01/12/2021 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
This may be the wrong time of the year to discuss growing, but in all fairness, it is a perfect time of the year. As grass, trees, and plants begin to go into their dormancy phase, it is important to understand how their health matters greatly now.
Take for example animals who hibernate during the winter months. They begin to eat voraciously as the days begin to get shorter. Bears are a great example of this. As they prepare for hibernation, a bear can consume up to 20,000 calories a day and can pack on 30 pounds a week. This fat reserve will take them through the harsh winter months, especially those in the northern United States. The preparation is all about quantity, and not about quality.
As the bears reawaken from their long sleep, they surprisingly shift focus on their diet. More than half of their diet is vegetarian based. Even though they are omnivores, or will eat just about anything, they recover faster by eating non-meat green sources of pure protein.
Growth in the church is very similar if you think about it. Things were dark, physically and spiritually at the time of the crucifixion. Jesus was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. When He rose from the dead, He appeared to the Apostles and many others. He ate with the disciples not only in the upper room, but also on the banks of the Sea of Galilee.
Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven, the Apostles were told to go into Jerusalem and wait. The Holy Spirit came upon them and the church was born on that day. In the beginning, there were some tough times. But as the church grew, Peter wrote to the New Christians scattered in Asia Minor and told them to grow in the Word, and only the Word. He said, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation ,,,” He was warning them to rid themselves of any bad religious behaviors they gorged on and eat a good diet of the message from Jesus. Those churches who followed Peter’s advice grew strong on a good diet, and awoke from the “sleep” of not having a High Priest in Christ.
The way for us to grow strong in our faith is to “eat” the good Word every day. Be careful of the other things you put into your mind; things that would have you stray away from God’s desire for you. Get rid of all the “junk food” and crave the pure spiritual Word, that with it your faith will grow strong, and you will then have the strength to resist the temptations of this world.
The church is poised and ready for phenomenal growth. People who are not regularly attending have had a craving stir inside of them. God is calling people to Himself. We as a church need to be strong, welcome those who are seeking spiritual health, and together grow on the pure spiritual milk which is God’s Word.