted a moral compass that would guide them through any dark time.
3. God multiplies mature believers in quantity and quality. They knew the promise God gave to Jeremiah, “And from them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; And I will multiply them and they shall not be diminished; I will also honor them and they shall not be insignificant.” (Jer. 30:19)
The Bereans counted on God to multiply their maturity in many ways.
4. Mature believers stand out like an oasis in the desert of immaturity. The Bereans were people of noble character, not critics who were not just interested in their own selfish viewpoints. When you grow in Christ do not be surprised if you are called upon as a resource person for many useful projects.
Do not be afraid of standing out from the crowd. Ask the Lord to help you to be able to associate with people who are source of encouragement, growth and love for the truth.
5. Mature believers foster an atmosphere for positive changes. Dr. Luke wrote, “Therefore, many of them believed and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” (Acts 17:12)
Ask the Lord to use your maturity as a way of influencing thousands for positive changes.
6. Mature believers are more in love with truth than with their own reputations. The Bereans were not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for they recognized it as the power of God for salvation.
Do not make superficial judgments about a person’s worth unless you know something about the maturity of their character.
Ask the Lord to help you suspend judging anyone by superficial traits.
7. Mature believers learn how to consult the source of truth found in the Bible. The Bereans did not argue about their individual notions, experiences or subjective feelings.
These were people who meditated on the scripture so that they could find better ways of being prosperous and enjoying good success.
Ask the Lord to help you gird your loins with truth and take up the sword of the Spirit in all your personal, relational and ministry situations.
8. Mature believers were not afraid to receive correction, instruction or rebukes for their deficient understanding.
Ask the Lord to give you a greater humility so that you can receive correction, instruction and rebukes with a teachable spirit.
Conclusion:A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 3.