31 Days toward Spiritual Maturity — Day 31
April 1, 2008
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LIVING THE JOURNEY WITH CHRIST — Roadwork Ahead
We hate to see a sign saying “Road Work Ahead” – but it’s a reality of travel. Even when we’ve walked with Christ long enough that we’re on all five layers of the road, we still have work to do! There’s always a layer that’s neglected. (Actually, none of the levels is in perfect shape for any of us, but it’s often best to identify the one that needs the most work.)
For instance, when we’re SERVING WITH CHRIST and become frustrated and judgmental of others, we need to go back to the very first level. We need to be MEETING CHRIST all over again, realizing that we still depend on God’s grace and mercy and that we stand in constant need of His forgiveness. Our lack of grace toward others is a sure sign that we’re missing it in our own lives!
We can focus on BECOMING LIKE CHRIST, reading all the right materials on spiritual formation, but if we never lift a finger to help the needy or serve in Christ’s church, we’re not SERVING WITH CHRIST. We’re unbalanced Christians, trying to travel with Jesus without applying the last layer of the road. We can focus on BECOMING LIKE CHRIST, but if we’re not also LEARNING FROM CHRIST we may end up with a false spirituality that doesn’t conform to the truth of Scripture – or have faith that’s a mile wide but just an inch deep.
Journeying with Jesus requires that regular attention be given to all five layers of the road we travel on. The road of our spiritual journey needs regular maintenance!
We should give attention to all five levels of the spiritual road not only as individuals, but also as churches. Everything a church does should be geared to helping people build or maintain one or more of the five levels of the road toward spiritual maturity. In their book Simple Church Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger stated that “Churches with a simple process for reaching and maturing people are expanding the kingdom.” (p.14)
Jesus invites us to join Him on the journey of a lifetime! The psalmist declared, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” (Psalm 84:5) May we set our hearts on following Jesus completely, ever moving toward maturity in Him!