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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Arrested Development
To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.Revelation 2:18-19

On vacation we like to ride bikes as a family. We take a leisurely ride on the sidewalk within view of the beach or enjoy the shade of live oaks standing at attention like soldiers with Spanish moss draped over their limbs. The bikes operate smoothly as long as they move forward. But at a stand still they are wobbly at best—and totally useless when pedaling backwards. Our life in Christ is similar. As long as we move forward in faith and love—we grow in grace. If we maintain a spiritual status quo, we fall or digress. More with God accelerates our growth in God.

The church in Thyatira had digressed in their good deeds for Christ. They started out strong for the Lord, but their intolerance for sin was replaced with their tolerance for sexual immorality and idolatry. In an attempt to become relevant in the latest craze of the culture, the church became spiritually irrelevant. God blesses the culture through a church intolerant of what’s wrong and tolerant of what’s right. False teachers accept sin and reject salvation. True teachers teach truth. Is your church only remembered for its past glory days—or, is it praised today for God’s glory?

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Does your faith and love reflect arrested development or accelerated development? Did you start out strong and stay that way or have you lost your spiritual momentum? Repentance of sin needs to be replaced with virtue, otherwise that spiritual vacuum will soon be claimed by unseemly settlers. It’s not enough to celebrate your past salvation without trusting Jesus with your present situation. The exercise of your faith and love strengthens the muscles of grace. See yourself as a vessel of Christ’s service—in need of growing your capacity to love. Gradual development transforms.

Are you in God’s game of love, faith and service, or are you standing on the sidelines? Is your age span in the first, second, third or fourth quarter? Your life is not over until it is over, so finish faithful and strong. Instead of coasting with Christ to the finish line of life, leave all your spiritual energy on the track of trust with a kick to the end. Do more with the Lord—you will not be bored. Anyone can be average—so don’t be anyone. A fully developed life in Christ is the most fulfilling life. More of Jesus means becoming more like Jesus—and doing more for Jesus.

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow me into a greater vessel of Your love, faith and service.

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~

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