August D-Group Article

  • August D-Group Article – Nourishment

  • A. We Need Spiritual Food from God’s Word.

  • A child cannot grow physically without proper food.

Good parents are concerned about proper nutrition. They want children to eat what is good, not bad for them. We are touched by pictures of children starving due to poverty.

Most children WANT nourishment. Babies cry for food.  Even adults know we need food, and don’t like to go long without it. We want it every day, regularly, several times a day.

  • Likewise spiritually we cannot grow without feeding on God’s Word.

  • 1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.
  • 2 Peter 3:18 – Grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    • Matthew 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
  • See also Eph. 4:15; Matt. 5:6
  • B. To Get This Nourishment, We Must Study the Bible

  • and Attend Church Meetings.

  • Scriptures show the need for regular nourishment.

  • Hebrews 5:11-14 – Christians were rebuked for not growing as they should have, because they had not studied. Time and again members fall away or are spiritual infants because they do not eat properly.
  • Acts 17:11 – Bereans were able to determine whether truth was taught because they searched the Scriptures DAILY. We need REGULAR nourishment.
  • Psalm 1:1,2 – Meditate on God’s word day and night. Children and adults need physical food regularly, and get very upset without it. But are we content to go for days at a time without feeding on God’s word?
  • See also Psalm 119:47,48,95-99; Josh 1:8

Do we make use of the opportunities the church provides for nourishment? When the church plans a devotional or time of worship, do we make time to be there or do we plan other things during that time? How often do we miss the “regular meals” provided for our bellies?

  • Take this test to check your spiritual nourishment.

  • How much time did you spend this week watching TV?
  • How much time watching sports or entertainment, or reading the paper, magazines, etc.?
  • How much time did you spend on some hobby or outside interest, that may not be immoral but is not necessary?
  • How many hours did you spend studying your Bible?
  • How many services of the church did you attend? How many did you miss that you could have attended?
  • Which do you nourish the best: your spirit or your body? Are you feeding your mind on God’s word or pleasures?

Christians need regular nourishment from God’s word to grow.

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July D-Group Article – A Desire to Grow

  • People understand the concept of growth in the physical development of humans, and we know why it is important.

Babies are immature physically and mentally, but we expect them to develop. If they don’t, there is a problem.

  • Spiritual growth is a similar concept but is far more important.

Growth is development or improvement toward a goal called “maturity” (or, in the Bible, “perfection”).

When one is “born again” as a child of God, he is spiritually immature. As time passes, he should develop the qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterize the mature. A congregation matures as individual members mature.

Many Scriptures describe the need to grow and mature spiritually:

  • Ephesians 4:14,15 – Be no longer children, but grow up in Christ.
  • 2 Peter 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:3 – The Thessalonians grew exceedingly in faith.
  • Philippians 1:9 – Paul prayed for their love to abound more and more.

Many problems result when members fail to grow: some go back to the world, others cause strife because of ignorance or become stumbling blocks because of irregular attendance, worldliness, or indifference.

  • The purpose of this lesson is to study the steps each Christian should take to grow spiritually.

Just as a baby needs to do certain things to grow physically, so Christians need certain kinds of activities to grow spiritually. When members don’t grow, it is because they lack one or more of these.

A DESIRE TO GROW

  • A. We Will Never Grow Unless We Want to Grow

  • In the physical realm, children WANT to grow.

“I want to grow up to be just like Mommy/Daddy…” “I can’t wait till I’m 16 so I can drive.”

Parents and kids become so excited when kids learn something new – the first step, first word, draw picture, etc. Everyone wants them to develop new abilities.

Parents sometimes use the example of their heroes to encourage children.  “Work hard in school and you could become….”

  • Likewise, in spiritual matters, Christians must WANT to grow.

1 Peter 2:2 – Desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.

Some seem to like being spiritual babies. They don’t want to grow. It’s easy to be a baby – no responsibility. Others feed you, clothe you, change your diaper. In the church, you don’t have to teach, rebuke sin, or do work. It’s a free ride!

But being a baby is not the goal of life. We are born babies so we can grow up and be productive and useful. Likewise, we are born again, so we can become mature Christians, actively serving the Lord.

One of the conditions for becoming a child of God is REPENTANCE. One must determine to turn from sin and GO TO WORK in God’s vineyard. Then one must bring forth the FRUITS of repentance. This will lead us to grow and improve in God’s work. Otherwise, we have not accomplished our purpose for becoming children of God.

1 Peter 2:21 – Jesus set an example for us, and we should follow in His steps. We should ask ourselves, “Don’t I want to grow up to be spiritually strong like Jesus?”

  • B. We Must Maintain This Desire to Grow.

  • Some members who once wanted to grow, may lose that desire.

They may start off on fire for the Lord, but lose their zeal. They develop a spirit of indifference or negligence.

Others develop a level of maturity and stagnate. They are satisfied, thinking no more growth is needed.

  • The Scriptures teach that growth is always needed.

  • Philippians 3:12-14 – Even Paul, as mature as he was, did not consider himself to have achieved perfection (maturity) such that he could cease striving to improve. He forgot past achievements (and failures) and pressed on to greater accomplishments.
  • Matthew 26:31-35 – Peter thought he had reached a level where he would never deny Jesus. But that very night he denied Him three times.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:12 – Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Christians never reach the point we are so mature that we cannot fall.

One of the main reasons Christians do not grow is that they do not see the NEED for growing. They have no desire to work and serve to the full extent of their ability. When people develop a burning hunger and thirst to work for the Lord, then they will develop the other steps they need to grow.

Do you have that burning desire to accomplish more for the Lord? Have you set specific goals of work you want to accomplish for God, improvements to make, new levels to reach?