Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Encouraged to Mature in Christ

"Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:1, 9-12
God wants us to be spiritually mature in Him. It is simple to accept His gift of salvation, but to hone the fruits of the spirits, bearing fruit, is maturity in Christ. Easier said, allowing Him to rule and you and I dying to our flesh.  The definition of maturity is:
  1. the state of being mature; ripeness.
  2. full development; perfected condition.
As we know, maturity takes time.  From birth to death, each day we are maturing.  At the age of 2 we have certain mental and physical capacities.  At the age of 12, we have developed more and we have become more mature. This progress is similar to our walk with Christ.  We are encouraged to keep maturing in our faith.

This passage compliments Galatians 5:14-17 because when asked, Christ told us in Luke 10:27 "And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."

To make Hebrew 6-11-12 happen we must understand the foundation of this maturity. Galatians encourages you and I to love one another with a love the come from Christ, not man. It's love that loves in all circumstances. Offense or no offense, the love carries on.

15 warns us if we don't get this we will harm each other instead of love. Referring to community, biting hurts. We bite people sometime on purpose or not on purpose and we can respond a few ways to the bite: bite back, ignore it or forgive it. The passages communicates to not bite, but if there is a bite how do you and I respond?

I cannot love everyone, but He can. Verse 17 tells us how to love in such a way by walking in the Spirit.

"And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

God desires the we become serious about our faith in Him. Through faith and patience, we cannot do that if we do not live in the Spirit and love like Christ, not Jeremy. I don't love everyone, but He does!

God wants you and I to take serious is loving unconditionally, everyone, not biting one another and living in the Spirit. These are the ways to spiritual maturity.

Learning these things from Jesus' words, Galatians 5:14-17 draws us to Hebrew 6:11, where we are encouraged to carry on, inherit His promises through maturity in Christ.

God bless.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Graduation 2012: Texas State University

I am excited to be graduating from Texas State University. My mother, my wife, my sister in law, my little brother, two 1st cousins and many friends have all gone before me, but tomorrow is my day.

In 2006, Kari and I were dating, she looked my transcript over and said you lack 18 hours until you're done, but 10 of it is Spanish! In the fall of 2011, with a renewed excitement, I decided to delay no more; graduation was my aim.

Here we go! After all the paperwork goes through, I should have my
diploma in September (I think they mail all of them). I am ready to hang one in my office and Kari mentioned putting ours side by side at home.

I am very excited to close this chapter and proud to be a Bobcat from Texas State University - San Marcos.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged, pushed, pulled, prayed...thank you to everyone! Thank you all and all praise to the Lord.

God bless.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Where's Your Mind?

the mind: 1) the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring 2) understanding 3) mind, i.e. spirit, way of thinking and feeling 4) thoughts, either good or bad

"And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God...with all your mind..." Luke 10:27 (edited for focus)

God has been teaching me about the importance of "getting your mind right!" Jesus is quoted above, concerning the greatest command, which also includes four other parts. What if we loved the Lord our God with all our minds?

We allow so much garbage into our minds; a comprehensive list might take days. I thought of a few things that may consume our minds: what I think about myself, what I think about others, what I think others are thinking about me, deciding to cave under peer pressure, music tunes and lyrics, images from print to web, the latest movie star, boy band, TV show, Justin Bieber, magazine advertisements, philosophies, politics, sports, facebook, twitter and more and more clutter.

And this is only a small list. Consider all the things you put into your mind.

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13

We must prepare our minds. Prior to this passage in 6 and 7 we are encouraged to, ..."walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith..." If He is in us, than we need to become like Him. If I am cluttering my mind with just this short list, how can I walk in Him, or become rooted. If my faith is not established in Him, where is my faith?

Jesus wants to reveal Himself to you and I and this passage is clear, our minds must be on Him in order for this to happen.

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

Concerning thoughts of the day, the encouragement continues, " one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit..." It is easy to jump on the latest moral philosophy bandwagon and seem to Christianize or think it is Christ-like, but more often then not we can get caught up in something that is not in Him.

The world is out to deceive. John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." We must be on guard and weigh everything that enters our minds against scripture.

Where's your mind?

God bless.