Means of Growth posted by John Sorensen on Oct 08, 2018
Have you tried to read any product labels recently? Talk about complicated! Have you noticed that the more advanced we make in life, the more complicated things become? Unfortunately, the same complicated approach is infiltrating our spiritual lives too.
So, it’s time to get back to the basics. The product label on the Spiritual Growth package contains five words: Bible, Prayer, Worship, Fellowship, and Witness.
First: Bible – The place to begin is your commitment to read the Bible. The Bible describes itself as “God-breathed, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. It’s indispensable for our growth in the Lord. Start in the Gospel of John. Read a chapter a day. Read more if you want to but not less. Move next to Acts. Then keep going from there.
Second: Prayer – Prayer is one of the greatest privileges of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible is God speaking to us. Prayer is us speaking to God. The simple ACTS acrostic provides a useful guideline:
- Adoration –praising God for who He is.
- Confession –admitting our sin and receiving His forgiveness.
- Thanksgiving –thanking God for all that He does.
- Supplication –bringing our needs and requests to Him in simple faith. 1Thess 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing, which makes us aware of our dependence on the Lord at all times.
Third: Worship – To worship God is to honor, reverence and adore Him, giving Him the supreme place in our lives. Worship deepens our relationship with our Lord. Let me emphasize two important avenues of worship. Personal, private worship is a daily investment of time that pays an amazing dividend. With your Bible and your ACTS prayer list, this one-on-one encounter with Jesus is rich and rewarding. It’s the place where His daily grace and strength comes into our lives. Corporate worship is a gathering together of God’s people at church to engage in prayer, music, and teaching of God’s Word. Taken together, these two provide for a necessity of spiritual growth.
Fourth: Fellowship – How do you define it? Well, you know, I heard someone say, “two or more fellows in the same ship.” When I first heard that, I thought it a bit corny. But it does get to the heart of the matter of spiritual fellowship. Here, I think, is the main point. Through calm seas or crashing waves, through soothing sunshine or raging rainstorms, these people are in the same ship together. They need each other, depend on each other, encourage each other, challenge, support each other. Christian fellowship is all of this plus praying for one another, caring for one another and developing friendships with one another. Perhaps this is behind the promise of the Gospel that where two or three believers are gathered together, Jesus is in their midst.
Fifth: Witness – I was recently in the same room with a brand new grandmother. You’ll never guess what she wanted to talk about, along, of course, with tons of pictures. I was recently in the same room with a sports fan, and you’ll never guess what he wanted to talk about…and talk about…and talk about!! My point is that we talk about the things which are important to us. So, I guess you could conclude that some Christians don’t talk about Jesus because He’s not very important to them. As you become more and more involved in the first four means of growth (Bible, Prayer, Worship, and Fellowship), Jesus Christ will become more and more important in your life. You’ll naturally want to talk about Him. Witnessing is simply telling others about Jesus and why the Bible says Jesus needs to be important to them.
We would count it a privilege to become your “Partner in Growing.” This our topic this week at Evangelism Explosion. For a free Partners in Growing booklet on the Five Means of Growth, go to ShareLife.Today and look for the information. Then, get after these five means of growth this week and start to grow! May God bless you richly as you do!
This is a transcript from Conversations with John Sorensen #10: Means of Growth