Thoughts of...Growing Up
Our heavenly Father wants us to grow up (2 Peter 3:18, Heb 5:11-14, 1 Cor 3:1-3). Mature believers are able to discern between good and evil and are not tossed around by the winds of false doctrine (Rom 10:17, 1 Tim 4:1, 2 Tim 4:1-4). Mature children also bear fruit (Ps 1:1-3, John 15:1-5, Gal 5:22-23).
Especially in these crazy days before the Lord returns for His Bride, the clarion call to the Church is, “Watch! Be ready. Look up. And grow up.”
The Word of God is the spiritual meat we need to get healthy, stay healthy, and grow up. The purpose of the Church is not to entertain the goats but to feed the Lord’s sheep (John 21:15-17) so that they would mature and be equipped to go about the Father’s business (Eph 4:11-14). Accordingly, the Lord calls us to go to church services to be well-fed (Luke 10:38-42, Heb 10:23-25).
But that is not all. Take a closer look at Heb 10:25. The mature Christian will consistently attend the assembling of the believers, not only to be fed, but also to encourage others as we see the day of the Lord’s return approaching. The mature child of God consistently goes to Sunday services and mid-week fellowships to serve other believers and to bear fruit.
Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, gave us the ultimate example of ministering to each other in John 13. He also said it was more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). When we follow Jesus and do as He did, the Holy Spirit transforms spiritual flab into spiritual muscle, both in us and in the brother/sister to whom we are ministering. To grow up in the Lord, give of yourself to another. Invest in the lives of others that which God has invested in your life. Be an available vessel of God’s love and comfort when the believers assemble together. You will most likely not even know who needs God’s touch, or how to serve them, until you are at the service or fellowship. It is always exciting to find yourself in the midst of a Divine appointment, being used by the Lord to bless a brother/sister!
With that in mind, when should Christians not attend the gathering of the believers? When we are “too tired”? No, that is precisely when we need to go! When we obediently gather together to hear the Word of God and to minister to each other, the Spirit of God moves and refreshes our spirit, soul, and body (Luke 24:13-35). I always leave a gathering of God’s children more energetic and feeling better than when I arrived.
Should Christians forsake the assembly of the believers when we are emotionally upset or bummed out? No, that is precisely when we need to go! If we stay away and fester in our self-centeredness, we become more and more miserable. Instead, we should go to the service or fellowship, get bathed with the Word of God, and surround ourselves with our brothers/sisters in the Lord and He will faithfully strengthen, encourage, and comfort us (1 Cor 14:3, 2 Cor 1:3-4).
The world is experiencing the labor pains promised before the coming of the Lord. It is time for the Bride to make herself ready! Make sure you are well-fed. Be about the Father’s business, serving others and bearing fruit. Grow up. And look up!