Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Four Essential Ingredients: Nurture


For the next several weeks we will be looking at four essential ingrdients for a thriving Christian life represented in Acts 2. This is where we see the very first church focused on the four ingredients necessary to grow together – nurture, worship, community, and mission. To grow as vibrant Christians, we need to make sure we place these as a priority in our faith journeys.

In Acts 2:42-47, it says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

In the physical body we need nourishment. When you go without a meal, your body reacts by sending hunger signals to the brain. Not that I have missed very many meals, but when I have, sometimes I get a headache or my body becomes weak. Our body is looking for fuel and can’t find much to work with when we don’t eat. Our spiritual lives are like that as well. Our spiritual body needs nutritious food to bear the fruit that shows we are disciples of Christ. In John 15:8 it says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” It is imperative that we nurture our souls and hunger for soul food like we do physical food.

Leland Eliason, a professor at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, put it this way: “Those who give into the pressures of ministry by failing to study will run dry; those who give into the pressure of study by not being involved with people will become distant.” Nurture cannot happen by ourselves. You need to be nurtured by, and you need to nurture, someone else.

The disciples devoted themselves to prayer, the breaking of bread, the fellowship, and to the apostles teaching. All of this was done in the context of others. It all works together as a lifestyle of believers who are being nurtured to follow Christ. To this lifestyle the early believers corporately devoted themselves.

What group are you involved with where you receive and give nurture to follow Christ? Let me recommend you become a part of a Discipleship Class on Sunday morning. They meet at 9:15 or 10:45 a.m. There are several to choose from. I believe you will grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ as a direct result of your faithfulness to come and grow. I am excited about the Disciple Groups we will be launching in January. This will enhance our Discipleship Classes and allow us to go deeper and serve more together.

Don’t forget to come Sunday for a special Advent Celebration kick off. You will be glad you came to experience the ADVENTure. Remember, it is the first of December, the first Sunday of Advent, and the first time we have ever done what we are about to do in the service. You have to be there to experience it.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving…

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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