Growing Spiritually: Love for the Church

I Thessalonians 5:12-13

We have been considering the topic of Spiritual Growth on the last several Sunday evenings. We first talked about the necessity of being confident in our relationship with God in order to facilitate spiritual growth. Last week we discussed the importance of taking a disciplined approach to the Word of God. And this evening we want to look at another important key to spiritual growth, and that is developing a love for the local church.

How can we develop a love for the local church? Let me say tonight that 'love' is an oft misused and misunderstood word. Love is not an emotion, or feeling, but it is an act of our will. It is a decision or a choice we make. Regardless of how we might feel about our sweetheart, we do not 'fall into love' or for that matter, we do not 'fall out of love'. To love or not to love is a conscious choice that each of makes. And the same is true with our love for God. We understand that God made a choice to love us, and we see that love expressed by Him giving His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. We must also make the choice to love Him!

The same is true for the local church. We know that Jesus loved the church…

I. We develop a love for the church by being here!

II. We develop a love for the church by honoring the leaders.

I will close here for this evening, and we will look at the rest of this passage next week as we consider how to develop a love for the local church.

These first two thoughts are of great importance. If we are not in attendance, we will not grow spiritually…there is no debate on that one. God established the local church to accomplish His work in the world, but more importantly to accomplish His work in each believer! And the most important relationship in the church is the relationship between the pastor and the people.

Are we growing spiritually? If not, there is a reason.