Thursday, January 9, 2014

Treasuring Christ Together

What is your treasure?
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 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. ~Hebrews 10:24,25

This past Sunday (as cold as it was) Pastor began a new sermon series entitled “Treasuring Christ Together.” He began our first Sunday of the new year by focusing on the “together” part of treasuring Christ. Think about it... the wonderful idea of Christians coming together in real and meaningful ways and doing life together in such a way that Jesus Christ is treasured.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:46,47

One of the ways we accomplish that treasuring Christ together here at Lakeside Fellowship is by patterning ourselves after the New Testament church and the way they conducted themselves. Our leadership here has a two pronged strategy of large group worship and small group fellowship. We read in these two verses in Acts chapter two the people of the new and first church attended worship together at the temple, where their large numbers could be accommodated, as well as meeting together in smaller groups at each other’s homes.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. ~Romans 15:5-7

The goal of our mode and type of fellowship is ultimately the name of Jesus Christ would be exalted and treasured in the lives of His people and displayed before an unbelieving world. Whether we are worshiping in one large group on Sunday morning or searching the Scriptures in smaller groups on Wednesday nights, there should be a unity of mind, voice, and spirit in such a way that the word would take notice. This is exactly what Jesus prayed for His disciples and for those believers who would follow after.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ~John 17:20,21

Our lives as Christians should be so intertwined and unified that the very unity and “oneness” of the Trinity should be on display for the rest of the world. It is then that Christ is treasured together. I appreciated Pastor’s emphasis on small group participation and attendance. It is in our Growth Groups that we are best able to express the intimate and close fellowship we need and desire. Pastor shared with us the four main purposes of Lakeside’s Growth Groups:
  • Study God’s Word – Acts 2:42
  • Stimulate spiritual growth – Ephesians 4:11-16
  • Share life together – Acts 2:42
  • Serve one another – Galatians 5:13,14
Our response to the message last Sunday should be one of two things:
  1. If you have not been Born Again, you should want to belong to this wonderful “family of God” and experience the sweet fellowship of God and His people by trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
  2. If you are a believer then you should respond by committing to study God’s Word, stimulating spiritual growth, sharing life together, and serving God’s people by joining yourself to one of our Growth Groups.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4

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