Young or Mature?

I found and purchased a young coconut yesterday. Since my trip to SE Asia last fall, I have enjoyed this little treat on a few occasions here in Colorado.


???????????????????????????????Until a year ago, I didn’t know there were young coconuts. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t have known what to do with it! But now I know how delicious this tender-nut of the coconut palm tree really is.


The water from a young coconut is refreshing, delicious and filled with good stuff for the body. The flesh is creamy, almost like pudding. The flesh can be used in cooking or to create smoothies.


As the nut ages, it matures into the coconut most of us know. That hard, brown, hairy ball in the grocery store produce department. And if you’re like me, you know how difficult it is to get into that hard shell. It’s just easier to purchase the bag of shredded coconut.


However, in the matured state, there is more flesh to be harvested and it is yet another great addition to savory and sweet dishes.


As we search Scripture, we find passages that lead us to the understanding that we are to be growing. We are to become mature in our faith. We are to grow up in Christ. Let’s look at a few.


“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15 – NIV)


“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:10-12 – NIV)


“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15 – NIV)


“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1 – NIV)


“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4 – NIV)


“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3 – NIV)


“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18 – NIV)


God calls us to live mature, productive lives. Scripture clearly points us in that direction. But how are we to move from immaturity to maturity?


Like anything else in our lives, we must want it. Spiritual maturity just doesn’t happen. It takes work and time. And sometimes, discouragement will cause us to disengage in the process. But if we are determined and we really want to grow, we will.


After you’ve determined that you want to grow spiritually, it’s time to take action. Get into a Bible study. Take notes through the Sunday morning message. Set aside a specific time for personal Bible reading, study and prayer. Get engaged with God. Crave God more than anything else. The more you get to know God, the more you’ll want to be in His presence.


And finally, don’t give up. Persevere. Keep learning. Never believe you’re at your limit. Continue to work toward spiritual maturity.


I must admit, I prefer the young coconut water and flesh over the mature coconut flesh. I must also admit that I sometimes prefer the young Christian as opposed to the mature Christian. Sometimes I prefer laziness to being productive. Sometimes I prefer not speaking to my neighbor over loving my neighbor. Sometimes I prefer my old ways over God’s new ways.


Because it’s easier.


It’s easier to live as a mediocre Christian than it is to work at being a follower of Christ. It’s easier to be an immature Christian than to be a fruit-bearing Christian.


But that’s not what Jesus has called me to be. He has called me to be a mature follower. Therefore, I must keep growing.


I don’t know where you are right now with your growth in Christ, but I pray that you won’t become complacent with your relationship with Jesus. I pray that your desire to produce fruit will continue to grow.


And like the Apostle Paul, I pray this prayer for you. “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19 – NIV)


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,




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