Luke- Week 5- Day 5

(52)  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Luke 2:52

Explanation:

This week we saw Jesus exhibiting maturity through his actions in this narrative passage.  We saw him showing maturity in what He prioritized.  We saw Him exhibit maturity through a moderate, gentle, and reasonable answer to His mother.  We saw Him exhibit maturity through His submission to the authority of His parents that God the Father had placed Him under.

In today’s text, Luke 2:52, we see the results of the maturity that produced those kinds of responses. 

This same kind of verse came before the narrative.  Notice Luke 2:40:

(40)  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 

Luke 2:40

In verse 52 we see the Bible describe the growth of Jesus. Three words describe the areas of growth:

He grew in wisdom.

This meant that He was growing intellectually and in discernment. 

He grew in stature.

This meant that He was growing physically.  Again, although He was God, He was no less human, and went through all the things that we go through.

He grew in favor.

This word translated “favor” is the same word, “charis”,  found in verse 40.  The idea is that His relationships with those around Him were good.  What kind of relationships?  The verse tells us.  He had favor both vertically and horizontally.  His relationship with God was marked by favor, as well as man.

Here we experience some of the mystery of the incarnation.  Jesus never stopped being God.  Yet, He took on flesh and in so doing went through the growth process that we must go through as well.  He did it without sin, and in doing so is a great example to us of how we should live as well.

Application:

What an incredible statement for what we want our kids to be and how we want them to develop!  What an incredible statement of how we ought to grow ourselves!  As we grow in our discernment, our ability to prioritize, our moderation, our ability to respond appropriately, and in our submission to God’s authority and the human authority we are placed under, there will be blessings in our relationship with God and with those around us.  Spiritually mature people enjoy the results of that maturity in their relationships with God and others.

Response:

Is your life marked by an appropriate level of maturity?

  • Are you discerning in prioritizing the eternal?
  • Are you reasonable, gentle and moderate in your dealings with others?
  • Are you submissive to the authority that is in  your life?
  • Are you growing in favor with God and man?

4 Benefits to Journaling God’s Word Daily

If you’re like me you have had seasons of your life where you’ve not been as consistent in your devotional life as you should be. The Bible is so powerful, and we need His wisdom and guidance every day. Yet, for much of my life I have not had a daily habit of Bible study.

I’ve recently been using a journaling method to help me stay more consistently in the word of God.  God has used it in a substantial way. I’ve started and stopped with journaling several times in the past, but after finding the H.E.A.R. Journal method and tying that to my daily routine that has changed. I have found that it has brought me several benefits, and I believe it can do the same thing for you. Here are four of the many benefits I have found to journaling.

Journaling makes your quiet time more substantial. It’s good to read God’s Word, but by journaling about what you’ve read you go from just reading to studying. You ask and answer questions about the text. You meditating on the meaning of the text and how it applies. You are more likely to actually do something about what you’ve read when you have written down what you ought to do. I’ve found I’m also more consistent because I can hold myself accountable for how often I’m studying because I can see the dated entry in my journal.

Journaling helps you to be closer to the Lord. Because I’m spending more time and getting more out of God’s Word each day, it has impacted my prayer life. Bible reading and prayer go hand in hand for the child of God. More Word in my life means more life change, which means more consistency in reading and applying, which means more prayer, and a better relationship with God.

Journaling helps you to lead others in discipleship. Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations in the great commission. He said that we should teach those are reached “to observe whatsoever I have commanded you.” Discipling people apart from the Word of God is impossible. As you are consistently in God’s Word you are able to teach others to do the same, and you can hold them accountable for doing it. It’s hard to get people to do something that you are not doing. When they get into God’s Word consistently they will grow!

Journaling helps me be a better teacher and writer. I don’t claim to be the best teacher or writer. I have found that writing things out every day, and meditating on God’s Word using pen and ink has helped me to grow in my ability to organize my thoughts and communicate. I’m not great, but I’m getting better.

There are certainly other benefits that I’ve found to journaling God’s Word every day. Do you journal? What benefits have you found?

Don’t Stop Asking the Right Questions

If you are a leader, then part of your job is to influence improvement on the people, projects and events that you’re leading.
When an event or project is fresh the 2 obvious questions are “What do we want to accomplish?” and “how can we do that in the best way possible?”. Generally we get some traction on it and things go well.
Eventually though, the newness wears off and somewhere along the line we can be tempted to stop asking those two questions and settle into a routine. This is a stage I’ve noticed that I am in, and I want to avoid it! Here are some things I’m doing and questions I am asking to avoid this problem:

  1. Make time to think and evaluate.
    Instead of just looking forward on the calendar, look backward too. How was that last event you lead? Was the meeting a success?

  2. Don’t forget to evaluate the routine and everyday.
    We tend to reflect on the fewer and bigger projects and look to improve them more than the smaller, more frequent ones. Yet, those are just as important at times.

  3. Ask other people to evaluate.
    This may seem obvious, but other people have opinions and insight too. You need to know what they are thinking. This is especially true of new people who may have fresh eyes on something that you’ve been living with and working on for some time.

What has worked for you? What has motivated you to re-vamp and improve?