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  • David

    April 27, 2022 at 6:00 am

    The Seedbed Daily Text, April 27, 2022

    Once again JD has put his finger on the most important issue facing the modern church today, spiritual immaturity. Our people are spiritual children or adolescents at best. The majority have settled for the first part of the Gospel, salvation. Very few grow up and move deeper into the second part of the Gospel, sanctification and becoming a spiritual parent. If they do venture into the deeper water, it is usually focused on sin management and what we can do. I contend that if we focused more on teaching and admonishing everyone to be fully mature, we would not be divided and polarized to the extent we are today. We would have love for one another and unity of spirit, which is the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

    We do need a new model that focuses on the ancient ways (Jeremiah 6:16). It is Jesus’s model of Discipleship (Banded Discipleship). And we actually have a lot of ways to measure spiritual maturity, we just don’t use them because we really don’t want to know or we consider it judgmental and not offering people Grace. I think if I hear another church leader say it is all Grace, I am going to pull my hair out. Yes, God’s Grace is awesome and we are saved by Grace alone and there is no condemnation in Christ, but that is not all there is to the Gospel. We are to be Holy (sanctified) and fully mature. That is what we should “strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me (us).”

    Most spiritual assessments focus on marks or stages of spiritual maturity. The most recent one that I have used is taken from Peter Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, Zondervan 2021. He has identified seven marks of spiritual maturity or emotionally healthy discipleship: Be before you do; Follow the Crucified Jesus, not the Americanized Jesus; Receive God’s gift of limits; Discover the treasure buried in grief and loss; Make love the measure of Spiritual Maturity; Break the power of the past; and Lead out of weakness and vulnerability. If you are interested in assessing where you are spiritually, just let me know.

    As far as my list of qualities of a fully mature follower of Jesus Christ is concerned, the greatest of these is a profound love of God that is manifested by a profound love of people and compassion for all of humanity, and Christlike living in the World. The second is humility and a willingness to sacrifice and suffer with Christ for the sake of others. My final quality is an unshakable commitment to the mission and commission of Christ. The fully mature are completely sold out for the end game. Lord, let it be so with me!