Live to Grow
Sunday 24 February 2019
We thank Pastor James Bahn for the good news this week. Continuing the build up to the official launch of Thrive Ministries, Pastor James highlights another pillar for healthy Christian life: spiritual growth.
Ephesians 4:11-15
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 13 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Pastor James begins by reaffirming God's love for us. God loves us for who we are, sinners though we be. Matt Chandler states "To be justified means it's all been paid for, past, present and future! That means Jesus is not shocked with your present struggles. He knew exactly what He was purchasing on the cross".

By choosing Jesus Christ as our saviour we have begun our journey to Him. However, as a child must mature into adulthood, so too must we mature spiritually to bring us closer to God's purpose for us. As it is written, we are made in the image of God and as we mature spiritually we come closer and closer to that image.

The reading gives us hints to the signs of our spiritual immaturity. Are we continually distracted by the attitudes and fashions of the day? Do we let our thoughts and feelings be guided by political correctness? Do we let others dictate to us that Christianity is nothing special, only one of many equally valid religions and philosophies? Do we let our emotions dictate our decisions and actions?

Thankfully, God has breathed his Word into the Bible, providing us with guidance and techniques to grow. For example, Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control". Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us "let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another".

Pastor James shows us the challenge not only of preparing for the launch of Thrive Ministries, but preparing ourselves to become mature Christians so that we may best represent God's love to those who have yet to choose Jesus Christ as their saviour. We are encouraged and supported to grow our spirituality by gathering together more often than just for Sunday service. So it is written, so shall it be done.

Author: Stan Williams
Photography: Stan Williams