GROW

Walk with God

Bible Reading

The Bible is the Word of God.  It tells us who He is, who we are, how the world came to be, and about eternity.  Reading the Bible is a great way to come to know God, His ways in the world, and His will for you.  As you read your Bible, take time to prayerfully consider what truths God may be showing you.  Ask yourself some questions as you read (you may want a journal or notebook to jot down what you learn):

  • What am I learning about God?
  • Are there any promises?
  • Are there any commands or warnings?
  • Are there any sins I should confess?
  • Are there any examples to emulate?
  • How does God work in the lives of people and how do they respond?
  • Do I understand what I just read in its historical, grammatical context?

Pray for His guidance to help you understand what you are reading.  We would like to give you a special chronological, abridged edition of the Bible called “The Story” to help you more easily see God’s plan for the ages and your place in it.

Prayer

Prayer is talking to God.  People sometimes wonder, “Why talk to God when He already knows everything?”  Prayer isn’t a time to bring God up to date with world events, sports, politics, or even what’s going on in your life.  Prayer isn’t about bending the divine will to mine, but about getting to know God and His heart.

Think of the kinds of conversations you have with close friends or family members who already know you intimately: the laughter, the banter, the apologies, and the give and take.  Jesus compared God to a loving heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts to those who ask Him.  Prayer is a time to share your heart with God; to relate to Him; to ask for provision for needs, protection from assaults, strength for trials, and comfort for sorrows.  Prayer includes thanking God for His goodness, praising God for His greatness, and just quietly letting Him show you yourself and transform your heart to crave Him and His eternal kingdom.

When Jesus’ disciples (followers) asked Him to teach them to pray He told them to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Lk. 11:2-4).”  Prayer is not a one dimensional, rote precursor to a meal, or insistence on a new toy.  It is rich, robust, variegated communication with our loving divine Father and Maker who rules from the heavens.  It is setting Him and His name apart as special and sacred through love.  It is asking His kingdom to be established on the earth and His will to be done in my life and in the affairs of man.  It is asking, forgiving, resisting, and resting.  Please, take time to talk with God – He loves you, He cares, and He has the power to change the world and the wisdom to know when and how to use that power!  Relationships can’t grow in intimacy without regular, personal communication.  Please contact us if you would like us to pray with you or for you.

Baptism

Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (return to heaven), one of His disciples, Peter, proclaimed the truth of Jesus’ deity, death for our sins, and resurrection from the dead as proof of Christ’s divinity.  He preached this message in Jerusalem to the very people who had rejected and murdered Christ.  Those “that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day were added unto them (Christ’s followers) about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).”  There are several different kinds of baptism described in the Bible: the baptism of Moses, the baptism of John, Spirit baptism, water baptism, etc…  Baptism was a sign of public agreement or identification with a particular message or person. 

Think of a wedding ring: it is a sign of two people who have entered into the relationship of marriage.  The ring doesn’t make them married (the vows do that), but it is a public declaration that they are married and no longer single.  It identifies their marital status, that they belong to another, and that they agreed to marry.  Most spouses wouldn’t be pleased if their beloved decided that they just didn’t want to wear “that old ring” anymore.

When those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized, they were publically declaring that they had believed the truths that Jesus was God and had died for their sins, and they had accepted Him as their Savior.   Baptism by immersion (to be dunked under water) is the public sign that you have received and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It pictures His death (placed into the water), burial in the grave (under the water’s surface), and resurrection (rising back out of the water).  Baptism not only pictures what Jesus has done for us; but it also pictures what God has done in us through making us His children.  It shows our death to trusting in false hopes for life and happiness; and the new life we have in Christ (Romans 6:3-10). 

Baptism is the way you let the world know that you have trusted Christ as your Savior and you are one of His followers.  Baptism is so important that Jesus told His followers to go into all nations and teach and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).  If you have trusted Christ as your Savior and have never been scripturally baptized, please contact us to discuss this important step of commitment and obedience.

Baptism

Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension (return to heaven), one of His disciples, Peter, proclaimed the truth of Jesus’ deity, death for our sins, and resurrection from the dead as proof of Christ’s divinity.  He preached this message in Jerusalem to the very people who had rejected and murdered Christ.  Those “that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day were added unto them (Christ’s followers) about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).”  There are several different kinds of baptism described in the Bible: the baptism of Moses, the baptism of John, Spirit baptism, water baptism, etc…  Baptism was a sign of public agreement or identification with a particular message or person. 

Think of a wedding ring: it is a sign of two people who have entered into the relationship of marriage.  The ring doesn’t make them married (the vows do that), but it is a public declaration that they are married and no longer single.  It identifies their marital status, that they belong to another, and that they agreed to marry.  Most spouses wouldn’t be pleased if their beloved decided that they just didn’t want to wear “that old ring” anymore.

When those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized, they were publically declaring that they had believed the truths that Jesus was God and had died for their sins, and they had accepted Him as their Savior.   Baptism by immersion (to be dunked under water) is the public sign that you have received and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It pictures His death (placed into the water), burial in the grave (under the water’s surface), and resurrection (rising back out of the water).  Baptism not only pictures what Jesus has done for us; but it also pictures what God has done in us through making us His children.  It shows our death to trusting in false hopes for life and happiness; and the new life we have in Christ (Romans 6:3-10). 

Baptism is the way you let the world know that you have trusted Christ as your Savior and you are one of His followers.  Baptism is so important that Jesus told His followers to go into all nations and teach and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20).  If you have trusted Christ as your Savior and have never been scripturally baptized, please contact us to discuss this important step of commitment and obedience.

Church Family

The Bible describes the church as the body and bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:22-33). These are relational terms that describe believers being joined to Christ. When you receive Jesus you become a child of God (John 1:12), are given the gift of eternal life (Jn. 3:16), and are placed into the body of Christ (the church) by faith (1 Cor. 12:13). The word “church” means “a called out assembly”, and in the New Testament refers primarily to local groups of Christ’s followers (believers) who from the very beginning gathered together to be taught God’s word, to encourage each other in following Jesus, to remember His sacrifice on the cross through the observance of the Lord’s Supper (a symbolic reenactment of Jesus’ final meal with His disciples prior to His crucifixion), and to pray (Acts 2:42).  A church is people; not a place or building.  The Bible regularly uses familial terms such as “brother” and “children”, and terms of endearment such as “beloved” to describe relationships within the church. The Christian life is not intended to be a “Lone Ranger” activity, but is to be lived out in the context of church family as we learn to love each other and God. Your spiritual growth will be aided by a good church home, and if you don’t currently have one, we invite you to connect with our church family.

Church Family

The Bible describes the church as the body and bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:22-33). These are relational terms that describe believers being joined to Christ. When you receive Jesus you become a child of God (John 1:12), are given the gift of eternal life (Jn. 3:16), and are placed into the body of Christ (the church) by faith (1 Cor. 12:13). The word “church” means “a called out assembly”, and in the New Testament refers primarily to local groups of Christ’s followers (believers) who from the very beginning gathered together to be taught God’s word, to encourage each other in following Jesus, to remember His sacrifice on the cross through the observance of the Lord’s Supper (a symbolic reenactment of Jesus’ final meal with His disciples prior to His crucifixion), and to pray (Acts 2:42).  A church is people; not a place or building.  The Bible regularly uses familial terms such as “brother” and “children”, and terms of endearment such as “beloved” to describe relationships within the church. The Christian life is not intended to be a “Lone Ranger” activity, but is to be lived out in the context of church family as we learn to love each other and God. Your spiritual growth will be aided by a good church home, and if you don’t currently have one, we invite you to connect with our church family.

Following Jesus

Jesus told His followers, “If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31). The Apostle Paul told the churches at Corinth and Philippi to be imitators of him as he was of Christ and to follow his manner of life. In the biblical sense of the word, a disciple is not just a student but a follower who imitates the life of their teacher because they are convinced of the worth and truth of their teachings and doctrine. Discipleship is the process by which new believers learn how to live out their faith from the example and teaching of mature believers.  Jesus called a small group of disciples to Him (“come follow me”), spent time with them, taught them, prayed with them, showed them how to walk by faith, called them to commitment and obedience, and sent them out to minister to others. Your greatest opportunities for spiritual growth will come as you spend time with, learn from, and cultivate relationships with mature Christians. We would like to invite you to be part of a mentoring Bible study to help introduce you to the foundational truths of the Christian life and be encouraged in your walk with God. Please contact us if you would be interested in joining a discipleship Bible study.

Following Jesus

Jesus told His followers, “If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31). The Apostle Paul told the churches at Corinth and Philippi to be imitators of him as he was of Christ and to follow his manner of life. In the biblical sense of the word, a disciple is not just a student but a follower who imitates the life of their teacher because they are convinced of the worth and truth of their teachings and doctrine. Discipleship is the process by which new believers learn how to live out their faith from the example and teaching of mature believers.  Jesus called a small group of disciples to Him (“come follow me”), spent time with them, taught them, prayed with them, showed them how to walk by faith, called them to commitment and obedience, and sent them out to minister to others. Your greatest opportunities for spiritual growth will come as you spend time with, learn from, and cultivate relationships with mature Christians. We would like to invite you to be part of a mentoring Bible study to help introduce you to the foundational truths of the Christian life and be encouraged in your walk with God. Please contact us if you would be interested in joining a discipleship Bible study.