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The Word For Today

Do You Want Your Church to Grow? (2)

You are also called to instruct others. 'Go...make disciples...teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you...' (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV). When your focus is on not only winning people to Jesus but making them disciples of Jesus, He promises, '...I am with you...' (Matthew 28:20 NKJV).

Today we are raising a scripturally unenlightened generation. In a survey conducted in New York City, nine out of ten people couldn't repeat one of the Ten Commandments or name one of the first four books of the New Testament. One man thought Dan and Beersheba were husband and wife! Another thought an epistle was the wife of an apostle! We smile, but it's a deadly serious issue. God said, 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.' Jesus said, '...Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures...' (Mark 12:24 NIV)? Many of the problems we seek counselling for could be resolved and in some cases avoided altogether, if we took time each day to get into God's Word. The reason many of us are spiritually sick is not because the medicine failed, but because we don't take it. Basically, we're all motivated by reward. So read this: 'This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success' (Joshua 1:8 NKJV).

Do you want to be strong spiritually? Get into the Scriptures. Do you want to succeed in life? Get into the Scriptures.

Soulfood : 1 Sam 11-13, Lk 2:16-35, Ps 95, Prov 16:31-33

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Do You Want Your Church to Grow? (1)

God doesn't mind your church having a small congregation. What He objects to is your church having a small vision, for that limits what He can do through you.

The story's told of a tourist visiting a small English village. He asked an old gentleman, 'Is there anything special about this place?' The old man smiled and said, 'Yes, you can start here and go anywhere else on earth.' In Acts 5:28 the New Testament church was accused of '...filling Jerusalem with your doctrine...' And in Acts 17:6, Paul and Silas were accused of '...turning the world upside down...' What impact!

God has a plan for church growth and you have a part to play. You are called to: invite others. You say, 'Isn't that my pastor's job?' No, your pastor is a shepherd. Shepherds don't give birth to sheep; sheep do that. When was the last time you brought someone to church? If you discovered a cure for cancer or Alzheimer's, wouldn't you share it? Jesus said, 'A certain man gave a great supper and invited many and sent his servant...to say to those who were invited, "Come, for all things are now ready"' (Luke 14:16-17 NKJV). When the invited guests started making excuses as to why they couldn't come, 'The master said to the servant, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled"' (Luke 14:23 NKJV). Note the words 'compel them to come.' Pick them up in your car, arrange breakfast before church or lunch afterwards. Get creative, but whatever you do, bring them to church!

Soulfood : 1 Sam 8-10, Lk 2:1-15, Ps 64, Prov 16:27-30

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What Will You Leave Behind?

Paul probably didn't leave any money or property when he died, but he did leave a legacy - a superior one! His legacy was a combination of his writings, those he won to Christ, those he mentored and his enduring influence. Every day your life touches other lives in unseen ways. You don't have to know someone personally in order to experience the blessing of their legacy. Like walking into an empty room and catching a whiff of someone's perfume, your impact can continue to be felt long after you're gone. Usually we associate legacies with dying and we don't particularly like the topic. Or we assume that since our legacy won't be revealed for years, we don't need to start investing in it now.

In some cases, we feel like we've little or no control over what we leave behind anyway. Not so: 'A good man leaves an inheritance.' What will yours be? More importantly, what's it going to cost you? Since the best gifts aren't always handed down in your will, why not try for something more meaningful - something that points to who you were. It's one thing to measure success by the money in your bank account, the size of your property holdings and the value of your stocks portfolio. It's entirely another to measure it by intangibles like being a faithful marriage partner, raising great kids, building God's Kingdom and leaving your light burning brightly when you go. All great legacies come with a price tag.

To move beyond mediocrity, you must invest every day in the accounts of those who follow you!

Soulfood : 1 Sam 4-7, Lk 1:67-80, Ps 59:9-17, Prov 16:23-26

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