Summary: To help the believer to mature and spiritually grow up in God and to know his word.
Intro: I often reflect back on my childhood memories and I think about how fun and exciting it was being a child. I reflect back on the times when I was in elementary school and how exciting it was when we would get the opportunity to go outside at recess and play on the playground. There we would meet up with our friends and we would play basketball, kick soccer, dodge ball and football. And if some of us wanted to be more physically active, we could climb the steps of the slide or spin the merry go round or glide across the monkey bars. And this my brothers and my sisters was a time in our lives where we could just be a kid and have fun and enjoy ourselves. And we all everyone of us assembled here in this house today at some point in our lives, we lived in this place called the playground. But at some point in our lives we grew up and moved on with our lives and we found ourselves no longer interested in the activities of the playground. Yes we closed that chapter of our lives and moved on because there were bigger and better things to do. And so here we are today at this place and at this appointed time in our lives and we have the Apostle Paul speaking and teaching to the Corinthians about the greatest gift of all which is love. Paul tells them that without the perfect gift of God which is love, everything else means nothing to us or to God. Here in Corinth Paul also speaks to them on their immaturity he speaks to the Corinthians who were a people that were crude, unformed and puffed up with spiritual pride. Yes my brothers and my sisters Paul simply reminds them of the facts of human nature and life.
So here in the 11th verse Paul says " When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. BUT when I became a man I put away childish things". The church of today this modern church today faces several issues. And one of the problems that the church faces is that there is a huge lack of spiritual maturity. There are to many people in the church who are immature and as a result of them being immature spiritually, they are unable to handle the work that God desires for them to do. Saints it may be a surprise to some you here today and for others it may not be a surprise at all to know that there are people in the church who are in leadership positions that they really can not handle. And so when you find individuals like this, you are sure to find confusion and chaos following them because they lack the ability to lead. And it's all because they haven't grown up in God and his word.
There are many characteristics that make up a great leader and the most important characteristics that I believe each leader should have in the church is that " YOU MUST BE LED BY GOD". And secondly you must " LEAD BY EXAMPLE". I say this because it's time that we the believers ( talking about you and I) it's time that we become the servants that God has called us to be. You know I find myself constantly quoting and repeating the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11. God says to the believer I know what I have ordained and commissiond over your life and it is my desire that you walk in it. God says I want you to have peace, harmony and tranquility in yur life. This simply means that you don't have to go through a lot of unnecessary hell in your life. It is God's desire that no ill will come our way but that you have an expected end. Simply meaning that if you walk in his desires he's going to give to you everything that you need. And when you get to the end of your walk everything that you've expected him to do and give to you , you will receive it. Because the bible says that " God is not a man that he should lie neither the son of man that he should repent" if God said he's going to do it guess what he's going to do it and not only do it but he's going to make it good and perfect for you.
But in God doing all of that, you have to take the initiative to mature in God and recognize the marks of immaturity in your life and make some changes and learn to put away childish things. It would amaze some of you here to know that not only here in this church, but all over the country in local churches that there are believers who have not matured in God and so their character or their characteristics reflect that of a child. And there are several characteristics that a child is known by. I've jotted down a few of them to share with you on today and I ask that you write them down as well because at some point in your walk your are going to come across or have an encounter with some folks who have some of these characteistics and you need to be on guard and on point. The first characteristic is: