Devotional for Monday December 16th

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”

Our Bible verse for today: “For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still worldly.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (CSB)

Our thought for today: “Apply yourself to spiritual growth in 2020”

In our devotional series this month I’ve noted several times that the #1 New Year’s resolution people will make will have to do with diet and exercise. The second most common resolution will have to do with some aspect of money management and finances. For Christians the third most common resolution will have to do with spiritual growth.

Now let me be quick to note that this should not be the case. For Christians, issues dealing with spiritual growth should be the first and most important concern. If we are experiencing healthy and continuous spiritual growth then that will help to improve every other area of life as well. So, I’m not saying the order of resolutions is correct, nor am I recommending it, I’m simply citing a fact. People tend to be more concerned with their weight and looks and with their financial situation than they are with their spiritual growth, and therefore they tend to make their resolutions in that order.

I intend to argue that your spiritual growth is the most important thing about you and should therefore be of greater concern to you than anything else. If you are going to make New Year’s Resolutions (and I hope you will), you should begin with your spiritual growth.

If you’re familiar with the Apostle Paul’s interactions with the early church in Corinth then you know that the situation in Corinth was a mess. The Christians in that church were a bunch of spiritual babies who had never experienced very much spiritual growth, even though many of them had been Christians for a long time. Instead of applying themselves to practicing the basic disciplines of the Christian life, they were instead enjoying life in an affluent city, chasing after worldly pleasures, and just going through the motions of being semi-religious people. As a result, rampant materialism dominated their thinking and their lives; sexual immorality was a big problem; false doctrines had seeped into their church; their understanding of the Christian faith was superficial; and there was a lot of fighting and bickering among them.

I believe we live in modern-day Corinth today. The church in the USA is weak. For many Christians their faith could fairly be labeled “Christianity-lite”. It’s a form of easy believism that allows people to claim the title of “Christian” without having a deep faith and without having to give-up unbiblical worldly pursuits. It is “Cotton Candy Christianity” because like cotton candy, it is light and fluffy and sweet to the taste, but it has no substance.

But we don’t want that to be true of us! Therefore, we need to be intentional about our discipleship and about the way in which we practice our faith. In the days to come we will consider some New Year’s resolutions that will help us to be better practitioners of the faith we profess to have.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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