How old are you? Have you ever found that you had trouble remembering exactly how old you are? When you are a kid it is easy to remember because your age is much more important to you. You mark birthdays as milestones in your development toward adulthood. There are all kinds of reminders of your age when you are a child. When you become an adult that is not so true any more. We mark milestones like when it is time to have a mammogram or a colonoscopy and other fun stuff like that. For some of us, we just don’t care about what our age is or we don’t want to be reminded. For example my wife doesn’t care, she has to figure out how old she is by doing the math in her head.
I think about age from time to time, it doesn’t bother me to be getting older and I do remember how old I am, most of the time. One thing that does concern me however is not age so much as maturity. As a disciple of the Lord Jesus, am I maturing into true Christian manhood? Paul writes about the work of the church and says this in Ephesians 4, starting in verse 11,
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…
I look at that verse and am humbled for several reasons. First, am I growing to mature manhood (“manhood” meaning a Christian adult)? Am I becoming more like Jesus? Unfortunately, age and maturity don’t necessarily go together. I know that from personal experience. The second reason I am humbled is what Paul writes in v. 12. It is my job as one of the shepherds of the church to be equipping you “the saints” for the work of ministry. Part of my job is to make sure that you are growing in grace and being built up to mature manhood. That is a task that will keep you on your knees in prayer.
A vital part of discipleship for each of us is asking the hard question, “Am I maturing in Christ?”
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Lord, forgive our childishness. Forgive us for being wrapped up in our own little lives with our own selfish little expectations. Holy Spirit of God, lead us to follow Christ; give us more of Jesus. May we decrease that Christ might increase! In Jesus name we pray, amen.