Sep 30, 2009

Grow, Become, Increase!

This last Sunday September 27th I spoke to the International congregation of Destiny Faith Ministries in Brooklyn Park, MN.  In a message titled, "Grow, Become, Increase," drawn from the "silent" years of Jesus' life (Luke 2:40-52), I highlight the fact that the so called silent years were in fact not that very silent for Jesus.  Luke informs us that Jesus was occupied with three things during that period of his life: growing, becoming and increasing.

Being fully and perfect man, a pre-occupation of Luke, Jesus grew physically.  Most significantly, He grew spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and socially.

It would be a sad fact of life if a 30-year old man stayed on the lap of his mom suckling away at her breast.  Sadly, many of us do exactly that in the church.  Year in and year-out we stay put, afraid to venture out into God's zone of faith and favor.

The apostle Paul says in 1 Cor 13:11, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things."  Growth, becoming, and increase necessitate change and engagement with life.

Rather than be stagnant, impassive or bored in our lives, Christ examplifies for us and calls us to a life of active social engagement, spiritual growth, intellectual exploration, and emotional integrity.  By stating to his parents at the age of 12, "Why is it that you were looking for Me?  Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?" (Luke 2:49), Christ demonstrates to us the imperativeness of clarifying our mission and purpose early in life.

In His case, He aligned His actions and priorities with that purpose and that mission to death.  In John 4:34 He says; "My food is to do the Will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work."  As He is about to be crucified, that vision burns before him. "Now My Soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, "Father, save Me from this hour?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father glorify Your Name." 

Finally, I thank God for what He is doing through Destiny Church.  Two years ago, pastor James Maina approached me and shared a vision of planting an international church in the Brooklyn Center neighborhood of Minneapolis.  He did not know how to get started.  We sat, talked and prayed about it for a couple hours. 

I then gave him a few pointers and leadership tools and helped him work through the IRS registration process.  A couple months later, he had started services in the basement of his house with three other families.  He called me to do a month-long teaching on the Christian faith which then turned to monthly speaking.


Today, the church which meets at Willow Elementary School, Brooklyn Park, has grown to over one hundred people every Sunday.  My wife Suzanne and I are always glad to invest our time and energy to helping pastor James develop leadership and strategy as he pastors this vibrant International church in a growing and diverse neighborhood in addition to our work at Westwood Community and around the world.

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