Nursery Duty (Aug 6)


From Open Up Your Heart

August 6
Nursery Duty

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 84:1:4 | Ezra 3:1 – 4:24 | 1 Cor. 2:6 – 3:4 | Proverbs 20:24-25

Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 2:6- 3:4

“But as for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealing with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 The Message)

I love kids, but I have often been glad that my preaching and teaching schedule conflicts with the nursery schedule—because I’d be horrible in the nursery. Once they can walk and talk and are out of diapers, I’m fine. But before that I’m clueless.

Nevertheless, I’ve found that there is plenty of “Nursery Duty” in serving as a pastor. But spiritual infancy is not a matter of age—it’s a matter of maturity (the lack of it). It is quite possible to grow old in the Lord without growing up in the Lord. It is very easy for any pastor to relate to Paul’s frustration. Yet I’m challenged to realize that while he calls them to a new level of maturity, he doesn’t spank them—and he doesn’t run from nursery duty. He mothers and nurses them (spiritually speaking, obviously). We must do the same, as difficult as that may be. The “babes” are given to us to develop maturity and character—theirs and ours. We need to learn from them as much as they need to learn from us.

It’s not terribly surprising that a consumer culture produces so many spoiled spiritual babes, but it is sad. Growing up requires taking up the cross and dying to our selfish immaturity, moving beyond our comfort zone and our need to always have it our way.

Learn to walk, to eat solid food, to explore, to follow God on adventures of faith that will cause you to mature and grow. There’s so much to learn, so much to do, so much to experience, so much of life yet to be lived, so much to accomplish for Him.

“In a broad stroke of the brush, I would say, paraphrasing Thoreau, that as the hour of my particular sunset approaches, I would be appalled to discover that I had died without having lived.” (Brennan Manning, Reflections for Ragamuffins, 219)

To live life in it’s fullness requires getting out of our rut and moving on to maturity. Let’s move ahead together. Don’t get too frustrated by the fact that we walk at different paces—God teaches us patience through that. We are all at different places in the journey, and that’s OK so long as we are moving ahead together—we need to help each other out on this journey of faith. Then soon we can all join together in nursery duty to a whole bunch of new babes in Christ—and that kind of nursery duty is a joy.

Heavenly Father, keep me child-like but not childish. Help me to continue growing in maturity. Give me a push when I get stuck in a rut. Enable me to live life to the full and one day stand before you fully mature. Amen.


About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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