Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
- Hebrews 6:1-3
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
- 1 Corinthians 14:20
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
- Colossians 1:28
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
- Hebrews 5:14
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
- Philippians 1:21
“Our house is a lot of fun these days. Audrey is ten, Reid is seven, and little Norah is four. It’s busy and can be a bit chaotic, but our home, by God’s grace, is mostly ﬁlled with laughter (and occasionally the tears that follow discipline). Like most parents with children my kids’ age, I am almost daily freaked out by how big they are getting. Gone are the days of changing diapers and burping babies after they eat. Compared to what they once were, all three of my kids look like Olympic athletes. There is no comparison between newborn Audrey and ten-year-old Audrey. She’s almost a completely different person. She runs, rides her bike, roughhouses with her brother, and loves to have her girlfriends come over to play. I sometimes feel sad about how big she’s grown, but the alternative would be something much more serious and scary.
“What if she didn’t grow up at all?
“What if, instead of maturing and growing, she just stopped or reverted? What if as she turned two she still couldn’t walk or talk? What if by age eight she couldn’t read or dress herself? What if at ten she still needed me to carry her around and wipe the milk off her mouth?”
- Matt Chandler, To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain
When I asked for votes on the next Sunday mini-series, I only received one vote, for Matt Chandler’s book. I hope the vote was for a good book on the book of Philippians or possibly a book for Christian growth.
Matt Chandler has stepped aside, maybe only temporary, from being the pastor of his church. All that I know is that he was counselling a female member of his congregation. The woman’s husband and his wife were aware of the situation, but someone else discovered the texts and thought it inappropriate. I have experienced the betrayal of counselling leading to a serious romance, not personally, but I knew the people involved. It can be destructive within a church. I do not know if this happened, and I hope it did not. As Rev. Robertson, the Wee Flea, said about the issue, if something inappropriate happened, it is sad and unfortunate. But if Rev. Chandler is being accused of something he did not do, it is sad and unfortunate.
But that being said, Rev. Chandler has written a wonderful book that I will be quoting for several Sundays to come.
This introduction to the book of Philippians, which has its own introduction to be touched on next week, Rev. Chandler speaks of Christian growth being necessary. I have heard people talk of avoiding Christian growth because Satan attacks strong Christians. I heard someone within the last day or two say that. But Satan does not attack such people because Satan already has a strong hold on them. The only option is to become stronger, as Paul says putting on the Armor of faith, so that we can stand up to Satan.
To mirror Rev. Chandler’s comments in the quotes, we recently visited our grandchildren in Tennessee. Their oldest is a freshman in high school. He was in the front yard when we arrived, practicing his bagpipes. I have to look up to him. He is six-foot, one-inch. We got him new shoes, ones with extra padding for his marching. With the shoes on, he is 6’2”. And he is only 14 years old. He is still growing.
My comment was that I had told his parents to put a rock on his head (an old expression, as if a rock could prevent someone growing up). He replied, “They tried, but it kept falling off!!”
The one I would love to see with a rock on her head is their middle child. She takes ballet lessons twice a week, and she has earned the position of a mouse in the upcoming Nutcracker performance in December. Only four got to be mice out of a huge class. The photo above shows her hair in a bun, a requirement for those who advance to a higher skill level. The older girls are the stars, but…
But I have to admit that while we want to slow down their rapid growth, they get more interests that allow them to shine as they get older.
Rev. Chandler’s plea is that we should all encourage one another in Christian growth.
And that is what the Apostle Paul encourages the church at Philippi to do.
Lord, guide me. Help me to grow as a Christian, to be stronger, able to withstand the enemy’s attacks. In Thy Name I pray. Amen
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
I did not know about the controversy with this author when I voted for his book. I looked up the books you were considering on Amazon, and the description of Chandler’s book interested me most.
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Thank you for the clarification, but after next week’s post, I may not bring up the controversy.
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