Godly living takes a village. If you want to grow more and more with God you have to grow deeper and deeper with God’s people. There are very few things that will influence the outcome of your life more than who you do life with. That said, you don’t have to come to church as the best version of yourself. Come broken and bruised, come with your problems, come with your insecurities. The church is meant to be a hospital, a place where you can heal. You are welcome as you are.
“concerning brotherly love you have no need…but increase more and more” 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
Our job is not to judge someone but love them. We need community even more than we can imagine. It’s God’s desire for us to be known, held accountable and loved on.
The best place for you to start growing in your community is by serving. God wants you to find your sweet spot, He wants you to be doing the thing that makes you feel like you were born for this! That said, sometimes the best place to start is where you’re willing to do whatever is needed. It’s important to learn to be a part of a team. It’s not about what comes out of you but what is in you. We should always desire to grow more and more in community.
We must mind our business with an intentional focus on tranquility. God’s desire is that we should desire more and more of that peaceful serenity He gives. This is His desire for us even and especially when what’s happening around us has nothing to do with the peacefulness that is flowing through us.
“that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” 1 Thessalonians 4:11
That phrase “quiet” speaks of all that we’re talking about – aspiring to lead a life with that peace. We must begin by wanting it and working toward it.
“Seek strenuously to be still.” – Charles Swindoll
It does take an intentional focus to relax and wind down. We must work hard at resting.
“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
The more we do this the better we’re going to get at doing it when it counts, when everything is crazy. The more we will perform well under pressure and be unflappable in the face of things that formerly made us lose our cool. We must be watchful on our lives, seeking strenuously to fight for tranquility.
We were not born again as an end unto ourselves but as a beginning for someone else. The more we give the more life can grow.
“The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” Proverbs 11:24
We were born for our world to grow bigger as we reach out wider. Not only were we born for this, but others need to be born into this. The same gospel that brought us life must be passed on so other’s can have life. We’ve got to share the only name by which men can be saved: Jesus. He must overflow from our lives.
“May the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12 MSG
This is going to take generosity. Generosity of spirit, of time, with finances, and with sacrifice. As we are fishers of men following Jesus Christ the mark of our progress is not simply Bible knowledge, it’s evangelistic passion. You know you are like Jesus when you are growing in zeal. A generous spirit knows salvation was given, not earned. We’re stewards of the gospel and will be held accountable for what we did with it. What right do we have to let it stop with us?
Having a purpose in life gives you perspective – when you have a purpose for doing something it changes how you respond to obstacles. Increasing desire to spread the gospel and share Christ is a mark of progress in the Christian life. That’s what we see happening here with the Thessalonians:
“…sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4
The Thessalonians had experienced pain as a result of their decision to follow Jesus. Paul tells them not to make the mistake of interpreting their situation as evidence that they did something wrong, but that they did something right. They were appointed to this. They’re on the right track. They were, in fact, born for this. Their passion to preach the gospel was a mark of progress, and so was the adversity that came against them. If you are going to shine a light darkness will try and put it out.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
This is far from being a bad sign – it’s evidence you are right where you are supposed to be.
What should you do if you are dating someone who is dragging you down in your walk with God? Should you date someone who isn’t a believer? What if you are in high school and your parents don’t want you to date? What should you do if you married the wrong person by mistake?
What would happen if you put God first in your love life?
Did skull church go the way of the duck billed platypus? Has it been canceled? Replaced by the teenage mutant ninja turtles fan club? Or is it alive and well and ready to strike back like never before?
You might have seen something here or there on facebook or twitter about some of the changes but are wondering,”what the heck did we do to skull church?”
This weekend at fresh life we began a study of the New Teatament book of Jude. We are being challenged to contend for the faith, to Soldier On! Our creative dept always does a great job setting the vibe and the mood of the series, but I couldn’t believe what they came up with this time…amazing.