Growing relationships with God and people… bringing salvation to all
This is part 2 of 3.
Small groups are vital.
RELATE Seminar on Sunday the 31st. 5:30-8:30.
Paul said by now you ought all to be teachers.
There is room for you to grow at your pace. No kicking out of the nest. Perhaps there are roadblocks that stop you from getting on to God’s purpose. A myriad of things seem to always be obstacles. God wants you to do what He has called you to do in His life. Your problem does not disqualify you from ministering and ministry. God has a way of turning these problems into grace to give to others. Your struggles and problems make you a minister. You can reach people because of what God has brought you through and what you have experienced with Him.
Offering the next level. Offering another avenue of growth. God always uses processes to develop to maturity.
Our purpose for being here is God’s purpose. He needs Relate Church doing what He has called us to do.
Growing relationships with God and people… bringing salvation to all is our purpose. That is why were are here.
We are not going to do a bunch of stuff that doesn’t fulfill that statement. Our mission statement and our purpose statement are one and the same. There is no other statement to make. It all fits together. We grow in and with God. We grow with people in God. We prepare to do ministry to help others. We minister to others. We give God the glory for what He does through us.
The Three Steps
- Growing relationships with God.
- Growing relationships with people.
- RELATE. Prepares you for spiritual maturity so that you can get on to ministry. RELATE is the fun slide down and is where we bring someone else with us.
You were drawn here by the Holy Spirit. Church is important to God. It is a place of invitation by Him through us. People come today to see if God accepts you. We are the demonstration of that. Sunday morning is where you hear direct communication from God to the group. Why should that guy be in church every Sunday if you are not there? The strength of the body is in being present.
Growing takes intention. Anyone can have a casual relationship, but it takes work and grace and intention to grow together in Christ.
Growing in a relationship with God isn’t just about you and God. It is about you becoming part of His family. Whatever got you here isn’t going to disqualify you. God is growing us into His home. We are family. It doesn’t really matter why you came today.
The Home God is Building
19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
What God says goes. God gives us the good life to live.
God invites all of us to:
- leave our former lives and come into His home
- embrace His values and His way of living and lifestyle
- receive what He says is good
- come into His clean home
He invites us into His home, the church. Today the church is in shambles. People come to church and want Jesus. But when they come to His home His home doesn’t look any different. We need to be showing others that we love living in His home. We lovingly have these values and we want you to become part of them.
Coming to Christ is me deciding to live with Him His way and to live with His people His way.
No one who has met Christ can remain the same.
Take an example from the Old Testament. How did someone become an Israelite? How was someone grafted into the vine? The process is in principle the same but a little different in the New Testament.
Remember how God called the Israelites His people. He said essentially and I am paraphrasing here that if you want to have a relationship with Me you must be set apart unto Me in everything in life. The same thing holds true for us according to the Spirit of the Law and not under the letter of the Law. We are set apart from the world in every way. We truly are in the world but not of the world.
Rahab: A Beautiful Example of Becoming Part of God’s Family
Look at Rahab as an example for what becoming ingrafted looks like.
- Joshua 1
- Joshua 2
- Joshua 6
- Matthew 1
- Hebrews 11
- James 2
Rahab and her family were protected and saved. They became Israelites. Rahab’s lineage includes Jesus the Messiah. Rahab was not a Jew; she was a Canaanitess. Amazing story. Coming to Jesus is no different. You decide the same way Rahab did. By faith.
Small groups are where people can hear people’s reasons for believing what they believe and helps you to grow into alignment with God and His people. Small groups are a place of invitation. Welcome and learn about the ways God has to teach us. Learning takes time. We teach these issues with hope, peace, and love. There is time to learn.
And now a test
- Have I aligned myself with what God says about how to live and believe or do I still have opinions shaped by my old (the world’s) culture?
This is what step 2 is all about.
Romans 12:1-2 (AMP)
1I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Our intentional way of doing relate is small groups. As Christ’s followers it is imperative that we do this. The principles for this were established by God in the Old Testament. Some of the verses are listed below.
- Exodus 12:48-49
- Exodus 22:21-22
- Exodus 23:12
- Leviticus 19:33-34
- Leviticus 24:22
- 1 Kings 8:41-43
41“Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake 42(for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, 43hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.
When a foreigner lives in the land don’t take advantage of him Love him like one of your own. Immigration without bringing into full citizenship is keeping people in slavery and is morally wrong.
Romans 12:1-2. Do this. God helping you, lay everything down before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Embrace His culture and leave the world’s culture behind. God brings out the best in you.
- Grow in God.
- Help others grow in God. Be a part of one or more small groups.
- Do some kind of ministry. Stop counting yourself as disqualified for ministry.
This process happens intentionally. Nothing of it happens by accident. Good things happen with intention. Bad things happen accidentally. Have you committed to growing in relationships with God’s people?
If you do some sort of ministry for the rest of this year you will grow beyond where you are today. Some of you need to make it a goal. What is standing in the way? What needs to change in me in order to take the next step?
Next week we will talk about RELATE. Also doing a parenting series. Another avenue to get people involved. Nobody will be left behind. The train is moving. Hop on. We are here to grow and to help you. What if people start coming in? Will we be ready for who God brings?
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.