#198 – THE MATURE (23/9/20)
How would you define a mature person?
When I was a child, I thought of maturity as being a certain age - I considered getting to sixteen as very mature! One could leave school and get a job! I’m sure that you, like me, have come to realise that maturity doesn’t come with age! Godly maturity is pursuing the goal of knowing Jesus. Paul writes,
‘All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.’ (Philippians 3:15-16)
The mature ‘take such a view of things’; they know that they have not yet taken hold of that for which they have been taken hold of; the mature know that they don’t know Christ perfectly and are not fully conformed to his likeness yet. They are vigorously pursuing the goal of knowing Jesus.
A mature apple tree produces fruit; a mature Christian bears ‘the fruit of pursuit’. They don’t waste their lives of trivialities. Of course, knowing Jesus is not only about reading our bibles, prayer, meeting other Christians… there is room for healthy recreation. However, mature people learn to discern what is good for their growth and avoid everything that is unhealthy.
Children will watch anything, eat anything, do anything that is fun. We live in a culture where childishness - the ‘Kidult’ - is idolised. The idea of responsibility, family, not being young, is resisted. Paul writes,
‘When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.’ (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
The mature have a vision of ‘knowing fully even as I am fully known’. They have one priority and all things are measured against this.
Are you mature? Are you filled with the fruit of pursuit? Does everything that you do help toward your one priority of knowing Jesus?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - KNOWING LEADS TO LIKENESS
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Have you ever ‘idolised’ someone, a group, a team…? Why were you drawn to these people and how did it affect your life?
Introduction - please share in your group
Our message on Sunday was an encouragement to ‘take hold of that for which you’ve been taken hold of’.
We can do many things and miss what’s of true value. For example, one can go for a beautiful walk only to be so caught up with our thinking or our phone, that we miss the beauty of the place - fail to ‘take hold’ of what is of true worth.
Likewise, as Christians, are called to pursue knowing Jesus, yet we can fail to ‘take hold of that for which you’ve been taken hold of’ as we should. Paul writes,
‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.’ (Philippians 3:12)
Discuss in your group
(Choose which questions to cover based on the time you have)
1. What is Paul’s goal? (3:7-8)
2. How does one ‘take hold’ of the goal of knowing Jesus?
3. How does knowing that Jesus has taken hold of us (saved us) and is working in us to complete this work motivate us rather than make us passive?
4. Knowing Jesus, principally, comes from meditating on God’s word. What scripture 5. have you read recently that has helped you to know God in a deeper way?
Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:
1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?
2. What will you do in response?
3. How can we pray for you?
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