St. John's Lutheran Church and School 2009 Lent Devotional
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March 26, 2009

Becoming Better or Worse

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. (Hebrews 6:1-3).

In the letter to the Hebrews the author is writing to Jewish converts who were being tempted to return to some old beliefs rather than embracing the new covenant embodied in Jesus, His teachings and His death and resurrection. Rather than becoming more mature in their faith and their relationship with God, they were regressing and now they need someone to teach [them] the elementary truths of God's word all over again. Hebrews 5:12

Are we failing to mature in our faith and our relationship with God? I know that there have been times in my life when I have taken my faith in Jesus very much for granted, when I have been satisfied with what I thought was the status quo. But a wise man (my husband) once told me, "If you are not getting better at something, you are getting worse." In other words our bodies, our relationships, our character and nothing about us ever remain totally the same. This is also true of our spiritual lives. If our faith is not growing, it is getting weaker. If we do not trust in God more, we trust Him less. If we are not drawing closer to God, our relationship with Him is being weakened.

Most changes are so gradual that we may not readily notice that we may have succumbed to temptations or started to trust in ourselves more than we trust in God. Rather than seeing the black and white of God's laws, many areas may have faded to gray.

So how do we go on to spiritual maturity rather than lose even some of the elementary spiritual lessons? Foremost, we must be in His word daily. We also need to take advantage of opportunities with fellow Christians in corporate worship, Bible study and small group studies. We need to pray. These are ways in which we are able to have a more intimate relationship with God. Jesus is waiting with open arms with His love and forgiveness. He wants us to experience all the joy and peace that He offers as we walk closer to Him and grow in faith and righteousness.

Dear Lord, help me to resist all temptations that may lead me away from a closer relationship with You. Help me to seek Your will daily through prayer and the study of Your word as I strive on to maturity. In Jesus' name Amen.

Marajean Block


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St. John's Lutheran Church and School, LaGrange, Illinois