My Father-in-Love, Bill Bright, wrote a devotional he entitled, “Promises”. I’ve enjoyed soaking in these nuggets and want to share some with you. Each week I’ll post one of my favorites.
Would you be surprised to learn that at least 61% of the young adults who sit in church every Sunday and self-identify as committed Christians believe it’s okay to have sex outside of marriage. Those same people often join the majority of Christians who quote Galatians 5:22,23 and bemoan the fact that they don’t experience the love, joy, peace, patience etc. the verse promises. Mature Christians are becoming an endangered species…and we don’t even know it…
From Promises by Bill Bright: copyright 1993
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT
One of my dearest friends had a 25-year old son who had never grown past the baby stage mentally or physically. He had greeted the birth of his beautiful baby boy with great joy, but his joy turned to heartache and sorrow with the passing of years as his son never matured.
Martha, a new Christian, approached me with this question, “With all my heart I want to be a woman of God, but I do not experience the consistency of Galatians 5:22, 23 in my life. What is wrong?”
Maybe you are asking the same question. If so, it will be helpful for you to understand that the Christian life is a life of growth. Just as in our physical lives we begin as babies and progress through childhood into adolescence, young adulthood and mature adulthood, so it is in our spiritual lives.
The Holy Spirit takes up residence within every believer at the moment of new birth. The growth process is greatly accelerated when a believer consciously yields himself to the lordship of Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit and is faithful student of God’s Word, who has learned to trust and obey God, can pass through the various stages of spiritual growth and become a mature Christian within a brief period of time. Some Spirit-filled Christians demonstrate more of the fruit of the Spirit in one year than others who have been untaught, uncommitted believers for 50 years.
Closing thoughts from Kathy:
Today’s promise reminds us that spiritual growth takes time and effort. Helping our kids grow to maturity can be a daily reminder that we, too, are in process. Our kids need help in growing up; we need help to mature in our faith. Our kids need discipline, healthy food, exercise, good relationships and increasing knowledge and wisdom… so does our spiritual growth. What changes do you need to make to allow God to grow His peace, joy, love, patience etc. in your life? As I write I’m thinking of a few things I need to change in my daily routine to help cultivate my relationship with God and make sure it continues to grow! May it never stop!!!!