How do I grow?

Recently I was asked what someone can do to grow as a Christian.  My reply was surprising because it’s not the usual evangelical response (pray, read your Bible, etc.).  I do believe prayer and Bible study are important for spiritual growth and no one is doing practicing enough of it.  However there are certain things Jesus and Paul said about spiritual growth that we usually neglect.

  1. Worship weekly – Heb. 10.  One verse in this chapter is usually beaten to death with regards to church attendance (v. 25).  But we miss the rest of what the author is saying.  Worshiping the living Christ is an honor and privilege.  Hebrews 10 is the application of the prior portion of the book, saying that because Jesus has opened the presence of God to us we should enter in.  This is a gift of God’s grace, grace that we need for living our Christian lives.  One of the purposes of coming together is to exhort one another (v. 24).  When we worship with others you will be strengthened.  If we are obediently following the command to exhort one another we will forge bonds of fellowship that will withstand fierce persecution (vv. 32-34).  It will also cause us to think twice about forgetting our faith when times of trial come (vv. 35-39).
  2. Take communion – John 6:51-58.  This is one of those things that isn’t easily explained.  Many of us don’t take communion but every quarter, every six months, or even every year.  Jesus said that His flesh is meat indeed and His blood is drink indeed (v. 55).  If we only ate yearly, we would be starved.  Jesus said if we didn’t eat His flesh and drink His blood we have no life in us (v. 53).  This is one of the ways we profess that we are believers, by the fact that we eat with Him (v. 56-57).  If this sounds odd to our ears it’s because we are deficient in our theology of the Lord’s Supper.  This is what Jesus said.  Paul said in I Corinthians 10:17 that in eating we are united into Christ, the one loaf through the Supper.  Eating is necessary for growth, so don’t neglect the Supper when it’s served at your church.

Passage for Meditation

Passage for meditation

Hebrews 13:20-21, Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Questions for reflection:

  1. In what ways has Christ brought peace to His people?
  2. How do we submit to Him as the “great shepherd of the sheep?”
  3. How does God make us perfect in every good work to do His will?
  4. What is our responsibility in the above mentioned statement?
  5. Do you make a practice of studying God’s word to know His will and what is pleasing in His sight?
  6. How do we ascribe glory to Christ in our lives?  In your family?  In the church?

Here are recordings of the sermons from Sunday morning and afternoon.

Bro. Mike – The God of Peace – http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=713101635310

Bro. Matt – How to not love the world – http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=713101638161

God’s Chastening

Our pastor, Mike Rogers preached an excellent sermon Sunday on chastening from Hebrews 12.  It is amazing how much we miss by just taking what is said over the years as true.  He brougth out points on the phrase, “the Father of spirits” that I never knew.  It was a strong and thorough sermon.  Check it out.

Passage for meditation

Passage for meditation

Hebrews 12:5-11, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Questions for reflection:

  1. Why does the Lord chasten us?
  2. Why should we not despise the Lord’s chastening?
  3. How is chastening one display of God dealing with us as a son?
  4. Is chastening more than correction for sin?
  5. How does chastening yield the “peaceable fruit of righteousness?”