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Spiritual Development

Joan Winifred love


on-line definition:

the act or process of growing, progressing, or developing

the product or result of developing

a fact, event, or happening, esp one that changes a situation

All life starts out…with end goal of maturation (and beyond). Innumerable challenges/variables serve as catalysts/obstacles to pace/progress. Time/timing and seen/unforeseen events effect/affect us all immeasurably. Physical growth/development can be charted (somewhat). What about spiritual growth/development (say from birth onward)?!

Recent readings/studies…on a favorite topic “love” is a major player in development.

PARENTS love to see their newborn baby smile. They often put their faces close to that of the infant, cooing and smiling expressively. They are eager to see a response. And before long, it comes—the baby’s cheeks dimple, the lips curl, and a delightful smile appears. In its own small way, that smile seems to express affection, the dawning love of the baby in response to the love of the parents.

2 The baby’s smile reminds us of something important about human nature. Our natural response to love is love. That is simply the way we are made. (Psalm 22:9: You were the One who brought me out of the womb, The One who made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts.)

As we grow, we mature in our ability to respond to love. Perhaps you can recall from your own childhood how your parents, relatives, or friends expressed love for you. In your heart a warm feeling took root, grew, and blossomed into action. You showed your love in return. Is a similar process unfolding in your relationship with Jehovah God?

What It Means to Love God

  1. In what way are people confused about what it means to love God?

4 Jehovah, the Originator of love, well knows that love has immense power to bring out the best in others. So despite the persistent rebelliousness of unfaithful mankind, he has remained confident that some humans would respond to his love. And, indeed, millions have. Sadly, though, the religions of this corrupt world have left people confused about what it means to love God. Countless people say that they love God, but they seem to think that such love is merely a feeling to be expressed in words. Love for God may begin that way, just as a baby’s love for his parents may first show itself in a smile. In mature people, however, love involves more.

  1. How does the Bible define love of God, and why should that definition appeal to us?

5 Jehovah defines what it means to love him. His Word says: “This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments.” Love of God, then, needs to be expressed in action. Granted, many do not find the thought of obedience appealing. But the same verse kindly adds: “And yet [God’s] commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3) Jehovah’s laws and principles are designed to benefit us, not to oppress us.

Isaiah 48:17, 18:

“This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser, the Holy One of Israel:

“I, Jehovah, am your God,

The One teaching you to benefit yourself,

The One guiding you in the way you should walk.

18 If only you would pay attention to my commandments!

Then your peace would become just like a river

And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

God’s Word is full of principles that help us draw closer to him. (excerpted: “Draw Close to God, and He Will Draw Close to You” cl chap. 31)

Questions for Consideration:

Is my love immature? mature?

Am i helping to bring out the best in Others?

Freely smiling is important, but does my compassion for humanity prompt me to take further positive action(s)?

Is my personal peace freely flowing like a river?

Is my compassion like the waves of the sea?

{immaturity (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) thinks, speaks and acts one way–maturity thinks, speaks and acts one way…immaturity does not behave/express like maturity neither does maturity behave/express like immaturity.}

All life (all of us)…in various stages of development: immaturity/maturity…so, compassion and forgiveness and patience is a MUST, eh? 🙂

(published 10/2/15 @ 11:50 a.m.)


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