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Posts Tagged ‘maturity’

Elijah’s Preparation and Release of Elisha

December 15th, 2009

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Transition is a popular theme at the moment as certain people reach a certain stage of maturity! So it was fascinating on Sunday to speak on the theme of Elijah’s preparation and release of Elisha as the one who would take on his mantle.

I have been occasionally speaking at CCK on the life of Elijah over a two-year period, and began on Sunday by pointing out that, though individual life stories can be fascinating, in reality they are not the whole story. Though one life or ministry comes to its conclusion, God’s story, the one that really matters, continues.

As a nation, Israel gave high priority to passing on its heritage to the next generation. Honouring your parents and being wise sons who obey parental counsel was hugely significant. Their world view was shaped by the rehearsing of their history and anticipating their future inheritance.

So Elijah’s disciple needed to be equipped for a ministry that would be wholly consistent with what went before while also developing new dimensions.

Elijah responded to God’s command and initiated what proved to be a loving, open-handed and respectful relationship. Elisha was wholehearted in his response, ‘burning his bridges’, saying goodbye to his past and throwing himself unreservedly into his God-appointed training programme, which proved magnificently fruitful as he ultimately entered into his own particular God-given role, similar yet different, discipled but not cloned.

Jesus told his disciples, ‘go and make disciples’. The apostles obeyed by starting churches, not for mere ‘church-goers’ but where individuals could be ‘apprenticed’ by others who lovingly accept them because Christ has, yet also take responsibility in ‘one-anothering’, mutual discipling, encouraging, admonishing, restoring and equipping.

Maturity and fruitfulness are the goals of a discipling relationship. We need to emulate Elijah’s and Elisha’s great example by embracing life-imparting friendships in local church life that develop us into our full potential in God.

Elisha’s final request, namely a passionate appeal for a double portion of the Spirit that was resting on Elijah, is a great reminder to us that we will never fulfil our Master’s ambitions for us without the same promised outpouring of the Spirit on our lives.

How can we continue the work that our Master started without the power that He enjoyed? Praise God that the promise of the Holy Spirit is for us and for as many as the Lord calls to be his disciples (Acts 2:39).

1 Corinthians 3:1-11 Alternative Maturity

November 17th, 2009

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1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Alternative Confidence

October 14th, 2009

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Dangers Of Improvement
The Corinthians had got seriously unbalanced in their idea of themselves. The culture of the city had crept in. Self-aggrandisement was causing infighting and entrenchment. Antidote: the gospel, which reminds us we are nothing special in ourselves.
Get real about yourself. The worst someone can say about you is not as bad as the truth. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You would not want God telling everybody what he had to save you from, right?

That None Might Boast
The more conscious we are of ourselves and our accomplishments the less conscious we will be of God’s work. So he has a tendency of especially choosing and using the weak so that he receives more glory. Many stories from scripture bear this out. Those who are ‘strong’ are usually brought to a place of weakness by God’s grace, to make them less self-exalted and more dependant on his mercy.

Glory In Your Weakness
If you are wealthy or highly educated, thank God for the letter ‘M’. it says ‘not many’ rather than ‘not any’. But do what it says in James – ‘glory in your low position…’
Growth and maturity begin when we recognise the sufficiency of Jesus for all that we need – wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.