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And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
(Luke 2:52)
I want to look at the second part of this Scripture verse, which says: "And Jesus increased in...stature." One commentary says, "Jesus matured physically and mentally."

The word I want to use for stature is discipline.

To grow in stature means Jesus had some discipline, or self-discipline. As He matured, He learned to do what He was supposed to do when He was supposed to do it. As Scripture tells us, He spent much time in prayer. (See Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12; 9:18,28; 11:1.)

Children Are Born Undisciplined
The opposite of maturity is immaturity. An immature person has to be watched all the time. He is immature because he has no self-discipline. But a child won't know self-discipline until he has been disciplined by his parent.

Children are born undisciplined. They cry when they want something and when they don't want something, and then they yell in between. That's why they need Pampers. They must be trained and disciplined.

As cute and cuddly as little kids can be, if left untrained, as they get older they won't be cute and cuddly anymore. Their behavior turns into rebellion, and then everybody gets upset.

Now there is a Bible-way to handle discipline. As mentioned before, God's people aren't like rats in a maze; we are divinely ordered. We have a destination, with a purpose and a plan, not only as a church but as a family and as individuals.

All of us have a divine plan and a divine call on our lives. But we have to realize that there are some rules to life. It's one thing to get excited about having a vision, but there are rules we have to follow.

That's why a believer could get a ticket for speeding when driving down the highway going 57 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone, while an unbeliever goes 90 miles an hour and never gets caught. As the Bible says, ...judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17).

Follow God's Rules
When our family is out in public, I don't discipline other people's children, just my own. I have set a standard for my children, not for the children down the street. In Micah we read:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
(Mic. 6:8)
There are three things God requires of His people:
  1. To do justly.
  2. To love mercy.
  3. To walk humbly with Him.
Three Areas We Have to Fight
It seems that the number-one statement of all children everywhere is: "But that isn't fair!" That's why I say to my kids, "That's right, honey—life isn't fair." The devil is an equal-opportunity hater. He hates everybody the same—whether a little baby, a middle-aged person, or just an old grouch.

Now there are three areas we have to fight against on this planet:
  • the world system, which is the opposite of whatever God thinks;
  • the devil, whom we have authority over in the name of Jesus and by His blood;
  • the flesh, which is the area we are dealing with most of the time, particularly in relationship to people.
The devil works at attacking the home. As we can see in the Bible, he hates the home. That's what he attacked right off the bat when he came against Adam and Eve's family in the beginning, and he has been working against the home ever since.

The devil caused Adam to be fired from his job, his family to be evicted from their home, and their children to be killing each other. But we don't have to be ignorant of the devil's devices.

Source: God Knows How To Raise Your Kids, Even If You Don't by Joe McGee
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Joe McGee
Web site: Joe McGee Ministries
Joe McGee, author, national conference speaker, father, and former school administrator, is the founder and director of Joe McGee Ministries, Inc. and Faith For Families Ministries.

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