I didn't see the movie when it came out in 1997 (I was overseas living and serving in Kiev, Ukraine), but I have since watched The Apostle starring Robert Duvall. It's worth watching. Duvall is one of my favorite actors (think "Lonesome Dove") and he does a masterful job bringing "Sonny" (the main character) to life. Unfortunately, Sonny's life falls short of his message. In one gripping scene, Sonny is taken out of a church service and arrested by the police as the crowd continues to worship and feel the spirit's power.
The movie leaves me struggling again with areas of my life that fall short of the message of Jesus. It also causes me to think about my definition of "spiritual maturity". What does spiritual maturity look like in our lives? Take a minute and write down your definition of spiritual maturity.
As I thought about a number of Bible verses and Bible stories, here is what I came up with . . . "Spiritual maturity is growing in Christ Jesus so that I am living a life of love--love for God, love for others and love of myself."
In Paul's letter to the Corinthian believers, he writes, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Paul had been writing on the manifestation gifts -- spiritual expressions in the worship gathering. His conclusion was that the most important "manifestation" is the manifestation of love.
God's love at work in your heart is the only thing that can make you spiritually mature and more like Jesus! Join us this Sunday as we explore what it looks like to be spiritually mature as we walk with Jesus. See you Sunday, Pastor Tom