Becoming like Christ is a life-long process that begins through a life-changing decision to repent and follow Christ. Tune in to listen to podcasts that can guide you in your own spiritual journey.
Essentials in the Body of Christ
The early church’s growth was organic (natural). They had the right focus. Pursuit of Christ. The love of Jesus and it manifested in the way they lived. In fact, in the church it manifested in 4 ways. The essentials we’d like to focus on in this episode.
Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Together We're Blessed
God's promise to meet your needs is v. 19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
God says, "I will meet all your needs." Then why do people have needs? I see a lot of people who have tremendous needs. I see a lot of Christians who have tremendous needs. Why aren't they being met? Is God a liar? Is His promise not valid? God says, I'll meet all your needs, yet I see a lot of needs, even in this church that aren't being met. What's the problem?
Listen to this episode and understand the context of the promise in Philippians 4:19.
Encouraging One Another
While many of the lessons and classes we've taken while growing up are very good, there's one area of lessons that most of us have never had any public, formal training in. Yet it's the most important area of all. And that is the area of Relationships. We all need lessons on relationships.
In this series, Better Together, we’re looking at principles, important things we need in our relationships - first with God, with our family and loved ones and of course the church. Last week we looked at Praying Together, and this week we look at How to Encourage One Another - something that would help us in our horizontal relationships - man to others.
Hebrews 10:25 “...Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The broken condition of this world that we’re living in should compel us to get on our knees. We must realize that prayers can’t be answered unless they are prayed. If we want to have knowledge of God’s will, agreement with His designs, enjoyment of His presence, and conformity to His image, then prayer must flow from our lips.
Prayer is key in the church’s relationship with God. Prayer is how the church communicates with a Holy and Divine God. Prayer is how God has chosen to hear the petitions of the church and prayer is how the church makes her petitions known to God. If the church is the bride of Christ, then communication through prayer must exist.
Today's episode talks about another evidence of having a true, vibrant relationship with Christ. This is the practical part of Christianity. If we truly have admitted our sinfulness, believed in Jesus and committed to make Him our Lord and Savior, then there are certain things that will show, trademarks - evidences of this real relationship - it’s beyond the practice of religion, and other spiritual practices.
The first one, which we discussed last week, the first trademark of a true believer is he/she presents him/herself as a living sacrifice - The Great Surrender. The second trademark is Transformation.
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The Great Surrender
As a working student in the late 90s, I worked in a bank, and since we always handled money, the bank made us attend a training called the “Counterfeit Verification” seminar. The first and most important point they told us in that seminar was this, “You don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. You study genuine bills until you master the look of the real thing. Then when you see the bogus money you recognize it.” The same principle applies to the spiritual journey that we each have. When we encounter others who claim or say they are Christians, we are only able to discern and really identify if their Christianity is real, if they have a growing and vibrant relationship with God and not just religion. We recognize true followers of Christ by knowing and mastering the real thing.