Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Maturing Person

A maturing person based off the book of James.

- A maturing person is positive in the midst of problems.
James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds..."
Trials are designed to strengthen us.  They serve a purpose by teaching us more about God and ourselves.

- A maturing person keeps his/her desires under control.
James 1:14 "...but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed."
Temptations are designed to destroy us, but we should and can flee from them.  God does not send temptations or evil our way.  He cannot be tempted and He does not tempt anyone.

- A maturing person is accepting of others.
James 2:8-9 "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers."
We are not only called to love one another: Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
But, we are called to accept one another: Romans 15:7 "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
And to not show favoritism.  

- A maturing person has consistent beliefs and actions.
James 2:17 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
Actions speak louder than words.  We are called to live loud!  Our beliefs should be revealed in our actions!

- A maturing person is careful with his/her words.
James 3:2 "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check."
Our speech can have a great influence, yet it can destroy a man.  We need to examine our hearts, for what is in our hearts comes out of our mouths.

- A maturing person strives to be wise.
James 3:17-18 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."
There are many reasons for us to be wise, but most importantly, it honors God.

- A maturing person has a humble attitude.
James 4:10 "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."
We should not live like the world (greedy, selfish, rebellious) but rather we are called to summit and come near to God.

- A maturing person is connected.
James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
We are the body of Christ.  We are to connect with other believers to encourage one another and to help our personal relationship with God grow.

Are you spiritually maturing?  Are you closer to God than you were last month?