The title of this months thoughts are based upon an old proverb that carries within it a depth of meaning which can be applied to and supplement the current ministry of the Cornerstone Family Church, in that it is essential for committed believers to be rooted and grounded in a local church, Ephesians.3:14-19, v.17b and Colossians.2:6-7. So that they may produce fruit pleasing to the Lord
What does “The Rolling Stone” proverb teach us? Simply from wherever it commences and ends its journey it is remains a stone, with nothing to show for the journey it has taken! It has built no permanent relationship, taken no responsibility, avoided commitment, submitted to no one, nothing is attached to it, because it never stayed or rested long enough at one place to gather any Moss which only grows and attaches itself to an object when it is static for a long time otherwise it remains as smooth as when it began its journey.
1.Corinthians.12:18. “But now God has set(placed) the members, each one of them in the body just as He pleased” nkj.
The Lord uses an analogy to clearly teach the members of the church at Corinth, that they are in placed in a particular church because it is His will and purpose for them. Where He planted them to be “Rooted and Grounded” and become disciples producing fruits and ministry. This same principle has not changed and applies to every present day believer, He places us within the body of Christ, and it is through our submission to His will and choice that we disciples become fruitful, building upon the foundation of God’s word.
We become “Living stones” once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, 1.Peter.2:4-10, His own special people, who have obtained mercy and forgiveness of our sins, with a duty to proclaim the praises of Him who has brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light!
“Living stones” become part of His church that He is in the process of building, a living stone has the ability to think for ourselves understand His word and apply its wisdom and submit to its requirements, this only be achieved when we become stable and committed members of the church.
The Lord is not seeking “Butterfly Christians” who float from one church to another always looking for temporary blessings, that generally pass as quickly as they are promised by false teachers and ministry. He is seeking those who will stabilize and become true fruit bearers, who have become “rooted and grounded” in a local assembly.
John.1:15. “And of His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace” These latter words “Grace for Grace” surely mean that we having received His grace(favour) when we believed by faith, Ephesian.2:8. That we are not to sit still but to move forward by faith to experience more and more of His grace as we progress towards maturity in Him.
2.Peter.3:18, These are the Apostle Peter’s closing words of encouragement to the church in general as he approaches the end of his life.
“BUT GROW IN THE GRACE(GOD’S FAVOUR) AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST”
The emphasis is upon three words:- GROW! GRACE! KNOWLEDGE! these speak of progressively gathering the MOSS of the Lord’s Word and ministry.
Growth is a process! Grace is received! Knowledge is to be sought!
Psalm.92:12-15. The promises listed are conditional to righteousness and commitment.
v.12a. The righteous shall “Flourish” like a Palm Tree. To flourish = Grow and Thrive.
The Palm Tree – Is symbolic of victory, rejoicing, and grace. Its life giving sap flows internally through its trunk unlike other trees. They are supple and can bend easily against strong wind and storms. There are many species, fruit and oil bearing. When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem people took Palm leaves and cried out, John.12:13,
“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel”
v.12b. The Cedar of Lebanon. Is an evergreen coniferous tree that is symbolic of a resurrected life in Christ. It could reach the height of 40 meters, and known for its durable properties, frequently used in the building of Temples, etc.
It typifies the height and strength to which righteous believer can attain in Christ.
v.13. Planted – Lit. Being Planted in the house of the Lord. To be planted in the Lord’s house speaks of permanency, and purpose in order to flourish – grow and to thrive, v12.
Note the sequence:- a.Planted! b. Flourish! It is imperative for any believer to be planted in a local assembly(the Courts of the Lord) before they can become fruitful and flourish. This is particularly noticeable in Acts.2:41-47, the early church, following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Peter’s anointed preaching those who converted, were then “Planted” in the assembly, submitting themselves to the 4 basic principles of faith, v42, from that point the church and individuals began to “Flourish” impacting their community, and more were being added to their number daily. This is the pattern for continuing church growth and fruitfulness.
v.14-15. These verses speak of continuing to be fruitful and glorifying the Lord as believers advance into the older age group. This is a tremendous promise and incentive to keep our eyes upon the Lord, bearing in mind that faithfulness is a reward all can look forward to as we progress through Christian life.
2.Timothy.4:7-8. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Matthew.6:33. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
“IT IS BY OUR FRUIT WE SHALL BE KNOWN! NOT BY OUR ABILITY OR CHARISMA”
Pastor Terry Brinded 2017-02-28