Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23 - Spiritual Nutrition

Today's Reading:
Job 12:1-15:35
Hebrews 5:1-14
Psalm 122:1-9
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Focus Verses:
Hebrews 5:11-14
11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Spiritual maturity requires a desire and an effort to understand. We must cultivate an appetite for deeper understanding. Deeper understanding will require chewing on things with more substance. The milk of elementary beliefs and ideas is a good starting point for being a Christian, but a willingness to wrestle through the bigger questions of life demands perseverance and effort. The simple things that nurture us in our Christian infancy are sweet and good, but we will need a much more nutritious and complex diet if we are to mature into Christians able to live out the gospel in a complicated and demanding world.

Response and Action:
My spiritual maturity requires my effort. A desire to grow is essential to growing. While I need to long for the pure spiritual milk that gets me started, I must not be content to live on milk alone. I must press forward for deeper things. I must wrestle with bigger questions. I must become more and more familiar with the scriptures. I must discuss and think and respond to more demanding aspects and concerns of what it means to follow Christ Jesus and live for him.

The way of spiritual maturity is more than a sweet and simple belief; it is a rigorous and demanding path that requires my best thinking, my deepest desire, and my wholehearted effort. Spiritual maturity results from more than belief and surrender; it requires diligent pursuit.

O God, give me a desire for maturity. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, teach, transform, shape and strengthen me, that I might delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your Name. Grant me the wisdom and the will to guard my heart, to feed my spirit, to stimulate my mind, and to care for my body. Help me to press on and to strain forward that I might know you more and more. Help me to take hold of the maturity and purpose you have in mind for me. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation
by Richard Foster

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