Growth & maturity
By: laura Pearson
I was driving through a neighborhood one day recently, when a house caught my attention. It was well-built and maintained, including a manicured lawn with beautiful landscaping. This house wasn’t the largest house, or the one with the biggest yard; however, as I gazed upon it, there was something that attracted me about the way the house was put together. It seemed so inviting…like it was begging you to come sit on the porch and relax for a while. There was something peaceful and serene about it, yet at the same time, it appeared to be steady and strong. A few roads over, I observed another house that was much different from the first. This house also caught my attention, but for very different reasons. It was not well-kept. The fence was falling down in places. The shutters were broken, and the porch was leaning. I wondered what had happened because I could tell the house was once beautiful and had a lot of potential. Had the owner gotten sick? Had the house been abandoned? What had caused this broken-down state?
We have talked about laying a foundation in Christ as being essential, and then building upon that foundation through solid, Biblical discipleship with things that are going to last. This month, we want to talk about what the house should look like. How do we keep our spiritual house in pristine condition?
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 states, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.(KJV). Simply put, we are the temple, or the house, of God. So, when there has been a solid foundation laid, and the materials used in construction are of high quality, the house can withstand through the storms of life. Additionally, with regular maintenance and renovation, the house continues to retain its luster.
In order to grow in spiritual maturity, one must spend time focused on understanding God. In 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, we are reminded that the natural man does not accept the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. As children of God, born by the Spirit of God, we have been given the mind of Christ to be able to have that understanding of the Kingdom of God. In the same way that our homes need to be cleansed regularly and maintained, we must also regularly be renewing our mind by the Word of God to grow in spiritual maturity.
"Through wisdom is an house built; and by understanding it is established "
As we continue to be “built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5), we should be removing things from our lives that are contrary to the Spirit. Likewise, we should also be adding those touches of the Spirit that set us apart and bring glory to God. A mature believer will “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). Not only that, but a mature believer will also bring praise and honor to the name of Jesus, and they will not neglect to do good and to share what they have with others (Hebrews 13:15-16).