Our Second FamilyJuly 18-22
Connecting with God Personally
He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:5-6 (ESV)
After hours of effort, he reached the top, jumped into the air waving his front legs, and crashed to the ground. After recovering, he slowly climbed the tree again, jumped, and fell to the ground. The turtle tried again and again while a couple of birds sitting on a branch watched his sad efforts. Finally, the female bird turned to her mate and chirped, “Dear, I think it’s time to tell him he’s adopted.”
It’s important we know that being adopted into God’s family is the starting place of our relationship with Him. The Apostle Paul wrote that our adoption into God’s family was “according to the good pleasure of His will.” God’s plan was for you to be a part of His family. Beginning with Adam and Eve, the entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love Him, honor Him, and reign with Him forever. Fellowship is a word we use to describe living in God’s family, loving each other as family, and working together as a church family.
Our goal at Second is to help everyone Connect, Grow, and Serve. This starts with Connecting with God personally. That means becoming a committed follower and disciple of Jesus Christ. This week we will unpack more of what it means to be a part of our Second family. In the meantime, if you have questions about becoming a Christian you can shoot us a quick email and one of our leaders would love to answer your questions. email@example.com
Praise God for inviting you to be a part of His heavenly family. Thank God for adopting you into His family.
Connecting with God Corporately
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, – Acts 2:46 (ESV)
A young fellow who was fed up with church went to see this wise old Christian in his cabin to get some advice. He told him all the things that were bothering him about church, and how he felt that he would be better off without the company of other Christians. As he was speaking, the old man silently took the fire tongs and removed red-hot glowing coal from the middle of the fire, and set it on the hearth. The coal glowed for a while, but eventually dimmed and turned black. He let it sit there a while and then took the tongs and placed the coal back in the middle of the fire. Within seconds the coal was glowing red hot once again. The young man took the wordless lesson and left determined to stay with church. Just as coals soon burn out when they are removed from the company of other coals, we will not last long in the faith if we are removed from true fellowship.
The New Testament church knew they needed each other to keep their flame hot for Christ. The church was “devoted” to coming together. The imperfect tense of the verb means this was ongoing, occurring over and over, again and again. All Christians were called to be a part of the church body as they grew in their faith.
At Second, we define a follower of Jesus as someone who Connects, Grows, and Serves. Yesterday, we talked about connecting with God personally. Today, we are talking with God corporately. We invite all guests who are considering membership at Second Baptist Church to join us for our next Discover second Class. This class is required for membership and is offered periodically throughout the year. This is just a starting point but a good way to get connected to the church. You can sign up online or sign up at church on Sunday. You can also go to the church website and click on the Connect tab and see various ways you can connect with our Second family.
Thank God for giving you a local body of believers to encourage you in your walk with Christ. Ask God to grow your understanding of the value of continually meeting with a church family.
Growing with God Personally
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. – Colossians 1:28-29 (CSB)
In a chapter about rethinking discipleship, James Emery White writes, “Some of you may remember comedian Yakov Smirnoff. He said when he first came to the United States from Russia he wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk–you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice–you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, what a country!”
The goal of the early church was to help baby Christians mature in the faith. Paul wanted to “present everyone mature in Christ.” The goal of discipleship, therefore, is not only to make converts that make converts but for all believers to become increasingly like Jesus.
Our goal at Second is to help everyone Connect, Grow, and Serve. When we are babies someone has to feed us. But when we mature we can feed ourselves. Have you learned how to feed yourself spiritually? Learning how to develop a personal devotional life is essential to maturing in Christ.
Thank God you are able to feed yourself spiritually. Thank Him for the areas where you’ve seen maturity in your spiritual life. Thank God for giving us the weapons we need to win our spiritual battles.
Growing with God Corporately
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2:42 (ESV)
Two pals are sitting in a pub watching the eleven o’clock news. A report comes on about a man threatening to jump from the 20th floor of a downtown building. One friend turns to the other and says, “I’ll bet you ten bucks the guy doesn’t jump.” “It’s a bet,” agrees his buddy. A few minutes later, the man on the ledge jumps, so the loser hands his pal a $10 bill. “I can’t take your money,” his friend admits. “I saw him jump earlier on the six-o’clock news.” “Me, too,” said the other buddy. “But I didn’t think he’d do it again!”(Ohio Motorist, Reader’s Digest)
Although the previous story is silly and fictitious, it illustrates that some people learn slower than others. In Acts 2, the early church had a commitment to keep learning together. The Apostles taught them the things they had learned from Christ and that which the Holy Spirit had revealed to them. The church needed to be taught to think Biblically. We have that teaching preserved in the New Testament and the Old Testament. The new members listened eagerly and endeavored to obey that which they were taught. A true follower of Christ is always eager to know about his Master and what He teaches.
At Second Baptist, we are committed to teaching and learning the Bible together so we can live out our faith in a way that honors God. How would you rate your ability to think biblically about current events and the decisions you are making? On our church website, you can click on the Grow tab and see multiple ministries that can help you grow with our church family.
Praise God for the beauty of His Word and for giving us a way to know His will and way. Thank God for Pastor Jim and others who faithfully teach us God’s word.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. – Romans 12:6-8 (ESV)
Joe had been away from his family for two weeks and was lonely. As he sat down in a little cafe to eat, the waitress asked, “What would you like?” Joe responded, “I want some lasagna and a few kind words.” The waitress soon returned with his order, set it in front of him, and turned to leave when Joe said, “Say, what about my kind words?” She leaned down to his ear and whispered, “Don’t eat the lasagna.”
Some people have the gift of cooking and others don’t. Some people have the gift of words and others don’t. When it comes to serving others, Christians have been given a variety of gifts. Romans 12 teaches that our gifts are given by the grace of God. The quiet person who serves in the church nursery is using his gifts. The extroverted person serving on the greeting team is using her gifts. The couple welcoming new families into their home for a meal or hosting a LifeGroup is using their gift of hospitality.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, the Apostle Paul explains the importance of each part of the body of Christ doing its unique job. Take some time to read that passage. In what ways do you think the Second Baptist Church family is missing out on the gifts you’ve been given to serve with? If you aren’t serving, take a look at the Serve tab on our website for ideas.
Praise God for the ways you’ve been blessed by other people using their gifts to serve you.