Friday, June 17, 2011

The Mark of Maturity

by Rick Warren

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7 (NIV)

God has a plan for eternity and you have a role in it. God wants you to grow to spiritual maturity so that you can bear spiritual “fruit”.

Here is the best way I can describe it: How do you know when a tomato plant is mature? It bears tomatoes. How do you know when an apple tree is mature? It produces apples. How do you know when a human being is physically mature? He or she has the ability to reproduce. How do you know when you are spiritually mature? You spiritually reproduce, or as today’s verse says, you “bear much fruit”.

What is fruit? In the Bible, the word “fruit” is used four different ways. It refers to the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control), the fruit of answered prayer, and the fruit of another Christian – spiritual reproduction.

God wants to you to bear much fruit, to reproduce many Christians. This includes people in your family, in your community, and in the whole world.

Acts 1 teaches, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8 NIV). Jerusalem represents your immediate family and friends, Judea represents your community, Samaria represents your cross-cultural relationships, and the ends of the earth refers to your global calling.

If you want God’s blessing on your life, your family, your finances, your health, and your relationships, then you need to get with God’s agenda! He is building a kingdom, a church, a spiritual family for all of eternity. He wants his lost children found. And that’s where you come in. The more you make God’s agenda your own, the more God is going to bless your life.

Instead of saying, “God bless my plans”, pray, “God, help me to do what you are blessing.” This is the first step in spiritual maturity, and it will lead to fruit in your life.

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