The Full Experience of Discipleship – Diligence and the Journey - Wednesday, January 22nd

The Full Experience of Discipleship – Diligence and the Journey - Wednesday, January 22nd

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:11-14

For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned. But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:7-12

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

I can’t imagine there being anyone who could say the journey of growing up from childhood to adulthood was an easy one. Often the part of that journey that is the most tumultuous is adolescence. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is complicated and extremely challenging for all involved. Certainly, the same is true for us spiritually. There is an image that can be drawn from the passage above that captures the idea of adolescence. It is the image of one who has physically gown up, is dabbling at adulthood, but hasn’t put away childish things yet. The primary image conveyed from the passage that we want to apply to our spiritual lives is that of a person who sets aside childish things and enters into spiritual adulthood. To be ones who have truly grown up in Christ is the goal, but often we get stuck in spiritual adolescence so to speak. We dabble at the things spiritually grown up people live out consistently and we refuse to put away our favorite childish things. As a result, spiritual adolescence becomes a prison for us and it is a tumultuous thing indeed for everyone involved.

The passages above are words of exhortation. To exhort is to speak into another person’s life that which is needed for their spiritual good. It can have either the tone of challenge and correction or the tone of encouragement and support. If we are stuck in spiritual adolescence we need faithful others who are not afraid to tell us that we have become dull of hearing and are not making the progress that was expected. We also need faithful others in our lives to tell us that they are convinced of better things concerning us and to express the great desire they have for us to make the shift out of our sluggishness into full gear for becoming ones who realize the full assurance of hope until the end.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, how easily I am deceived with thinking I am truly committed to genuine discipleship when in reality I am merely enamored with the idea of spiritual maturity. I need Divine diligence to be no longer one who dabbles at spiritual things but rather to be one who lives them out consistently. I know you will help me “live fully” so that I truly realize the full assurance of hope until the end. Amen!

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