Connected People Grow Up

(By Pastor Jeremy Miller) 

It’s Time to Grow Up - Have you ever had someone tell you “Grow up."? You’ve heard this before.  Wives you’ve said this to your husband, husbands you’ve said this to yourself. It’s time to grow up. In the south, we said it differently, we said, “Stop horsin’ around."

There comes a point in all of our lives where we have to grow up. And this is true of our relationship with God as well. Most of us don’t decide to grow up until we get connected to a purpose.

Confession Time -
For me, my first semester of college was fun, there was a lot of pranks, a lot of video game playing, I blew up my college dorm room (totally separate story), and then I met Jennifer. And quickly realized that if I had any real shot with her I needed to stop horsin’ around and grow up.

Because it takes connecting to a purpose for you to start getting your act together. Because Connected people change. Our Mission is to connect people to God to become fully devoted followers of Christ.
• If you’re not changing, you’re not walking with Jesus.
• If you’re not changing, you need to reevaluate whether you’re connected to God.
• There’s nothing more dangerous to your faith than to become stagnant - than to start drifting.
• Because God wants all of you, your emotions, your habits, your relationships, your anger issues, how you treat other people. What he wants to do is change you and I to become more like Jesus.

Jesus taught us what it meant to follow Him. In Luke he said this:
Luke 9: 23 - Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

  • Disciple - This is not a word we hear thrown around a lot. It’s a word used to refer to someone who is learning or following a teacher with the goal to become like the Jesus had 12 Disciples. 12 people who wanted to become like him, who wanted to go where he was going.

He tells his 12 this: If you want to be my disciple…

You have to deny yourself
You have to put your own plans behind His.
You have to start with Jesus.

And you’ve got to do this daily.

Sometimes as believers we get stuck in our past prayers when Jesus has more planned for us. We get stuck at the altar, when Jesus is inviting us to follow Him. Your past prayer connects you to God, but it’s what you do afterward that that keeps you growing.

If connected people grow, then how do you stay connected?
• How connected people continue to grow:
1. Read your Bible.

  • Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
  •  If you’re not reading the Bible then you’re not learning who God is. If you’re in a relationship with someone and you stop being interested in learning about who they are, you stop being in a relationship with that person. This is the one big reason that marriage suffer, because we reach a point where we stop being curious about our spouse.
  • At the end of the day, if you’re not reading your Bible you’re not learning who God is. And once you stop learning about who He is, you stop growing and your relationship with Him suffers.

2. Pray - Communication

  • Colossians 4:2 - “Devote yourselves to prayer.”
  • Connected people communicate. If we read the Bible to learn who God is, then we pray to communicate who we are. Communication is vital part of every relationship.

3. Regular Church Attendance

  • Attending church connects you to a local body of believers. Whether its here, or somewhere else you need to be connected to a body of believers.
  •  Romans 12:4-5 - For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

4.Connecting to a Community - Life Group

  •  Life Change happens in Community. The only way that you and I can continue to grow is if we’re rubbing shoulders with others who are working on their faith. You need a safe place to ask questions, to seek prayer, and share your struggles.
  •  We’ve got an easy step starting next week. This is the last week to sign up for Life groups. We launch them next Sunday. All we’re inviting 4 weeks. Give it 4 weeks. And after that if you didn’t sense God working in you take a break.
  •  At least show up on Sundays at 10am or Wednesdays at 7pm. We’ll have options for you here.
  • Hebrews 10:25 - “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

5. Sharing Your Faith

  • The best way you learn anything is by teaching it.
  • Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
  • This isn’t meant for just pastors.This is meant for every follower of Christ. Your purpose is to make disciples of others.

5 Practices that will help you grow -

  •  If you’re doing these things you can’t help but grow. And if you’re not doing these 5 things, start today. Pick a simple way to begin and start growing. To be fair, these are not too dramatic or even to exciting. But they cause you to grow.

• Naaman and Elisha
• PP-2 Kings 5:10Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 11But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”

• You’re homework this week, is to start 1 of these 5 things this week. Which one do you need to start?