What Time Is It? It’s Time To Grow Up and Mature

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Ec 3:1).

 “Like newborn babies, you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure, (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation” (I Pet 2:2 AMP).

I love spring here on the East Coast. It’s a time of renewal and newness of life that is very encouraging. The rain comes, the winds blow softly, and we begin to see the buds on the trees, which lets us know that in spite of past harsh winter seasons, life abounds. The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” rings in our ears. However, without the rain as well as the sun, the trees and flowers can’t burst forth into bloom. We know that in order for things to properly grow a combination of elements is needed. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Here’s my take on the opposite: “all play and no work makes Jack a broke boy.”  We need a balance in our lives. When we were in school, there were certain things that we had to learn in order to progress to the next level. If we didn’t learn them, then we had to repeat that lesson until we reached a particular level of satisfaction to the governing authority (teacher/prescribed curriculum/School Board, etc.). That same pattern of learning and progressing continues throughout life. If we don’t learn the lessons we need to learn, we become stagnant, and if we stay at the same level, we miss out on some very important truths that will help us to grow and mature. If we continue to handle things the way we’ve always handled them and don’t get the results we’re looking for, then something needs to change. Hence, there’s a problem.

What does that look like in the Kingdom? We haven’t always been saved, so our way of handling things should be different. We can’t stay as babies.  It’s time out for “Romper Room.” As we grow in Christ, we should be responding in more mature ways. Are we still dealing with the same things the same way we did when we first came to Christ? What growth or maturity have we seen taking place in our lives? Do we just take for granted that we’re saved and that’s enough? GOD desires that we grow in HIM. What helps or causes us to grow? How do we know we have grown in a certain area?

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (II Pet 3:18, KJV).

How do we learn to grow up?  We grow up under persecution, pressure and problems. All of these things happen to us so that we can learn to endure and therefore mature in Christ. If we are never buffeted, how can we grow? If we never have a battle, how can we be victorious? If we are never challenged, how do we know we can stand? And if we never go through anything, how can we be a help to others? “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and Glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (I Pet 1:7, KJV).

We also learn to grow up or mature when we begin to understand the preparation, the process, the patterns, the priorities and the principles of what we’re dealing with. We must take time to prepare for, and then expect troubles and situations to arise. As they arise, we must arise also!  As the challenges continue to come, and they will, we must continue to work through the process, as led by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Word of GOD. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Pet 1:13-16, KJV). “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever (I Pet 1:22-23, KJV).

In other words, it takes T.I.M.E. – Testing Intensified so Maturity can be Evidenced!

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings: that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet 4:12-13, KJV).

“In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind” (II Cor 6:4, NLT). “We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us”(II Cor 6:6-8b, NLT).

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (I Cor. 13:11, AMP).

It is time to grow up and mature in the things of GOD!

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Minister Tracey Cleveland

Minister Tracey Cleveland

Minister Tracey Cherry Cleveland is the youngest of five children born to William and Reatha Cherry in Philadelphia, PA. She was reared in a home full of music and the Word of GOD. She has been singing and playing the piano and violin since the age of seven, and accepted JESUS CHRIST as her personal LORD and SAVIOR at the age of ten. She has been gifted to teach, counsel, and exhort others from the Word of GOD both formally and informally. She received her certification in Biblical Counseling from the Christian Research and Development Institute in Philadelphia, and a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling from Faith Bible College & Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has served in various capacities throughout her Christian life, including Sunday School Superintendent, Bible Study Teacher, Instructor at Bible College, Minister of Music, Choir Leader and pianist. She is an anointed worshipper and is part of the Worship Arts Ministry and Ministerial Staff at First Church of Christ Holiness, U.S.A, under the Pastoral leadership of Elder Dr. Ralph A. Martino, Sr. She is married to her Boaz, Wilbur Cleveland, and they have one daughter and two sons.
Minister Tracey Cleveland

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