Having already admonished us to â€œGO ONâ€ and to â€œGIVE OUR ALL,â€ Paul now teaches us to â€œGROW UP.â€ In order to be grownup and mature believers in 2011 we need to do three things, two of which Paul has already addressed in this passage (vs. 12-14) and another that he addresses in our two verses today (vs. 15-16).
First, we need to live up to our present spiritual potential (vs. 15-16). We need to do all that we know to do, as well as all that we are capable of doing. By doing so, our service of Christ will be both commemorated and commended by Him (Mark 14:8-9).
Next, as we learned Sunday, we need to be perpetually dissatisfied with our spiritual progress (vs.Â 12-13a). It is often said that â€œSatisfaction is the graveyard of progress.â€ When weâ€™re through learning and growing weâ€™re through. Mature Christians, like the Apostle Paul, realize that they will never arrive spiritually in this life. No matter how far theyâ€™ve come there is still farther for them to go. No matter what they know there is still much more for them to learn.
Finally, and most importantly, to grow up in 2011 we need a single spiritual purpose. Notice, Paul said,Â â€œâ€¦but this one thing I doâ€¦â€ (v.13).Â The â€œone thingâ€Â of which Paul spoke was his sole focus in life; namely, his conformity to Christ through his communion with ChristÂ (see verses 7-11).
Our single focus in 2011 ought to be our imitation of Christ through our intimacy with Christ. In other words, we should live everyday of the New Year wanting to become more Christ-like by getting to know Christ betterÂ than we ever have before. Contrary to popular opinion, the mature pulpit is not filled with a man wanting a bigger church; nor is the mature pew filled with people wanting a better life. Instead, both the mature pulpit and pew are filled with those seeking conformity to Christ through intimacy with Him.
“But how about all of those other important things in life,” you protest. Well, according to Jesus, they’ll take care of themselves if we’ll only â€œseek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousnessâ€ (Matthew 6:33). If we’ll GO ON, GIVE OUR ALL, and GROW UP in 2011, God will take care of everything else.