How would you like to live in an environment that promoted and accelerated your spiritual growth? This environment would be a place where you were provided the proper light, nutrients, moisture, warmth, and protection from the elements to grow spiritually strong. What I have just described to you is a spiritual greenhouse.
If you aren’t a gardener, a greenhouse is a structure with walls and a roof made of transparent material in which plants that require a regulated climate are grown. The greenhouse is a controlled environment that helps plants grow healthy and at an accelerated pace. Greenhouses help plants grow because they enhance positives such as light and warmth while protecting against negatives like cold and pestilence.
Did you know that God has created a spiritual greenhouse to accelerate your spiritual growth and protect you from harmful elements? If you didn’t, that’s ok, I didn’t know either until a couple of weeks ago when God explained it to me. What is a spiritual greenhouse you ask? It’s the church. Let me explain.
The book of Acts begins with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand people were saved in this outpouring. After they were saved, Acts 2:42 tells what these believers did next.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The early church met regularly and studied the word which is similar to a plant receiving healthy nutrients and proper sunlight. They prayed together which is similar to a plant receiving the proper moisture. Lastly, they broke bread and fellowshipped together (not with the world) which is symbolic of fertilizer and protection from harmful elements.
Jesus established the church to be a spiritual greenhouse that would grow disciples that would make disciples of all nations. Churches were not established just so people would attend and check it off their spiritual to do list for the week. The church is the spiritual greenhouse that is designed to help each of us grow to our full potential in Christ Jesus. It is supposed to be a safe place where we are loved and accepted and protected from the judgment and hatred of the world. It is also supposed to be a place where we are taught truth so we get the proper nutrients we need to grow. If we have a good gardener (pastor) we are also warned of spiritual pestilence (false teaching) which seeks to destroy us. This place we meet is designed to enhance the light we receive from the Son and as we spend time in His presence we are transformed into the person we were created to become!
Throughout the book of Acts, the Apostles traveled all over the middle east and Asia leading people to Jesus and then establishing spiritual greenhouses (churches) in order to facilitate and enhance discipleship. You have probably read about many of these greenhouses. These include greenhouses in Antioch, Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Crete, and Thessalonica. If these names look familiar to you, it is because they are the names of certain cities were churches were established. The Apostles’ Paul, Peter, and John wrote letters to these churches in order to help them grow. These letters instructed the churches about how to select leaders and organize, how to live harmoniously with one another, how to address conflict, how to receive God’s blessings by faith, and how to protect people from Satan’s negative influence.
One of the reasons I believe every person should go to church on a regular basis (the same church – you won’t establish roots bouncing from greenhouse to greenhouse) is because God wants to place each of us in a God designed accelerator environment so we can grow. As we grow and mature, we are able to change the world around us when we leave the greenhouse at the close of service on Sundays.
In order to help facilitate our church’s understanding of the scripture, I am going to begin teaching verse by verse through the books in the New Testament this year. I will teach through the book of Acts on Sunday morning and then later this year we will add a midweek service where I teach through the letters that Peter, James, and Paul wrote to the New Testament churches. I believe teaching through the New Testament this way will link the history of the early church that Acts records with the sound doctrine and practical instruction the epistles record. I believe teaching this way, will cause the New Testament epistles to come to life and cause our understanding scripture to explode.
Life hasn’t changed that much in 2,000 years. The believers in the early church were dealing with the same root issues then that we are dealing with now and the Lord provided wisdom in His word about how to thrive in life. I would encourage each of you to attend every Sunday or please watch the recording if you miss. Also, I would encourage you to invite your friends that do not have a church home to come to church on a regular basis. My goal is to make the Bible accessible for everyone; not just the theologian. I want people who don’t have much religious up-bringing who work regular jobs to be able to understand the scripture and how it all links together. I also want them to know how to properly apply it and live it out in everyday life. Look at the words of Jesus from Matthew 7:
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
In this parable, Jesus made the point that the storms of life come against those who hear His word and do it and those who don’t. No one is exempted from storms. The key to surviving the storm is hearing Jesus’s words and applying them to our lives. Jesus calls the man who does this wise. Wisdom is the key to not only surviving but thriving in 2022! This is why we must learn Jesus’s word. We must learn what it says, but also understand what it actually means and how it fits in with the rest of scripture so we can have a proper understanding for what God is doing in the earth.
Make a commitment to be involved in the Spiritual Greenhouse known as Grace Life Church this year. I believe you will learn the word like never before which means your capacity to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit will increase like never before! Look at Acts 17:26:
26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
According to this passage of scripture, God preappointed the time you were born and the nation you were to live. He destined you for now and He desperately wants you to make a difference. The key to doing that is learning His word so you can learn to think like He thinks and value what He values. He’s chosen you for such a time as this! Go make a difference!
If you’d like to learn more about how the church is a spiritual greenhouse, check out this message Pastor Brian taught at Grace Life Church.