Immature thinking?

What is immature thinking referring to in the Bible? This is the best section of Scripture I could find to attempt to answer this obvious question.  I only included a short excerpt of the longer more complete principle being taught.

A Call to Spiritual Growth    Hebrews 5.

11There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.   You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

This section of Scripture brought to mind the parable triplet of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.  I know a strange connection, but let’s pray, and see where it goes.  The first two parables of the triplet have elements in common.  Something valuable was lost, the object of value was tirelessly searched for, was found, and was celebrated.

The third parable of the triplet was similar in a few ways, on several levels something valuable was lost, there does not seem to be a searching for the valuable object lost, then a reasoning surprise, there was a return of the lost with a plan, the younger brother.  Yet I find no indication of a search going on for the younger brother, except maybe in his heart.

The younger brother seems to have come to an end to all supporting resource, physical and spiritual.  And he was willing to return to his father’s house to be a worker not a son.  As the son was in process of returning, his Dad saw him a long way off and began the reunification process.  The father did not hesitate to run to close the distance more quickly to reunite with his son.

All the while as Dad ran, Dad was giving orders to start a celebration because his precious son had returned.  When the older brother returned and found out what was going on and why the party was on, for his sin-laden younger brother.  The older brother was outraged and would not rejoin the party.

The Father did, in fact, seek out in search for his lost oldest son to invite him to the celebration.  The Father received a rebuke for wasting more family resources on the younger brother.  The elder brother decided not to join the celebration for the reunification of his younger brother to the family.

If I understand this parable correctly, the father in the story is actually Father God, the two sons represent two basic ways of living this life without God.  The younger brother was in total freedom doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and how he wanted.  The older brother represented a law keeping, staunch, dependable, and displayed a self-righteous unforgiving attitude for anyone who is not like him.

My question is this which way was the right way to live?  Living by the law or living by pure unbridled freedom?

Well, one immediate advantage of living by unbridled freedom; it would seem you would come to an end of your freedom abusing ways at some point, “at least in this parable.”  On the other hand, the legalistic older brother did not seem to ever rejoin the father.  So it must be much more difficult to come to an end of yourself for a proper, clean living, legalist than a wild living sinner.

I believe this story shows two extremes in living this life in the flesh.  Neither one of these extremes, or the variant combinations in between, are ways to a relationship with the Father.  They are both disasters and failures at reunifying with our heavenly Father.

I pose to you this thought: The Bible is teaching that childish thinking is this, people can live a life that makes them worthy of getting into heaven through “good” behavior or free-living behavior.  Both of these mindsets are far short of what God requires for entry into heaven.  In other words, both methods of living or any mix are too tame for entry into heaven and fellowship with God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is this:

Jesus paid it all.  There is a complete, perfect payment for your entry into the Fellowship with God and heaven. We can do absolutely nothing to earn what has already been paid for by God and his desire to have fellowship with us.  There is nothing on this earth like unto this unique principle God exemplified to us in Christ and still trying to teach us.

He desires for us to enter into the rest of his salvation through faith in this truth and live shalom in this life with full confidence the Father can do what He said. (Yes, without our messy help, your choice, to return to God, God will not force you, it is your choice to enter in as deeply as you want.)

After immersing yourself in this love that is totally unmerited, growing faith that this perfect love is true, then there is a foundation for your life to change.  Not because of your effort kind of change, but a flow of pure love pouring out of you because of what was poured into you.

And this is love, not that we first loved God.  But God in his perfect strength extended his love to us while we are sinners far away from him.  This is the love that can overcome any way we choose to live, transforming our life into God’s best by receiving this ultimate forgiveness.  There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.  Truth/reality at its finest!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ today or ever, Ephesians 4:17-31 will give you some of the destination points you are headed for as you immerse yourself into God’s forgiveness.  If you are a strong legalist, you will begin to love the sinners that float in and out of churches, they are in much pain in all the partying that they are participating in.  Final hope: Owe no man anything, except to love him.  Love covers a multitude of sin.

While learning to love in Christ,

Denny

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