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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Growing Up

“Each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12, NIV).

Personal accountability is not an option. In His Word, God has standards for our actions in this life. If we break those standards, there are consequences. It is time that we take responsibility for who we are, what we believe, what we say, and how we act. We are not responsible for circumstances over which we have no control, but we are responsible for what we do or say and how we respond to circumstances, our failures, our mistakes, and our problems in life. We are totally responsible for our actions and our reactions. It is time to grow up and realize this accountability.

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” (Hebrews 5:12, NIV). If I never make an effort to get off the bottle and grow up, then I remain an infant in my actions and attitudes. I do not understand what God requires of me. But spiritual growth in Christ is a requirement. Spiritual growth does not allow me to make excuses. It instructs that I must take responsibility for my bad attitude or any fly-off-the-handle reaction. It teaches that I should learn from my failure, and if I am responsible for a problem, I should make every effort to not create that circumstance again. Spiritual maturity also tells me that the next time I am faced with circumstances either of my own making or not of my own making, I should react in a mature way which honors God. To do this I need to have grown spiritually until knowledge of His will pervades my life. “We continually ask God,” Paul writes, “to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:9a-10, NIV).

“Bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of the Lord” means that I live a life worthy of of the Lord and my spiritual growth pleases Him in every way (Colossians 1:10) It means that my actions and reactions are controlled by the Holy Spirit. A life controlled by the Spirit exhibits the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The only way that I can have the fruit of the Spirit alive in my life is to allow all my selfishness to be taken to the grave so I can be raised in newness of life in Christ (Romans 6:4). I must surrender all that I believe I need or deserve. When I am willing to be crucified with Him and make this selfless journeywhen I am willing to accept my responsibility for all that I amwhen I am realize that without Him I cannot become my true selfthen I have begun the journey to grow deeper in Him.

Have I matured to the point where my actions and reactions are controlled by Him instead of an unchanged and immature nature? God's plan for my life is always ahead, but I cannot realize it until I allow Him to control my life. One day we all will answer to Him for all our actions, interactions, and reactions. We will answer about how we loved, and if we respected each other. I pray that I will be able to say, “Lord, I have been crucified with you, and you have lived within me.”

I agree with Paul. “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. 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 3:12-14, NIV). I want to grow up to become who He knows that I can be. I press on toward the goal to which God has called me.

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