Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 "Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?" (NLT)
Real spirituality requires relational living
In the book How People Grow, which is the definitive work on the many facets and processes of spiritual development, authors Cloud and Townsend drive home the point over and over that life itself — with all of its issues, ups, and downs — is a classroom for growth taught by the Holy Spirit. Everything that happens in the life of a follower of Jesus, from the tiniest details to the most pivotal moments, is an opportunity to become more spiritually mature. All growth is spiritual growth and everything in our lives is spiritually connected.
Eugene Peterson once said, “We humans keep looking for a religion that will give us access to God without having to bother with people.” Scripture clearly indicates that we are all interconnected and made to love one another. The various trials of life — and the people we do life with — are like spiritual sandpaper to our souls. The Holy Spirit uses all of our relationships and experiences to smooth out the rough edges of our hearts and pave the way to a maturity level that regularly produces fruits like selflessness, generosity, patience, cooperation, and joy. The key lies in training ourselves to see our interactions with others as an opportunity to grow spiritually and not to avoid people or situations that generate discomfort or require sacrifice on our part — which is exactly the opposite of what we naturally want to do. Spiritual maturity increases every time we resist our natural inclinations, and instead, become imitators of Jesus.
In this new era where even some of the most ardent believers are questioning the need for church, it's vital that we revisit Paul's instructions for obtaining spiritual maturity. At the beginning of 1 Corinthians 3, we learn that the members of the local Corinthian church were not making any progress toward spiritual maturity which was evidenced by their in-fighting, selfishness, and jealousy. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through their relationships, they were managing them out of their own natural inclinations. This is the very same issue at the heart of so many people's decision to walk away from being in a church body or a community of believers altogether — it takes spiritual endurance to cultivate relationships as Jesus would. However, our participation in a thriving community that is actively on a mission for Jesus is part of what makes us more like Him over time. Of course, relationally sharing the love of Jesus isn't the only thing that makes us more spiritually mature, but without it, we will never progress to eating the solid food of a well-built faith.
Daily Bible Readings
This week, as you go through the daily readings below, ask the Holy Spirit to make each of the passages deeply personal and applicable to you. (NOTE: We suggest that you read each of these passages in several different versions of the Bible, including at least one paraphrase version.) As you contemplate these passages, make time to pray before and after you read them. Write down anything the Holy Spirit whispers to your soul.
Monday — Read Hebrews 10:24-25. Being in Biblical community with others recharges your soul's batteries. No one receives enough, or complete encouragement from their spouse, their families, or their jobs. When we regularly gather with and serve alongside others in community, our souls are refreshed as we fan the flames of faith, hope, and trust on a consistent basis. Being together also breeds familiarity, which helps us to be more comfortable in sharing our true feelings, ask for help, and receive emotional support. Spend time asking God to strengthen your desire for relationships and serving others through community involvement.
Tuesday — Read Proverbs 27:6,17 and Ephesians 4:29-32. Whether it’s someone we love or a stranger at a stoplight, we encounter people who act as spiritual sandpaper on our souls every day. As for the people who drive us crazy without good motives, we grow when we treat them as Jesus would. Every relational challenge presents a spiritual growth opportunity by learning to sacrificially love and serve others. The more we practice, the more we will become like Jesus. As you contemplate people or situations that you would rather avoid, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how He wants to use some of them to refine you and push you to grow.
Wednesday — Read Ephesians 4:11-16. Being in community opens up the mysteries of God and spurs us to maturity. While we can study the Bible on our own, discussing and sharing the Word together ignites a communal hunger to learn more and more. When His body gathers together, the Holy Spirit moves among His people to provide collective wisdom and sound teaching. Take a few moments to praise God for all the ways you have learned about Him through interactions with others. Invite Him to lead you into new relationships without fear.
Thursday — Read Galatians 6:1-3. Being in fellowship with other believers holds you accountable and helps you to grow faster than on your own. Let’s face it, human nature makes us lazy about self-improvement. Our brains and our bodies like to maintain the status quo, but the Holy Spirit’s job is to transform us more into the likeness of Christ continually. Being a part of a community, particularly a small group, helps us to establish powerful mentoring and peer-accountable relationships. Ask God to expand your horizons for mentoring someone else and to being mentored yourself.
Friday — Read Ephesians 2:10. Biblical community provides personal fulfillment. God created every person to worship and serve Him whether he or she recognizes it or not. Until we are serving within the body of Christ according to His calling on our lives, we will never feel completely fulfilled. The age-old question “What on earth am I here for?” is very often answered by a role that God has for us in our local gathering of believers. If you haven’t yet found fulfillment or an outlet for your passion, then there’s a good chance you'll discover it by living on mission alongside of others. Spend time thinking about the skills, talents, and passions that God has given you. If there is something you long to do but are not currently involved in, ask Him to open doors for you to serve others for His glory, keeping in mind that the opportunity that you’re seeking may not be what you expect.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to God each day and explore what it means to be a part of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth.
Want to Go Even Further?
Check out our companion study guide to use with your community group, neighbors, or family members! Each week includes thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study based on this week's sermon topic.
Get Your Worship On!
Do you love the worship music at Cornerstone? Then our worship YouTube channel is for you! Enjoy all your favorites now, featuring the worship teams from all of our campuses! PLUS...there is a new original song this week. You won't want to miss it!
CF Worship ChannEl on YouTube