922 Ministries - The CORE & St. Peter Lutheran

Our best church life includes a daily connection to God’s lifegiving Word. But when our church’s leaders have more souls to serve, our personal responsibility to own our devotional lives increases. This message urges Christians to own their “Grow Root” as people/couples/parents so that they can be blessed by daily meditating on God’s Word. Don’t just own a Bible. Own your connection to the Bible!

What is 922 Ministries - The CORE & St. Peter Lutheran?

The episodes are the weekly sermons from 922 Ministries (St. Peter and The CORE) of Appleton, Wisconsin.

My Best Church Life
Week 4 - St Peter
Pastor Bill Monday

Okay, welcome back to our mission and vision series every year, we like to revisit what it is that we're all about at 922 Ministries. Our values and what God is called us to do as a family of believers. Today, we talk about the Grow roots out of the five G's. We've covered the Gather root which is about worship together. How important that is the Group root, which is about getting together with eight to 12 other two, to three eight to 12 other Christian people and doing life together in groups. Today's the Growth. Just if you're a church one boiling it down just to you and the Lord. How are you thriving? Is it just surviving? Or is it just withering away, whatever it is that you see in your relationship with Lord. God, we're gonna encourage you by the gospel. Of course, then give and go roots. Those are really extensions are expressions of how much we are just flourishing in Christ. It's part of the joying of the fruit and service to others. Before we jump into our message, then why don't we ask the Lord God to bless us and we'll do so in prayer.

Sanctify us by the truth. Oh Lord. Your word is truth. Amen.

Got a question for you. As we start off our conversation today. Would you survive if it just depended on you? I'm thinking worse case scenarios. It's terrible. Way to start off a message. Worst case, scenarios, let's get really dark. Let's say we were up against the natural catastrophe of some kind. Some super volcano blew up or let's say in God forbid, any of this would happen. Our countries. Invaded by a foreigners like Russia or China or good friends up, north Canada, whatever, I don't know. So, with the invaders, let's say, we lost our freedoms. And so on, and it just came down to you, surviving off the land and off the grid. Say again, God forbid there would be a maybe another pandemic, but worse than the first, at least the few years ago, would we survive? Would we thrive even? As I was talking about this to my wife, just preparing for today's message. I had to admit to her, like I think we're goners. I don't think we would survive. I'm sorry. I've let you down as a husband it is a father and she laughs she's like yeah that's right. We probably wouldn't so okay.

So, I decided, you know, I'll do a little study and I'll get a little more intentional about how would I handle things? If everything was gone tomorrow. So, of course, I went to Amazon and I literally ordered preppers long-term survival guide. I get no proceeds from this too. I'm just, I actually haven't even read it. I don't know if it's any good remember, but it's surviving food shelter, security off the grid power. More life-saving strategies for self-sufficient living. That would bother me. Is this is the second edition. Did I miss something somewhere? Hmm. So at least if anything with that question maybe I got you interested a little bit more and maybe you'd survive. Maybe you've already thought this through. But it's good to plan and prepare for worse case scenario things not a bad idea, of course. What I love about this and any scenarios, we have a savior God, he is our refuge and strength, whatever might come, whether it's a personal thing, a family thing, a national thing. A world thing. God promises. I'll never leave you. I'll never forsake you. Got the children don't have to go around begging for bread. Not permanently, not eternally. No, we have what we need in Jesus. So that gets me to thinking then. What if we're to spend this question around just ask spiritually. And never mind the world God's got that. But how about you and your relationship with the Lord? If it all came down to just you and surviving spiritually, would you survive? Did you have enough means and wherewithal to make your relationship with the Lord work if we can speak human talk here and knowing and resting securely on the Lord in all things? But if it came down to, you just humanly speaking, would you survive spiritually? Or do we depend all together? Just on the gather route in worship? Is that where we pretty much, not only survive, what? Thrive in the Lord or do we really rely only on the group and gather roots, but as far as the grow rooted home, You know, are we connecting to Jesus regularly? Are we growing and owning our Bible? It doesn't make sense to us or you convince it. This is really practical just to be in the word every day and having God's thoughts drive us. It's a good thing. It's a great thing. It's a life thing. How are you doing? If it all just came down to you? And we kind of brings us to one of our core values, here core value. So as a 922 ministry team and leadership, team and a membership. We do have some core values that we've derived from the scriptures, again, we rip off everything from the Bible and that's a good thing. Jesus wants us to we have core values. We've developed to help us remember what this life is, all about how God is so loved us and then how we live our life, and love to others. So, some core values, I maybe have heard this one. 200 proof grace and truth. Right. Heard Pastor Tim mentioned that Pastor Mike or some of the other pastors that preach. Anybody heard them to improve grace and truth, right? That's a core value. That needs it. All boils down to the word and, yes, it's all about truth. Sanctify is by the truth. Your word is true. And as we proclaim, that truth, it's 200. Proof grace and truth, right? We do so, with the love of Jesus least that's our goal. Or another one we do life together so that kind of emphasizes the grow root. How many of you heard that that phrase and we'll do life together. Let's do life together, right? How about this one? Faith is homegrown.

Does that sound familiar at all?

It is a core value of ours. And I think, because of the nature of our ministries here and all that we do at Saint Peter and at the core, and in the school, we're at lighthouse, or with our youth programs and so on, we have so much going on. That sometimes maybe on rare occasions. Do we only get to focus on this truth? And that faith, you could say is all about your best church life. Boiling down to one. We do recognize that in the church here. Every individual member is really a church of one in the end. And that faith and the strength of all of us together and our gather group roots, it all comes down to the strength of one.

Strength of how your home is doing. And as a church, we are here for you and your home. Whether you're a home of one or a home of several mom, dad single parent blended, family kids. We want to see you thrive at home. We know that really faith starts there and especially if you have children in your house. Or did you know that as much as we look to inform the faith here or talk about the faith? We don't hold a candle to your influence and the home because you live out grace, you don't have to be perfect but you live out before your children whether this is true or not. And so the Grow root. Really? You could say in some respects is everything. That you could still be. Okay. Even if you didn't have the Gather & Group roots. Now, it's all a gift from God. It's all essential. But faith is truly homegrown, and that's what we're focusing on today. And in such a way, I'm gonna challenge us this, this way, it it's survival, depends on you.

Your individual faith in the faith. That permeates your home. That depends on you, are you surviving? Are you even thriving?

Again, I want to encourage you though qualify this obviously faith is a gift from God. And how did we get faith in the first place? It wasn't by what we did. Praise God, because I would blow it. I just like the survival guide that I know I couldn't follow up spiritually to depend on me to have a relationship with God. And so God makes a relationship with us. Makes a relationship with me. We've got nothing to worry about. He claimed us and baptism for many of us as infants. We didn't even get a choice, but praise God. I don't want to choose. I want him to choose me. I want him to claim me.

And he encourages us by giving us faith and strength that faith. And then he gives us his word, we hear that regularly and then in a tangible way. Just so you know this this is a one-on-one thing that the church boils down the one, he gives us the sacraments of the Lord's Supper he comes to, you literally come in his real presence with and under the bread and wine to clean you individually. This is how faith works. And so we're going to talk about survival and how faith and keeping it depends on you just and this sense as we respond to God's love and He so loved us.

How can we live in such a world and live our lives, and such a way that we remove all obstacles? From God, claiming us not only in church, but in the home,

So let's take a look a little bit at the grow root. And again, this is something we five passes, just came up with, but God's people have been praising God. For this grow root for thousands of years. I like to go right back to Moses and just see how we envisions this church life, the best church life or even more your best life. And Deuteronomy chapter 6. Moses says this. Having written the first four books of the Bible. Now is the last book, Deuteronomy is last final words to God's people. He says, I want you to talk about these things. God's word, God's promises, God's commands. God's will? I want you to talk about all God's thoughts? His words for you? Where? Well, At home, When you sit at home, And then yeah, when you go out and you walk along the road, or when we're driving down the highway, when you lie down when you get up, you see, it's a 24/7, 365, kind of thing. And that's where the Gather root just isn't enough. It's only an hour that we have or the Grow root is. It's only an hour and a half plus The Grow root that Moses is talking about is all encompassing every waking hour. He says, look take God's word, all is promises. All his desires is will and tie them. He speaking figuratively, tie them as simples on your hands. So whatever you put your hands to make God's word, be the driver behind it.

Find it on your forehead. So, whatever your thoughts are about, which drive your heart, your hands, your feet, Let it all be caught up down to God's Word. So much so that you'll write it on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. That basically, when the world looks at you, they're gonna take all those are God's word people. That's all they're about, and it's not like they're religious nuts. It's that they really see life only comes from God. And only continues by having thoughts, words and actions transformed by God's thoughts. The Bible
gets us back to Psalm 1 hundreds of years later. The Psalmist would say this same thing in an envisioning. This beautiful life is not just a church life but just life that flourishes. He says how to bless the man, he doesn't walk on the advice of the wicked. Who does that stand on the path of sinners? Who does not sit in the meeting with mockers? But his light, oh, it's in the teaching of the Lord and on his teaching, he just meditates he choose on it day and night. Such a one is like a tree planted beside streams of water, it yields, it fruit and season, it leaves do not wither. Everything he does just prospers.

You see how the Grow root is really emphasized. That happens because in the home the word of God is claiming everything and bringing life and abundance.

So this is what we mean when we talk about the grow root, if it helps us to get it in our mind because sometimes there's overlap gather group grows in the same thing. Well yes. But it is the state. Gather, worship group, small groups grow, that's you. And that's Jesus as just you and his word.

So I'm going to come questions that I like you to wrestle with will wrestle with together to assess. How is your Grow root? Because I know in many areas on percentage wise not a lot of Christians are able to give this much. Thought they're not very intentional necessarily so it's a growth opportunity.

How is your Grow root doing? Well, ask yourself this question. Does Scripture fill every aspect of your life?

What does that mean? Well, when you got up this morning and like, many families may be or scrambling to get here and you're telling your kids like, hey, we got to any, any other, any families like that, even? Oh even though I just have a seventh grader at home, that's kind of, that's kind of our life at home too, which is why I like when I have to preach that, I don't have to worry about that. I just take care of myself. It's actually easier to preach that. It is to be a family of more than one. So, okay, so God bless you here. When you got up in the morning were you thinking, like I, yes, we're going to go to church because God. And it just calm the stress and when you're kids maybe kids when you're brushing your teeth like I'm doing this for Jesus. Mm-hmm. And when you're eating your scrambled eggs and you're putting yourself on that and just enjoying life. It's like this is because of God and now if we go anybody that excited about life from day to day, Probably not. I know I'm not.

But, but this is God's vision. If his word is able to permeate our lives. Maybe it's not over the top. Like oh yeah I can't wait to get to school and take that difficult test or go to work and see if I have a job or whatever. I yay go Jesus.

But there is that solemn joy that you can have even in those difficult times. That only comes when God's word permeates our whole lives and that only comes when we're in the word daily. And I guess what? I'm getting, add to, could you say of everything you do every thought, every word, every action, as you celebrate good times, as you cope with difficult, hard times and burdens. Can you say somebody are ask you? Why do you do that? Why do you think that way? Why do you say what you do? Why do you go about life as you do good times, coping? It's hard times. Could you say because Jesus? Jesus is the reason why I breathe. He's the reason why I go about things, and when I forget about him, I'm quick to say, Lord. Drive me, motivate me. But it'll be because of Jesus, in fact, I think that would be a great t-shirt just because Jesus and people, once that about, well, whatever I do, I strive to let it be. Because Jesus,

Again, I didn't come up with that. Notice pastors came up with that, but the essence of the grow rude is to say God's going to claim it all. Give us life. Jesus is life. He came to give us life and abundance if everything it is that we do is because of Jesus, that's life. Whatever is done apart from Jesus just because or I feel this way or I was pressured into this.

There's no life there just yet.

And so that's why Paul says that this way for the love of Christ compels us and he has no qualifiers.

I was like 2nd Corinthians 5 is where he says this that are motivation in all things, how blessed it is. If we see it's because Jesus, He says for the love of Christ, compels us. Because we came to this conclusion. One died for all there for all died. Jesus came to die. So that the lives that we were living, which were just full of emptiness and death could die to. So that real life could be had and begin. And he says that this way he says and so he died for all so that those who live no longer live for themselves because that's just empty and there's no real life there. No lasting. Happy days and hard times are devastating. He said they no longer live for themselves but for him wWho died in their place and was raised again.

Just as the love of you compelled Jesus to come and live.

So to now so caught up by that love. Can we say it's his love? That drives me.

I know I can't not completely so on my better days a little more. So, but you see this is the life that God puts before us. And how is your growth in doing it when we're at home. Are your thoughts filled just with God's thoughts from his word? If not, there's growth, there's opportunity to grow. Think on that. And then let's wrestle with this other question, then, This is really an extension of when God's thoughts. Captivate our whole life and all our thoughts and transforms us. This is the goal. Then that we live out. Do you interact with others? Like God does with you. We begin to see people in a different light of by nature. We have this tendency and even with family and friends, To look at others as objects that are there to serve us and to bless us. And as much as we love our families too, it's kind of true. It's like, look, I'll be good with you. We'll have a good relationship. If you do your part whether spouse or children or parents or others, But God changes all of that when we know that Christ loved us when we were just unlovable and made us loveable.

Will treat everyone that way too, at least will grow in that. Here's what God does. And you notice this about God, he blesses both the righteous and the wicked And bearing his image again restored. That's his desire for us to even love the unlovable. Why? Because in that there's joy. Just, as Jesus said, it's better to give than to receive.

Jesus said it this way and this is the Grow root. Again, if God is encompassing, all our thoughts from day to day is words in our hearts. All the time, we can do this. Matthew chapter 5, he says, so love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you and persecute you, why? So that you may be children of your father who's in heaven so that you might be a chip off the old block.

For God makes his sunrise on the evil and the good and his sins rain on the righteous in the underwrites just doesn't matter, tTheir loved. And God just keeps pouring out blessing and blessing upon all people. So that God willing by grace. Everyone might see him as is, their father.

Is your life that free? Do you feel that liberated that when you look at anyone you can say I'm just going to love you and how good it is to love those who are lovable.

But even some of those who annoy us, who are intolerable, who are our enemies to say, I'm gonna love you to

How? Because God fills my life, his word drives my hearts because Jesus And there's no other way to live.

That is why we at 922 say, yes, faith is homegrown.

Own your Bible. Not at all because we want to give you another thing to do to get stressed about. Because but practically there's no other way to live. Because apart from God's thoughts, and God's word is just kind of empty. And it's just not going to bring us the joy or the happiness. Because we're just by nature selfish and sinful. We think that'll make us happy but it doesn't.

Which leads us back to Paul's, thoughts again, from 2nd Corinthians 5, and I'll just kind of fill in a blank here. Are we loving both the righteous and the wicked. Like God our father does do we have views of others? That's not according to the sinful nature. The flesh. Are we selfless? And are we fighting the selfish view of things?

Paul says it this way, saying 2nd Corinthians 5, notice this for the love of Christ, compels us, right? So that's God's word, permeating. Our lives claiming everything, and the results. That from now on we regard, no one, according to the flash, the sinful nature, but everyone we were here to serve and love and there's joy in that. Now, we got admit to the world would say, that's sounds crazy. Why would you live your life? With other person's thoughts of God's thoughts and that your own And then why would you give away your life to love, others selflessly? Well, what joy is there in that and so the world has its own thoughts and abuses and uses everyone else. And ridge. Their life, that that path of anyone that gets in the way.

So God's His kingdom is an upside down kingdom is word is an upside down, kind of thing. And yet we would find there's no better life to live.

So, friends, if we can answer yes to both of those questions, then we have a strong growth root

Only with a strong row root being in the Word of God every day. Can we say yes? God's word. Just fills my life Christ. Compels me and I truly love other people.

Myself. Now, the only one you did that is Jesus.

But your Christian And now God says, you get to be like me. And I'll carry you every step of the way. Which is why I got some proof passages here, the apostle, Paul, that this is exactly why he says, let the word of Christ. Well, in you richly, let it just fill every fiber of your being,

That God's love compel you live for others and you'll have a blessed church life even more a blessed life, a happy life, this is why our Lord Jesus says, in Luke chapter 10,

He says few things are needed or indeed. Only one. If you want to survive even more thrive.

Comes down to the Word of God in your home and Mary has chosen. What is better? And it won't be taken from her.

And so for the Grow root today, Take this one thought away. For your best church. Life, your best personal life. Own your Bible. Make it your life school to master. It Russell with God's word, like Jacob, wrestled with the angel, until God, blesses you

But they don't see it as a half to and don't do it because you're afraid what will become of me if I don't? So, even though I started out with this whole survival scenario, Be comforted. Spiritually, it doesn't depend on you.

The Grow root is a free thing. if you develop it in the Lord, You'll see that it's all just about being a blessing to you. And that's what I love and this is the comfort. I want to leave you today with. How cool is it to know that when you're in the Bible, you're just going to read about how the Bible says God's with you and that you've got to family a believers. That's eternal. You'll never be alone. You'll never have to do this life alone and that even if in your last hours, you feel all alone and you can't hear or see any other person, The Bible in your heart proclaims to you, that there is one who sticks closer than a brother Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. And that hour that last hour of our lives. When it's just a church of one. It's just you. God will be there. He already is.

This is why we preach the Grow root. Why we say both things like faith is homegrown.

So, as we think about those things today, Let God's love overwhelm you which comes from the word. May it renew us to reevaluate things? If it's been a while since we've opened up that book. Just to say, you know, Lord today's a good day.

Like, Mary, I'm going to sit at your feet. To speak to me. May God give us such faith.

Such a Grow root. Amen.