A bee that flew up a motorist's trouser leg is being blamed for a car crash that caused more than £7,000 of damage.  The driver, from Mockmuhl in Germany, told police he lost control of the car and swerved into oncoming traffic when he tried to free the bumble bee from his trousers.

No one was injured in the crash, but two cars were badly damaged.

A police spokesman said, however, that they were still investigating the crash as the bee had "mysteriously disappeared" after the accident.

For the past year we’ve been dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 and for some Christians, the Coronavirus has been like that bee in a car; many people have lost control of their lives.  They’ve swerved, as it were, off the road of the peace of mind, and steadfastness of faith, love of the brethren and the joy of the Lord.

The spiritual disciplines and habits they’ve built up over the years, have been shut down and no longer operating, as many businesses are today.

The economy might be shut down but the work of the Lord continues; spiritual battles continue to wage; Coronavirus hasn’t hindered our ancient foe.  

Thus the Christian needs to maintain spiritual disciplines so that we might walk in victory after victory.  The Bible says that developing and maintaining spiritual disciplines is God’s will for the Christian.

In Ephesians 6 Paul writes, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day…”

Earlier in Ephesians chapter four Paul writes, "We are not meant to remain as children...but to grow up in every way into Christ..." (4:14-15 (Ph)

In Colossians 4:12 the Apostle writes that it is God’s will "...that we become mature Christians…"   

What is "Spiritual Maturity"?

The word “maturity” (also translated “perfect” in the Bible) is the Greek word,  teleios, tel'-i-os; it means complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character)

The word is used in Ephesians 4:13 when Paul writes, "....In the unity of common faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity - the measure of development which is meant by the 'fullness of Christ.'"                    

Practically speaking, Spiritual Maturity is Being like Christ.

Romans 8:29 tells us that “For those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son”.

The Christian is supposed to grow and spiritually conform to the image of God’s Son Jesus Christ.

Three Facts About Spiritual Maturity

1. It's Not Automatic

Over the years I’ve seen many Christians, starting out fast—having powerful testimonies—given leadership positions—only to fall flat on their faces.

Better to grow steadily in the faith than to become spiritually self-reliant, self-confident, and arrogant.  Slow but steady wins the race.

2. It Is A Process

"Learn to be mature." Prov. 8:5 (GN)

"Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ"            2 Peter 3:18 (GN)

There are no shortcuts!

3. It takes discipline

In 1 Tim. 4:7-8 Paul tells young Timothy, his protégé: "Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit" and “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness" (NASB)                                          

The key to spiritual maturity is discipleship!

Followers of Jesus are called disciples.  We cannot be a disciple without being disciplined.  The more disciplined I become the more God can use me.

The mark of a disciple is cross bearing.  Jesus said, "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27

How often am I to “carry my cross”?  Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  Luke 9:23

What is involved in "cross bearing"?  Whatever it takes to give Christ first place in my life!

Someone has said:

  • If you want to be distressed -- look within. 
  • If you want to be defeated -- look back. 
  • If you want to be distracted -- look around. 
  • If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead. 
  • If you want to be delivered -- look up! (to Jesus)

What is involved in "cross bearing"? 

  • It involves denying yourself. 
  • It involves exalting Christ's agenda before your own. 
  • It involves bearing up under trials, insults, inconveniences in order that Jesus shine through your life.

How do we do this?  Develop “disciple habits”.

Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul was thinking about when he wrote in Colossians 3, "...You have put off the old self with its HABITS, and have put on the new self... and is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.”

Back to Basics

In 1959, the legendary Vince Lombardi, was hired to be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers with the difficult task of turning around a losing franchise.

The legend goes that after a miserable showing, the players gathered in the locker room  in silence waiting for Lombardi to enter and give them the verbal beating of their lives.

After a few moments, Lombardi entered the room with a football in his hands. He stood in silence, searching for words. The players braced themselves for the worst.

Lombardi lifted the football and broke the silence with arguably the most legendary quote in NFL history, “Gentlemen, this is a football!” 

Those five legendary words marked Lombardi’s legacy as a coach. He would take his team back to the basics. He would demand perfection in the fundamentals of the game. 

After years of losing, Lombardi took the Packers to win 5 championships in 7 years (including Super Bowl I and II). 

In fact, Packers never had a losing season under Lombardi. He is regarded as the greatest coach of all time. He left such a legacy that the Super Bowl Trophy is named the Lombardi Trophy. 

All of this because Lombardi took his struggling team back to the basics.

Let me remind you of the basics of the Christian life:

1. Time With God's Word

Jesus said in John chapter eight, "If you continue in my Word, then you are my disciples indeed. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

2. Prayer

In John 15 Jesus said to His disciples, "If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it... in this way you can become my disciples."   John 15:7-8

3. Fellowship

In John 13 Jesus said to those who followed Him, "Love each other just as much as I love you.  Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples."   John 13:34-35 (LB)

4. Sharing the Good News

In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

5. Giving (financially) to the Lord and supporting His work.

"None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions."                Luke 14:33 (JB)

A HORSE SOLDIER took the utmost pains with his horse.  As long as the war lasted, he looked upon him as his fellow-helper in all emergencies and fed him carefully with hay and corn.  But when the war was over, he only allowed him chaff to eat and made him carry heavy loads of wood, subjecting him to much slavish drudgery and ill-treatment. 

However, when war broke out again and when the trumpet summoned him to active service, the soldier put on his horse its military trappings, and mounted, being clad in his heavy coat of armor. 

The horse fell to the ground under the weight, no longer being able to support the load, and said to his master, "You must now go to the war on foot, for you have transformed me from a horse into a donkey; and how can you expect that I can again turn in a moment from a Donkey to a Horse?'

The moral of this story is that if Christians become lazy in their spiritual discipline (by refusing to spend time in God’s Word, pray, fellowship, evangelize and give, etc.), don't be surprised if they should become spiritual donkeys during the time of spiritual battle!

You may not know it, or you may not believe it, but there is a war going on.