Grow Where You Are

Life goes better, when you put God in first place. Scripture says it this way, "When you are planted in the house of the Lord, you will flourish." The local church is the hope of the world. If we are to be that hope, we must be strong and united...we must be PLANTED in the house and there are a few things we must do if we are to be planted and positioned to bloom and flourish. Do you want to be part of building a successful and effective church? Take a look at these with me.

Grow Spiritually We need to become spiritually mature to make forward progress in our faith so we can show others the way and be a blessing to those closest to us. We know that a tree is healthy and thriving by its green leaves, fruit and its growth over the years. The fact that we are achieving new heights and withstanding the storms of life is confirmation that our roots are growing deeper and we are progressing toward maturity. Spiritual growth occurs through personal study of the Bible and through messages we hear and read. We are transformed by the Word of God.

Pray Faithfully and Encourage Since the day you became a Christian, you may have heard the saying: “Prayer changes things.” But exactly what kinds of “things” does prayer change? Prayer changes the circumstances of our lives. Check out the story of Peter in prison in Acts 12:1-5. As the church prayed, God responded and an angel led Peter out of the prison. Prayer has the power to change desperate situations, to change problems and to remove obstacles. In fact, prayer has the power to change anything that stands between the believer and God’s perfect will for the believer’s life.

Support the Vision God often gives vision to one person while giving the resources and the talents to fulfill that vision to other people. By giving the vision to one, the skills to another, and the resources to yet another, any vision that God has imparted can be achieved. But, a single person cannot achieve it alone. As we work together, God gets the glory. Support the vision that God has given to those who lead and know that God has given you something to contribute to the effort.

Serve Wholeheartedly In the Bible, we are told that the highest position in the kingdom of God is a position that bears a different label, “servant”. God’s kingdom is totally upside down when it comes to the concepts of power and authority. A person must humble himself in order to be exalted, give in order to receive, die in order to live, and be the least in order to be the greatest. Look around you and find something that needs to be done at your church and then do it. Your church cannot succeed unless somebody is willing to serve in the nursery, empty the trash, greet and smile in the lobby and set up chairs. Acts of service are done, not for personal gain, but for the glory of God, will have eternal reward.

Give Regularly The way we make our money and the way we spend our money are two of the most revealing behaviors in our life. If something is valuable to us, we will invest in that thing. We demonstrate that God means more to us over and above all our other interests through bringing the tithe, the tenth of our income, into God’s house. From God’s perspective, it’s not about money. He doesn’t need our offering to stay afloat. It’s about our heart. If we truly possess a heart for God and His house, He can change the world through our life. Proverbs 3:6 (Living Bible) promises, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” As we take this approach, everything that is left revolves around God; it starts with God and it ends with God.

Attend Church Consistently Jesus intended for His people to be relational. He intended for us to have an ongoing relationship with Him, and He intended for us to have a meaningful relationship with one another. At the local level, our spiritual family consists of pastors and teachers, but also those who simply want to follow Christ and serve Him. Only in the context of other believers can you fully achieve your God-given destiny, because other believers will pray for you, help you, encourage you, and equip you for the service God wants you to provide for Him and for others. Perhaps this explains why the writer of Hebrews told the early Christians that they should be committed to the practice of assembling together (Hebrews 10:25). The person who is firmly planted in the rich soil of God’s house is destined to bloom.

Bring Others In the gospels, when Jesus met John and Andrew, the two men asked Him a very strange question. Having heard John the Baptist describe Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” John and Andrew approached Jesus and asked him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Jesus answered it in a very practical way. “Come and see,” He said (John 1:39, NLT). He invited them into His life. Jesus began His ministry with an invitation, and His followers today should do likewise. As modern-day followers of Christ, we should follow the Lord’s lead by inviting people to “come and see” that the Lord is good and to “come and see” what He is able to do in their lives. Learn to invite people to church. The best gift you can give someone is to introduce them to Jesus!

Take steps daily to GROW SPIRITUALLY. Commit to PRAY FAITHFULLY. Actively SUPPORT THE VISION of your local church. Be willing to SERVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Be obedient to scripture and GIVE REGULARLY. ATTEND CONSISTENTLY, for yourself and as an example to your family. Reach out, and INVITE OTHERS to join you.

As you commit to these disciplines, your life will be richer, you will be a blessing to those around you, and you will BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.
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