GROWING UNTO MATURITY

Simeon Afolabi

“Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.”
Acts 15:19-20

In Acts 15, we have on record the first church council. The agenda was to consider the appropriateness or otherwise of subjecting gentile converts to the strict rules of Judaism. James presided over that summit, and the text, which we read earlier, was his judgment on that occasion. A word about James will be in order here. He was a brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, but was distant from Him during His earthly ministry. A line of scripture says that Jesus’ brethren did not believe in Him. (See John 7:5). James was probably one of them. It was not until Jesus resurrected and showed Himself to him that He demonstrated any serious interest in what the Lord represented.

Is it then not surprising that James was the man who presided over the council? How did everybody, including Peter, submit to his leadership? The answer lies in spiritual maturity. James enjoyed expedited growth. This growth, in turn, was a function of his strong devotional life of prayer. Church traditions said that James was nicknamed Old Camel Knees. Thick calluses developed on his knees because of many years of unceasing prayer. His prayer life produced the wisdom with which he could preside over the august assembly of church leaders. Here is the lesson: to attain spiritual maturity and wisdom, we must be ready to have some knee marks through prayers.

FURTHER STUDY: 2 THESSALONIANS 1:1-12
PRAYER: Father, help me to be faithful in the hour of prayer.