August 3/4

The Practices of Maturity 

Hebrews 5:12-14

Believers are on a continual growth track that ascends higher and higher. This side of heaven none of us ever "arrive," but we each have a responsibility to press on to maturity. Though many people think those who know a lot about the Bible are the spiritually mature ones, Hebrews 5:14 adds the element of practice to the growth equation. This word means a custom or habit. Christian growth requires the discipline of godly habits carried out daily.

The most important practice to cultivate is a personal devotional time. Since God is the source of all spiritual development, you can't neglect Him and expect to become mature. Transformation begins with time in His Word and prayer.

Obedience is another essential element for advancement. When our desire to obey the Lord is stronger than our attraction to sin, we'll know we are making progress in our spiritual life.

In terms of physical development, the goal is to become more independent and self-sufficient as we age. But in the spiritual realm, the opposite is true. Those who are mature in Christ recognize their own inadequacy and rely on the Holy Spirit within them. It's His job to transform our character and empower us to accomplish everything the Lord calls us to do.

Getting older doesn't mean maturity in God's eyes. By digging into Scripture and developing righteous habits, we can use our years to grow stronger in the Lord instead of wasting time with passivity. No one accidentally becomes mature. Spiritual growth requires a diligent pursuit of God.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.