Spiritual Maturity Is Never an End in Itself


The mature follower of Jesus stops asking, “Who’s going to meet my needs?” and starts asking, “Whose needs can I meet?”

“Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 TLB). 

Service is not something you tack onto your schedule to fill up your “spare time.” It is the heart of the Christian life. Jesus came “to serve” and “to give”—and those two verbs should define your life on earth, too. 

Jesus taught that spiritual maturity is never an end in itself. Maturity is for ministry! As you grow spiritually, you can give to others. It’s not enough to keep learning more and more. You must act on what you know—and practice what you claim to believe. Bible study without service leads to spiritual stagnation. 

The old comparison between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea is still true. Galilee is a lake full of life because water flows into it and then also out of it. In contrast, nothing lives in the Dead Sea because there’s no outflow, so the lake has stagnated. 

The truth is, if you’ve been following Jesus for a while, you probably know more Scripture than you’re putting into practice. What you may need is experience serving in some way at your church, so you can exercise your spiritual muscles. 

As you mature in Christ, your focus can increasingly shift toward living a life of service. Jesus came to serve, and he will help you become a servant, too.

Talk It Over

What has God been teaching you lately? How have you used this biblical truth in ministry? 

How does service make believers stand out in the world? 

What person is demonstrating a “life of service” right now? What can you learn from that person’s lifestyle?

Purchase Series: What on Earth Am I Here For? Study Kit

This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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