Gathering Summary | Growing in Christ

Growing in Christ is our relationship with Christ.  It is our abiding.  How are we staying connected to the vine?  If we don’t have a vertical relationship and growing that relationship, there is no way to abide.   The next question might be what does it look like to abide and what does it look like to bear fruit.  Here are three ways in which we can stay connected to Christ bear fruit not under our power but His.  
Growing in Christ | PRAYER
Prayer is an essential part of abiding. We can’t grow in Christ if we don’t have a relationship and take the time to have that intentional intimate dialogue with him.  Prayer is the intentional, intimate dialogue with God.  It is the light switch that gives us access to the power of our UP relationship.  Prayer isn’t about us, but the Lord.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6 that when you pray, pray like this.  He gives us a way to structure our prayer to keep HE not ME at the center.  In the past, we have given the ACTS tool to help model prayer: Adoration – Confession – Thanksgiving – Supplication.    
Growing in Christ | SCRIPTURE
We would say that another key to abiding in Christ is being in Scripture.  Reading, learning and growing in scripture is one of the greatest ways to REMAIN in Christ. Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to reading the Bible and how to get the most out of it.  We teach the SOAP method when it comes to reading scripture. SOAP is an easy way to spend time in the Bible and get something out of it.  SOAP is an easy way to study scripture but also a great way to teach others.  S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer.  We have a video on our Capstone YouTube Channel with more details about SOAP.  
Growing in Christ | Sacrifice
When we think about growing we only think about what we receive or learn.  But the Gospel says we gain, not by taking, but by giving.  Jesus models sacrifice in everything he does from being a servant leader (Mark 10:45) to the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Abiding in Christ is following his example of sacrifice and his command to pick up our cross daily.  One of the easiest ways to think about sacrifice or areas is the Three Ts- Time/Talents/Treasure.  
Time | Galatians 2:20
This is no longer our life, but his.  He calls us to give our life (our time) in order to bring his
Kingdom.  He calls us to give him more than a few minutes here or there, but carving out
time for prayer and scripture.  Christ also calls us serve others in order to put the Gospel
on display.  When we are abiding we aren’t just thinking of ourselves but others. Joining a
service team here at Capstone.  Intentionally building relationships in our community
through giving of our time.  There are tons of ways to abide in Christ in sacrifice of your
time for Christ and others.  
Talents | 1 Corinthians 10:31
Once we give our lives to Christ, He instructs us to use whatever gifts and talents we have
his glory not ours.  The beautiful part of being a part of the body of Christ is that we are all
unique.  Jesus calls us to be ONE and to use our talents connecting to his church.  That
connection is Jesus' call on all of us to create unity and for people to look at his family and
say, "there is something different here."    
Treasures | Mark 12:41-44
God calls us to sacrifice our resources in order to give back.  If we are honest, treasures are
the last thing we want to sacrifice. You may be asking, how does giving money help me
abide? When we tithe, we loosen the grips on material possessions and invest in eternity.
We can’t hold onto the vine, if we are holding onto our stuff. Sacrificing our treasures
follows Jesus' example of not storing up treasures here on Earth (Matthew 6:19-21) but in
Heaven. The Lord has blessed us so that we may bless others, not to collect the most stuff.  The Lord doesn’t suggest we give back to Him, he commands it.  If I am honest – there is
connection of prayer and scripture when we are asked to sacrificially give.  It shows God
that we love him more than our things.
Next Living as a Family