Reading time: two minutes. Back in the spring, I was pretty concerned about the puny little marigolds we planted along the picket fence. They were so frail! How would they hold up to the heat of a St Louis summer? I’m not so worried now. They look pretty good. They’ve matured. The careful weeding and watering and feeding of the past few months have put them into good shape and I think they’ll get through these months of extreme heat very well. Their vibrant colors are bringing us a lot of joy when we sit on the front porch. “Mature” is a longevity word. Paul uses it in Ephesians 4 when he talks about spiritual growth: “until we all… become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (verse 13). What are your daily practices for maturity in Christ? Spiritual maturity is a gift of God’s grace. No amount of effort of our own can produce the wisdom and character of Christ, the willingness and the ability to do the right thing day by day. Only God can take a fallen creature like you or me and work the transformation to become more like Christ, to build us toward the fullness of who He is. Growth in spiritual fullness is always through the work of the Spirit by Word and Sacrament, but each of us approaches the daily disciplines differently. Some meditate on the Word in the morning, others in the evening and some of both is good. Some use prayer lists in a very orderly fashion, others find lists a hindrance to prayer. Some plan out their Bible reading with an annual schedule, others have a more fluid, spontaneous reading plan. Some use devotional guides and prayer books every day, others only on occasion. But there is one practice that we know applies to all of us: frequency and regularity. I think most of us look back over the years with regret over the times we were infrequent in Bible reading and prayer. But by grace, today is an opportunity to begin anew, to refresh or to begin building new habits of consistency. Satan is like a hungry bird snatching up the scattered seeds of God’s Word. Longevity in the demands of Christian ministry requires daily nurturing and feeding. My marigolds are doing quite well in their summertime maturity, but I still give them water on a regular basis. Enjoy the grace of drinking deeply from the Word of the Lord. It’s so good for the long road ahead. Thanks for reading. Subscribe to Blog Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee? Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!