GROWING WIDER AND DEEPER
Ants, popsicle sticks and students’ school pictures teach us lessons about church life.
Notes And Next Steps
Ephesians 4:1-16 + Part 5 of the series “Masterpiece in Progress: Ephesians"
God wants his church to grow and we want to grow, both wider and deeper.
The Bible says we need two things to grow wider and deeper, as individuals and as a church. Those two things are: God and each other.
We can grow wider and deeper by hanging on to each other together (Ephesians 4:16).
Each individual has a job designed and called by God to serve others, nobody is a consumer. It often takes personal sacrifice in order to be of service and to help others (Ephesians 4:1,2,7).
Together we agree on a unified conviction of faith, a confession of the truths of God’s Word (Ephesians 4:14).
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
God’s grace is bigger than just forgiving you. God’s grace equips you to grow.
SPIRITUAL NEXT STEPS
- Keep close to your time with God this week the statement by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure.” How does this respond to the idea that faith is a private and personal matter?
- Find a few school pictures taken of you, and observe your physical growth over the years. What does spiritual growth look like in your life? How do you know when you are growing in Christ or not? What is most challenging? Most rewarding?
- Recall 3 metaphors in today’s message: fire ants surviving a flood, unbreakable popsicle sticks, and coastal redwood trees. Prayerfully share one of them with a friend or family members who needs to connect to a church. Invite them to watch the video of this Sunday’s message (crosslifepf.org/messages).
- Read Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, and you, in Ephesians 3:14-21. Underline or highlight 3 words that best help you grow to become a better witness. Share those words with a friend.