Grow in 2019 Like Never Before - 4 Priorities
This past Sunday, I concluded my message with a challenge to make 4 activities a priority in our lives, which I believe will lead to unbelievable personal growth in our walk with the Lord. I wanted to re-share them here so we could reflect on them more deeply and ask God to work them in our lives.
(1) Read the Bible. I explain why and how HERE. Check it out.
(2) Join a Sunday School Class or Small group. Why? Because anonymous Christianity doesn’t work. In Ephesians 4:11-13, Paul shows that essential to “attaining” the “knowledge of the Son of God” is the ministry of other believers in our lives “building us up.” In other words, we need each other. Large group worship is not enough, because it is an outlet for congregational worship and receiving the word (so important!), but it is not an outlet for being vulnerable and getting into the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. And this is where deep growth tends to actually happen the most. Make it a priority this year. Join a Sunday School Class or small group. Start one if necessary. And do the hard, scary work of allowing yourself to be known.
(3) Develop a spiritually intentional relationship. This is a piggy back off of number 2. If your small group or class above is more than say 5 people, then it is large enough to where you are not likely getting the depth of relationship and conversation you need to deal with the specifics of your life. This is where intentional relationships among 2-3 come in. Find another man or woman. Commit to meet regularly, personally, and ask questions. How are you doing spiritually? How is your marriage? How is your struggle with temptation? How did you serve the Lord this week? How can I pray for you? Pray together, study a book of the Bible together, read a good Christian book together and discuss it. KEY here is intentionality. There is plenty of time to hang out with friends. Don’t waste this time. Make it intentional. Dig into each other’s lives and the word. Grow together.
(4) Find a place to serve. In Ephesians 4:16, Paul says it is when each part is working properly that the body grows. One body part not functioning doesn’t just hurt that body part; it can kill the whole body. In the same way, one member of the church body not functioning correctly does not just hurt them. The whole body suffers because God has given them a ministry that the rest of the church needs in order to thrive. To not exercise one’s gift in service is to belittle the power of the Holy Spirit one has received, and is to deprive the rest of the body of a needed ministry. Jesus said it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive. Pray. Think. Ask God. Then obey, and find some place of ministry to serve in. Don’t just think about it. Do it. Tell someone you are going to do it. Then, when each part is working properly, the body can run like an Olympic athlete for the glory of Christ.