Hi everyone, it’s Mick here and welcome to Thursday’s Podcast … the weekend approaches, but it’s not quite here yet! In this week’s reflections we have been asking the question ‘Is it possible to change?’ A recap tomorrow but today’s Bible truth is this: lasting change comes from healthy growth. Our Bible passage is Col2:13-19 from The Message and our focus verse is v19: we can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us. …
Paul reminds us here, as he has all week, that our faith is all about Jesus – it’s Jesus plus nothing else. Jesus has done it all. You don’t need to add anything says Paul. ‘So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services or holy days’ (v.16, MSG). He goes on to say all you need is Christ … He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us’ (v.19 MSG).
We change through God’s nourishment. The word ‘nourish’ means to provide resources that allows health and growth. The phrase Paul uses here in the original text is ‘grow with a growth that comes from God’; the word grow means ‘to become greater in size and maturity’. So how does God nourish/feed us so we might be spiritually healthy and grow in body, mind and spirit?
Here at STC we use The Six Marks of a Disciple as our check and balance to encourage healthy spiritual growth; Here’s a reminder; for healthy, holistic growth based around the UP, IN, UP Triangle. We need to grow UP – Bible, prayer and Sunday church; grow IN with midweek community and financial giving to our church; to grow OUT we need to be serving in the church and the world. Put these simple truths into place and you will grow I. Your faith! Why not check out the video teaching on last year’s Grow Project (remember that?); read the written reflection and you will find a link to take you to the video.
The key to change is how we view Jesus Christ. Many people today of faith and no faith, would recognise that Jesus was a great figure in history although alongside other historical religious leaders. However, is Jesus the the Son of God – the universal Saviour of the world? This is an issue today in our increasingly secular society and liberal church. It was just such an issue in 1 century Colossae. In this small church other ideologies and powers were being put on an equal footing with Jesus. In this letter, Paul, with wonderful gentleness but firmness says no – he states that Jesus is the only Saviour of the world.
That’s why we hold Alpha courses every year at STC giving a clear presentation of the Christian faith and inviting people to receive Jesus and follow him. We launched this term’s Alpha a few days ago and saw 250 people arrive on a cold wintry Monday evening to hear about Jesus!
Real change takes place when we accept Jesus into our lives as Lord, be clear that he is in charge and the keep receiving him afresh every day – people like you and me, followers of Jesus keeping spiritually healthy and living out his life every day in serving our city in the jobs, careers and callings he gives us.
Sounds like the kind of thing that church leaders like me say to busy people like you! You may well ask ‘Mick, how can I help change Sheffield when I have all on trying to change my socks! – trying to deal with the stuff that every day throws at me? If that’s you, here’s a word from the prophet Boris Johnson My friends, as I have discovered myself there are no disasters only opportunities. And indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters!
Here’s a 100% gospel truth; it’s in the disasters of life that God moves powerfully – it’s in the challenges that we find God inspired solutions; Jesus says ‘without me you can do nothing’. So we need more of him every day, we receive him afresh every day. As we do this, we slowly grow healthy in body, mind and spirit. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us’ .
If our Christian faith doesn’t work in the challenges and struggles and busyness and pressures of our ordinary lives, then our Christian faith doesn’t work at all. It’s just a peaceful pastime for an hour or so on a Sunday – a ‘religious’ time to say prayers, sing hymns and then meet friends over a coffee. Sadly, for many it’s what ‘faith’ has become and what ‘church’ offers our nation. Not here at STC! We believe our faith in Jesus is dynamic and active and fit for his Godly purpose every day. We believe in developing holy habits (which includes this podcast) which build us up in our faith; we believe Paul when he says We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us’ (v.19 MSG).
Lord Jesus, thank you for your many blessings to me and to those I love. Thank you that you provide all I need for health and growth in body, mind and spirit. Thank you our faith is living and active and not only changes me but those around me. Bless my day. Amen
BIBLE READING: Colossians 2:13-19 (MSG)
When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant cancelled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.