Read: Ephesians 4:11-16 (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Bible in One Year: Joel 1-3, John 12:27-50
Open Heaven 17 December 2018 Monday MESSAGE:
Spiritual growth is not an option for all children of God who want to end well and strong. For this reason, the Holy Spirit in 1 Peter 2:2 admonishes us to desire the necessary spiritual nutrients that will help us grow. This verse of scripture points to some critical elements that are involved in the journey of spiritual growth. Firstly, spiritual newborn babies must desire the milk of God’s word. Secondly, the midwives that God uses as vessels to birth babies in His kingdom must make the milk of God’s word available to those who are eager to drink it. Thirdly, the milk of God’s word given to spiritual babies must be the sincere type. In other words, it must contain a balanced diet for growth.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
From the above scripture, we understand that the milk of God’s word that will cause a believer to grow must include reproving of wrongdoing, rebuking the wrongdoer, patiently exhorting young believers to embrace righteousness even in the face of persecution that will definitely come, and teaching sound doctrines. A believer who is not ready to be established in the sound doctrines of the kingdom will soon fall into error and thus make shipwreck of his or her faith. Such are the seeds that fell on stony ground in the Lord’s parable of the sower (Matthew 13:20-21).
Although every Christian needs to have a personal relationship with God, there is a place for every one of us to be impacted by the gifts that the Lord has set in His church. In today’s Bible reading, we are told that one of the reasons why Jesus bestowed ministry gifts upon certain individuals in his Church is for us to grow to the measure of the stature of His fullness (Ephesians 4:13). There is therefore a place for pastors, evangelists, teachers and all other ministry gifts in the spiritual development of all Christians.
Today’s devotional should not be seen as a mere admonition; it should rather be taken as a command from God to grow. To ministers of God: it is obligatory for us to see our spiritual children grow. To babies in the faith: you must desire the sincere milk of God’s word and not the diluted motivational talks of these days which do not guarantee spiritual growth.
Open Heaven 17 December 2018 Monday Prayer Point:
Father, please help me grow in grace to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Open Heaven 17 December 2018 Monday Hymn 15: Nearer My God To Thee
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
There let me see the sight, an open Heaven;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!