It’s now the second month of the year and we are 36 days in. We started the year off with goals and aspirations. Our prayer list + request probably extended several pages well. We started off strong in the Word, in hope, in faith, in quiet time, in journaling, at bible study and probably serving in a ministry at church. We started consistent + strong! Hallelujah and amen to that – START.
But….. How will we continue? It is so easy to start strong, with a high temperatures – but can we remain consistent in growth and not whip ourselves into a cold front?
We need to evaluate ourselves – What’s your spiritual thermometer?
First let’s read how a thermometer works:
“A thermometer measures temperature through a glass tube sealed with mercury that expands or contracts as the temperature rises or falls. The tiny size of the bulb and micro-fine size of the tube help the mercury reach the temperature of what it is measuring very rapidly.”
Are you remaining consistent with increasing the centigrade (level) that God is calling you to reach with your assignment (degree) here on earth?
Did you start 2019 on the same centigrade you were last year? Have you entered into February with the same mindset you did in January?
Are you heating up, with growth and spiritual maturity?
Spiritual maturity is achieved by aiming to develop the character Jesus Christ. Spiritual maturity is learning how to walk in obedience to God.
It is is a daily surrender – saying yes to His will, not ours.
It is dying to our flesh and our desires exchanging them wholeheartedly for His desires.
It is an intentional walk.
It is daily communication with the Lord through prayer.
It is learning everything about Him by reading and studying the Word.
It is recognizing that God is all you need, that He is your Source.
It is seeking growth in Him through consistency and perseverance in doing those things we know will bring us closer to God.
It is seeking relationship with Him.
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NLT)A Call to Spiritual Growth
11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
1 Corinthians 3 (NLT)Paul and Apollos, Servants of Christ
3 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”
20 And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.”
21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Are you room temperature (lukewarm), wavering in faith?
It is so easy to become a “treadmill christian”. Are you being a treadmill disciple? Walking on a stationary machine – doing nothing (in reality, the treadmill would surely push you off!)? Or are you actually walking the walk and not letting the treadmill walk for you ?
In other words are you just going about your day to day life without actually plugging into your true Source (God) ? Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).
It’s not enough to be a benchwarmer at church.
It’s not enough to only go to church because “your parents make you/ that’s what you know”.
It’s not enough to only call on God in times of difficulty.
It’s not enough to simply be “spiritual” vs BIBLICAL.
It’s not enough to stay in the Psalms and not know the Word from Genesis – Revelation.
It’s not enough to be inconsistent with serving.
It’s not enough to say with your mouth “I believe/ have faith/ follow Jesus” and your life neither bears nor shows any fruit.
James 1:6-8 (NLT)6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Hebrews 11: 6 (NLT)6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Are you cold, selling your soul to the world and seeking serve things of self?
Focused on self?
In people bondage?
Not reading the Bible.
Overcome with pride?
Full of hate?
Self -seeking pleasure?
Mark 8:36 (NLT)36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)The Dangers of the Last Days
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Are you good?
Goodness — (it is rooted in the heart)
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Are you bad?
Ask yourself: What is the state of my heart?
Our thoughts are seeds produced from our hearts. Growth comes from watering and nurturing our faith.
I pray for each soul that reads this post today that your thermometer will always be increasing. Each increasing centigrade is a step of obedience to Christ (saying yes to His will – full surrender), a consistent renewing of your heart and mind towards His instructions and a firm foundation build on faith.
lots of love,
The Graced Citizen