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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 








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The power of one…..and the importance of one ……and the mandate to go……..

power of one.jpg
For years i wondered where I fit in, in God’s church. I wondered what my job was. In church I felt like a kid who never got grown up enough to handle any sort of responsibility, no matter how Hard I tried. Oh sure I loved going to church but eventually, I (like any kid) wanted to do something too. All the jobs seemed to be taken, and my job was to sit on the pew. I just didn’t like it (is all) so for years I practiced guitar (Praise music) and prayed, sought God, what was I to do? 
Now years later, I understand the river (and the heart of a believer) will find their way into their true calling. 
My husband and I just got back from a vacation/ministry trip. He had a few days of Vacation, and we have not taken one since last year (at this same time) when we went to be a tourist down in Dillon, plus went to Virginia City. WE prayed, Packed up, and went on a Journey praying we would find those God wanted us to find (on this trip). Over the 5 days we found 10 stops and about 20 people we prayed for (total). We also were prayed for as we met with new friends who prayed and ministered to us as well! I had always wanted to see Silverwood (never have) a theme park near post falls ID. I wanted to do a lot of things, shop for stuff, go to this famous donut shop, just all kinds of things …..
but …we gave up our vacation and we gave it to Jesus. He used it to do marvelous things too! the memories of who I have prayed for and spent time with on this trip will be marked for eternity! I have no regrets that I did what I did. 
We prayed for a woman who is having a terrible time with her Dad, for another guy that is grieved about how he can’t find any good churches (in his town) as he said so many are falling into strange doctrines and wierd beliefs.
We stood and prayed for entire church complex and witnessed to the secretary in the church and encouraged her. I prayed with a little girl who was severely abused and another couple whose shop was going out of business. God led me to a homeless shelter/soup kitchen where he had me stand and give my testimony of how I got saved, and offered them hope with tears running down my face ……
The point is not to impress you but to say…..the river finds a way. If you can’t minister anywhere because the jobs all seem to be taken, Jesus has a job for you. I’ve heard so many pastors say “reach out to people” (on your job or wherever) but we all know that’s not so easy. Just think if Every believer spent some days of their lives saying who can I reach today Father? Who can I reach today? “Work through me today Father!” 
How many could all of us reach together? Probably everyone. 
To do this we can’t be concerned with Notariety or what WE are going to get out of it. In Matthew 10 Jesus said to his Disciples GO……..GO ………
I see nothing about anyone taking up an offering for them or having church back up. They just went……..and delivered what they had in their heart to deliver …..
YES my friends ONE (You) can make a difference, and that ONE life you touch, THEY MATTER (Jesus said so!) …….So now what are you waiting for? The world needs to hear and see the treasures God has put in your heart……..Amen? 
Matthew 18:12
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
PS: The Lord made sure we were blessed and still had some fun on this trip Isn’t he GOOD? yes he is. He is so Good! Praise Jesus! 🙂
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Stuff we don’t want to talk about: Adultery of the Heart Matthew 5

Matthew 5. Jesus says a startling thing. Have you ever read it ? 

First he says, if you looked at a woman with lust YOU ALREADY Committed Adultery. Then he starts talking about plucking your eye out of your head, to avoid hell! Wow. 

But nobody wants to preach this stuff, so they like to get on people’s cases for what they consider to be “real adultery,” instead. Shutting people out of ministry because they’ve been divorced. Hiring ministers, who have lust problems they don’t even know about (see no evil, hear no evil?). Can we really go by what we see? I don’t think so. 

This is the kind of stuff, people don’t want to talk about, or even consider. It stands to reason then, If you idolized something in your heart, (desired it more than God) You also committed idolatry. Do we jump now to the passage where they go to the lake of fire for Idolatry? Or Adultery? 

Apparently sin was so bad in one church, Paul said, “and you have your Father’s wife” so some relatives were sleeping with each other, out of wedlock, and they didn’t even have the sense to be sorry about it. So Paul was on their case, and saying the church had better do something. However, I know this from reading my bible, Jesus did not send his word for all of us to go on a witch hunt. In the early years of our nation, people in Salem used to do just that, and justified burning some innocent people. 

I don’t care if a million preachers preach something else, because I know what Jesus said. He said, if you lusted after a woman (ever) you committed adultery. For this reason, I cannot see, nor understand shutting people out of ministry because they got divorced. You don’t know what happened to them. I met a pastor (a man) who is one of the finest ministers I have ever met. Turns out, he was divorced. His wife cheated on him, he divorced her, but he had a really hard time getting a pastor job! Why? 

Because, People love to apply the word of God to everyone but themselves, that’s why. Did we forget the bible calls God’s word a mirror? It was designed for you to look into it and find your own blemishes, in the light, that you cannot seem to see in the darkness. 

Don’t talk me down when I’m preaching good. I know this is the truth. 

I’m growing in grace (still) How about you? And, if you’ve messed up (like Paul) and God calls you to preach, DO IT! Don’t let the fear of man stop you!

With love,Laura Grace