Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Grow 08 - Part 1

by Erik Momsen

Most followers of Jesus know that the church should grow.  In some parts of the world this is happening in a dramatic fashion and in other parts it seems as if the church is dying.

A set of questions:
 - What was the first commandment of God to humanity? (Genesis 1:28)
 - What was the last commandment of Jesus on earth? (Matthew 28:18)
Both verses tells us, "Be people fruitful".  God made humanity and wants to gather us back to Himself.  Look around you.  How many people can worship at one time in this building or any other for that matter?
Look outside - How many people should be worshipping the Lord?

But before we focus on numbers and growth, let us get a feeling of how God sees growth.
"Don't think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our forefather.’ For I tell you that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones! The axe already lies against the roots of the trees. So every tree not producing good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."  (Matthew 3:3,9,10)
 -Tradition of any kind does not ensure growth - be it liturgical church or organic church.
 - God can grow a people from anywhere.
 - God takes an axe to the root.
 - The tree will be judged by its fruit.

"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  You shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?  Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you shall know them." 
(Matthew 7:15-20)
 - A more individualistic message.
 - Each person needs to produce good fruit and some can corrupt others by their bad fruit.
 - Test each person by their fruit.

FOCUS ON THE ROOTS

There is a program on music radio called "Roots to Fruits".  They got it right because the condition of roots determine the fruits.  "For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, also the branches."  (Romans 11:16)

I transplanted a small tree a while ago.  I regarded it as my success for 2006.  I had not done this before but I knew the roots where everything.  I was quite merciless with the fruit (leaves & branches) but I protected the roots in the best way possible - and I prayed for that tree every day.  It now stands about 9 foot high in my garden.

PROTECT THE ROOTS OF YOUR LIFE
Being on sabbatical was really great.  All I had to do was concentrate on the roots of my life with the Lord.  No outside "fruit" issues.  No preaching and no meetings.  I discovered that my root was just Jesus.  Simple times of prayer and reading and whisperings of the Spirit.  When you are struggling with the fruit of your life - people, relationships, money matters, success and failure, temptation - go back to the root.

"Those on the rock are the ones who, when they hear, receive the Word with joy, and these have no root, who for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." (Luke 8:13)

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WORD   PRAYER   HOLY SPIRIT

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 2:6,7)

Date Added: 2008-02-26

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