May 29 2016

Putting Down Roots

Paul was thrilled with the people of the church of Thessalonica – for a number of reasons.

In the past few weeks  - like a lot of you…. We have planted a garden.    In this garden I’ve got some peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, cabbage…a bunch of different things……

When we FIRST put those plants in the ground….they looked pretty sickly.   I’ll be honest….we lost a couple of plants when we got some hail…and the rest just didn’t look good.    

Over the course of the next couple of weeks though, I noticed something.   I noticed that they started to stand up on their own again..no longer were they leaning over…but it looks like they took root, and they’re growing – they’re actually getting bigger!    

We can compare this to the Christian faith.    When a believer first believes….it seems like it may be touch and go for a bit….we wonder if that belief is going to TAKE ROOT…if the person’s faith is real –if it’s going to grow.   

Sometimes an apparent new believer’s faith seems to die – they just kind of wander away…..and they never grow.   But in time, as God nourishes the believer’s faith…we see them start to grow.   In time they no longer resemble that little seedling that they started out as…but they become the mature Christian.  

Does that describe you?    Take a look at your life --- are you the same Christian that you started out as a year ago…2 years ago?    5 year ago?    Maybe longer?    Have you grown?   

In 1 thessalonians we read today about a group of believers becoming firmly planted in the faith – in growing and their faith blossoming.    We read about how eventually…..their young faith is expected to produce fruit.  

He WANTED to see them grow in their faith.   I want to challenge you to THINK about your growth as a Christian.   ARE you growing?     If not…why not?    

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May 17 2016

The Feed and Care of Baby Christians

Last week we looked at what the apostle Paul had to say about the roles of Fathers in the lives of children.   Not only is it true of PHYSICAL parents – meaning dads and their biological children (and some of the same stuff applies to moms, too).    But many of the SAME things were true of SPIRITUAL dads – Spiritual fathers.     Paul described HIMSELF as a Spiritual Father – meaning that he was acting in a fatherly manner toward the church in Thessalonica.    He watched out for them, he worked for them, he encouraged and exhorted them.   

But then…in v. 13 here he is going to have some things to say about why he was so proud of them – why they were such a joy to him.    Last week I drew the correlation from what Paul said about the role of Fathers to point out that WE OUGHT to have the same type of feelings or commitment to bringing the Gospel to others…..

THIS week we can look at what it says about what makes a good Spiritual CHILD.     Let’s see what Paul has to say about those that HEAR the Gospel—and about how they are to respond.   This role can also describe many of us in the church.   

We’re going to get to Thessalonians in just a few minutes..but first I want to look at a few other quick verses…

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May 12 2016

Spiritual Fathers (and Mothers)

Did you know the Bible talks about how to be a good parent?    Specifically, today’s text actually refers to what a good father is…..How to be a good Father.  Ironically, I’m covering this text on MOTHER’S DAY….maybe on Father’s Day I’ll preach a message about how to be a good mother!  

The apostle Paul has some things to say about what a good father is—as he’s been that “father” of sorts to the Thessalonians.   Today’s passage can tell us a lot about what we Fathers should be for our children, as well as present a picture of what a “Spiritual Father” ought to be.  

The fact is, Christians in general – men AND women are called to do many of the same things that Paul talks about here.   God uses ordinary Christians to reach the world.     Think about who God has placed in YOUR life to reach.   

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