How Do We Become Spiritually Mature?

John MacArthur: We don’t want to remain spiritual children, perpetually stuck in infancy. We don’t want to be weak, vulnerable, and immature. Nor do we want to be ignorant about God’s truth, because we want to fully glorify Him for everything He has done. We want to appreciate Him in all His fullness, knowing and loving Him thoroughly. If that’s the goal, then how do we get there? How do we respond to the Word in a way that drives that progress? I see three definitive steps in the biblical pattern of sanctification. The first is cognition. John 17:17 gives our Lord’s prayer: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” We have to understand what the Bible says and what it means if it is going to produce growth in us. Sanctification begins with spiritually renewing the mind, that is, changing how we think. We need “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). There is no premium on ignorance or naivete

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There Are No Shortcuts to Growth

R.C. Sproul: I’m still amazed whenever I see the bumper sticker that reads, “Visualize world peace.” The idea is that if I, and enough other people, create the right mental picture of peace, it will soon come to pass. It’s astounding that some people actually believe that silly technique will bring about such a desirable goal. Then, there’s the popular “Coexist” bumper sticker. You may have seen it, the one spelled out with the symbols of different religions—the Islamic crescent forming the C, the Christian cross forming the T, and so on. The idea seems to be that if we religious people would just stop focusing on our differences, we could achieve world harmony. If we understood that our beliefs are all ultimately the same, all of the problems of war and strife would go away. The funny thing is, we’ll reject such sentiments when they appear on a bumper sticker, but we’ll accept them elsewhere. How many business seminars promise increased

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Questions to Diagnose Your Leadership

In his booklet, Leadership: How to Guide Others with Integrity, Stephen Viars asks these instructive, recalibrating questions: Do people understand more of God’s mercy because of the way I respond to their mistakes? Do people understand more of God’s holiness because of my high ethical standards? Do people understand more of God’s patience because of the time I give to grow and develop? Do people understand more of God’s truthfulness because of the way I communicate honestly? Do people understand more of God’s faithfulness because they see me keep my promises? Do people understand more of God’s kindness because of the tone of my voice? Do people understand more of God’s love because I go out of my way to help and serve them as I lead? Do people understand more of God’s grace because I avoid being harsh and unreasonably demanding? To what extent does my leadership actually model and teach something about the character of God? (HT: Justin Taylor)

The Elder’s Qualifications

What should elders be like? Outside of the Bible, you’d be hard pressed to find a better, sweeter, more uplifting explanation than the one given by David Dickson The Elder and His Work. Chew on these words. Be encouraged. Be challenged. Be inspired. Pray for grace. ******* 1. The office and work being spiritual, it is necessary that elders should be spiritual men. It is not necessary that they be men of great gifts or worldly position, of wealth or high education, but it is indispensably necessary that they be men of God, at peace with Him, new creatures in Christ Jesus; engaged in the embassy of reconciliation, they must be themselves reconciled. We must love the Master, and the work for the Master’s sake. If we do love it, it will be a happy service because it is a willing service. And as our souls prosper, our work will prosper; the joy of the Lord will be our strength… 2. We

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