Staying in the First Grade

…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14

There are Christians who grow up and have no relish for anything spiritually advanced. They’re preoccupied with their first lessons. The average church is a school with only one grade and that is the first one. These Christians never expect to get beyond that and they don’t want to hear a man very long who wants to take them beyond that. If their pastor insists they do their homework and get ready for the next grade, they begin to pray that the Lord will call “our dear brother” somewhere else…. All he’s trying to do is prepare them for another grade, but that church is dedicated to the first grade, and the first grade is where it’s going to remain.

Paul said some of them went up into the second grade and gave it up, and said, “It’s too hard here,” and they went back to the first.

“How long have you been in the first grade, Junior?” “Twelve years.”… Paul said, “forgetting those things which are behind… I press toward the mark” (Philippians 3:13-14). There was a man not satisfied with the first grade.

Father, I do pray that our church might not get stuck in the first grade. Help us not to shrink from the hard lessons that bring us to spiritual maturity. Amen.

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