Final Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth
Christian Maturity
Through The Beatitudes: Lesson 5

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled. ~ Matthew 5:6 

Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth old skeleton key

Throughout this Beatitudes Bible Study, we've explored the keys Jesus left us to Christian Spiritual Growth.

We've looked at how to be humble and meek. We've learned how to receive God's forgiveness and even how to forgive the unforgivable ourselves.

In this last Beatitudes Bible Study, we will delve into the final keys to your Christian spiritual growth.

Key #1: Knowing Where to Hide in a Storm

Blessed and enviably happy
[with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace]
are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!
-Matthew 5:4 (AMP)

When we think of mourning, we typically think of those that have lost a loved one. But, this passage really deals with a much broader need that we all have.

To be comforted when we are emotionally broken.

What a person does in the midst of a storm, when they have no strength to keep up a facade or be fake, reveals what is truly in their heart. Where they run in that time of need is a sign of where they really put their trust.

It is a tell-tell sign of Christian spiritual maturity.

christian spiritual growth couple under umberella in rainWhat do you do when a storm hits?

Some of us reach out to man. Others stuff the pain down with food or bury it in house work and office obligations.

Instead of depending on God to be our source, we try to find a way to soothe ourselves and forget the pain.

But, God wants to be the one that walks with you through all of life's storms. When you run to your loving Father, "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you" (Matthew 5:4 Message).

Part of Christian spiritual growth is learning to run to your Comforter. I love the way Joyce Meyer says it - Instead of running to the phone, we need to run to the Throne!

Even if you are not drinking and drugging your pain away, all other comfort is really just counterfeit for true peace.

Key #2: Developing a True Hunger for The Things of God

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
-Matthew 5:6

This is the primary requirement for being a mature Christian. Having a deep huger and thirst for the things of God. Constantly wanting to please Him more. To love Him more. To be more like Him.

The opposite of pride – This is true humility.

A mature Christian knows that they are, in and of themselves, powerless against the trials and tribulations of this world. They cleave to the Lord and His Word for dear life because they understand His love for them.

They are not just after God's hand, and what He can do for them. They are after His heart.

No matter how close to God they become, they always want more of Him. They are always seeking Christian spiritual growth.

AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks,
so I pant and long for You, O God.
– Psalm 42:1

Immature Christians think that they are self-sufficient. They become complacent with their spiritual walk, assuming that since they have been in church for X number of years, they are already as close to God as they can get.

But the mature Christian knows that God always has more in store for them. And their very hearts long for more of God in their lives.

Key #3: Becoming A Peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.

- Matthew 5:9

In a world full of anger and wrath, there is no wonder why when you work to create peace you will be recognized as a child of God.

It is important to note that this, like meekness, is not a sign of weakness or passivity.

If someone is outside of the will of God, you are permitted to show a little righteous indignation. We see Jesus doing this when He made a whip out of rope and angrily flipped over all of the money changers' tables and poured out their money (John 2: 13-17)!

But, being a peacemaker does mean that you don’t participate in gossip, prejudice, or other things that work to divide God's people. You make it your goal to unite your Father's children and bring them together.

With Christian spiritual growth comes the realization that God has a special place in His heart for each person in His world. And that, as His child, it is your responsibility to show them how to walk in love with one another. To show them how to build each other up, and not tear them down.

Key #4: Will You Stand for Christ?

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Matthew 5:10

In today’s society, having Christian values is not very popular. Because of that, far too many Christians choose to stay silent about what they truly believe instead of standing up for Christ.

Some Christians are scared that their radical beliefs will offend someone, or even turn them into a target for ridicule. So they just sit quietly and try to be politically correct.

Many have even bought into the idea that, by being silent, Christians are somehow bringing glory to God by being meek or humble.

But, as we discussed earlier by looking at Jesus’ response to the money changers, being a meek Christian is not the same as being a weak Christian.

Early on in your spiritual walk, it may be hard to tell the difference. But, as you experience Christian spiritual growth, you will learn to be bold for Jesus!

Want to know more about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount?  
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How Do Mature Christians Respond to Unrighteousness?

christian spiritual growth man with bullhornWhen someone phones a mature Christian woman to gossip, she doesn't sit quietly and listen, assuming that it’s OK as long as she doesn't join in. She stands up for righteousness and politely tells the caller she wants no part in that kind of conversation!

When a co-worker jokes to a mature Christian man about wanting to cheat on his wife with the secretary, he doesn't just lightly chuckle and sit there like a little mouse. He stands up for righteousness and tells him he doesn't find that kind of joke amusing at all!

When it's time to place a vote for the best candidate, the mature Christian, doesn't blindly pick Democrat or Republican because that's what's popular with their circle. They stand up for Christ and vote as closely to the Word of God as their options allow.

One of the true tests of your Christian spiritual growth is how you handle opposing spiritual viewpoints.

Are you too afraid of persecution to speak up and be heard? Are you void of all love in your heart, rude, and hurtful? Or do you speak the truth out of love, and allow God to use you to bring others to righteousness?

Final Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth

Reflection Questions

1. When a storm hits your life, what is the first thing you usually do? Cry? Eat? Call a Friend? Pray? Why do you think that is your first response?

2. Have you ever had a time when you knew that you should have stood up for righteousness, but you kept quiet? Think back and figure out what fear kept you from speaking up. Pray for God to help you deal with that fear now so that next time you can stand up for Him.

3. Do you feel that you are a spiritually mature Christian by the standards Jesus set in the Beatitudes? Why or why not? What areas of Christian spiritual growth do you know that you still need to work on?

Whether you fit the entire description of a mature Christian today or not, the fact that you are reading this means that you have a desire in your heart to grow and become that person.

Pray and tell God that you are committed to your Christian spiritual growth. Ask Him to begin developing these characteristic of a godly person inside of you. Confess your faults daily, and ask for His Holy Spirit to continue to work in you and mold you into His own work of art. 

Your God is faithful. He will do it! 

If you feel you could use more help presenting yourself to God, and entering into this tranformational stage of your spiritual growth, the Becoming God's Masterpiece Bible Study Program can help you.

Christian Maturity Through the Beatitudes
Lesson 1: Jesus paints a picture of spiritual maturity
Lesson 2: The power in humility and meekness
Lesson 3: Receiving God's Forgiveness
Lesson 4: Learning How to Forgive
Lesson 5: Final Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth

Finished with the Final Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth
and the other Beatitudes Bible Lessons?
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