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January 9, 2023

Planted: The Gathering

By:
Katie
St. Clair

What does it mean to be planted in the House?

"Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing." Psalm 92:13-14 (NKJV)

Pastor Eli Nelson began a new 4-week series based on this psalm. There is a correlation between being planted and bearing fruit. God’s design for your life is to bear fruit. You need to be planted in the House in order to bear fruit. You need nutrients to produce fruit.

The 4 G’s of What It Means to be Planted

1. The Gathering

2. The Growing

3. The Giving

4. The Gifting

These 4 time-tested actions are shown in Acts 2:41-47 as being crucial for being planted in the House.

"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (NIV)

THE GATHERING

Every message you accept you must respond to it. You can’t just hear it; you have to respond to it. “Added to their number” refers to gathering. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship (gathering). Devoted means "to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing, to be in constant relation to, to persevere." We are called to gather for corporate worship, study God’s Word together, pray, and eat together. Church (ekklesia) refers to the people, not the place.

“If you want to be fruitful in your life, you have to sow seeds in your life.” – Ps. Eli Nelson

When you accepted salvation, you were given a seed. What you do with it is up to you. You can plant it so it can grow roots, or you can uproot it and move it. One waters, another plants, but God makes it grow. You decide if it will be fruitful. Growth does not necessarily result in fruitfulness.

A seed needs soil and a root system. The fruit being produced is determined by you. When the Word is planted, it is planted to produce fruit, which means what you do with the seed determines the fruit produced. You can choose to be good soil for the seed, or let it wither. What you are doing each and every week by being involved in the church (gathering) is watering the seed. Being involved in church, giving, and using your gifting for the church are all things that help grow the seed. Fruit is inevitable when practicing these things.

You can be IN church but not PLANTED in church if it’s about you.

The church is there to equip you, not cater to you. You should go to church to grow and transform, and to align your belief system with the truth. Your development is more important than your comfort.

How does God grow us? How does He cause us to be fruitful? He prunes us. You prune plants that produce fruit to make them more fruitful. God does the same with us through discipline. God disciplines those He loves. The church is His method for growth. The church can bring a confrontation of our belief system, a confrontation of lies we have aligned with. Pruning causes hurt because we identify with a false belief rather than being a son or daughter of Christ. You can approach church with the mindset of: God, show me what is not right with my heart. This is what gathering is for. Embrace the confrontation of your belief system or be hurt by it.

Many people get hurt when the church holds the line on truth rather than catering to their beliefs. But the church doesn’t hurt people; people hurt people. By not going to church, you don’t hurt them; you hurt yourself. Don’t let your church hurt turn into a God hurt. There are imperfect people at church, not hypocrites. It’s like going to the gym and leaving because the people there are out of shape. Just like you go to the gym to get in shape, you go to church to develop your relationship with God and other believers. Leave room for our failures. Have grace for one another.

If things regularly take you away from the gathering–even if they are good things–you can have the appearance of life for a short while, but then the life will start to wither. Like a cut flower that appears to have life for a while, but then without a root system giving it nutrients, it turns brown and then withers. Going to church gives you continual nutrients to maintain your life. Church is not just a place to go, but a loving body where you can become a part.

10 Reasons Why Gathering Is Important

One: Hear the Preaching of the Word – The Word waters your soul. If you can’t go to church, watching online is a wonderful resource. If you are able to go to church, then watching online can give the appearance of being planted when you’re not. If there is no root, there is no accountability, which means there is no ability to be pruned. If there is no ability to be pruned, fruitfulness is limited. It is imperative for a believer to see people face to face.

Two: Contribute and Receive in Corporate Worship – Worshiping God alone, though great, cannot compare to worshiping beside like-minded believers who share the same Spirit, all praising God together.

Three: Sharpening of One Another – Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Not only do we become sharper as we regularly meet with other believers, but also sparks fly! God uses our interactions with others to show us the areas He wants us to repent from and work on to more reflect the image of His Son. These sparks show us areas He wants us to mature in. The enemy’s plan is to divide and attack; he will isolate you. The enemy will use our lack of love for God’s people to quench our love for God.

Four: To Use Your Gifting – God equips His children with gifts to serve Christ and each other, such as preaching, encouraging, hospitality, and administration (1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:6). In a healthy church body, its parts realize they are part of the congregation not only to receive, but also to contribute. Statistics reveal that in most churches, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. This is to inspire you to get involved and use what God has gifted you with to uplift the body of believers. The harvest is plentiful but workers are few (Luke 10:2). Be encouraged that you have something to give! Your willingness to use your gifting in your church is likely the answer to someone’s prayer for God to send more workers to help with the harvest.

Five: To Encourage Your Pastors – Paul’s joy to see faithful people is expressed in Philippians 1:3-7: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, … 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart” (NKJV).

Six: Godly Father and Mothers (Mentors) – It is God’s plan for the older believers to come alongside the younger to train them in godliness and guide them toward being fruitful in the things that matter most. See Titus 2 to learn how much God values mentorship. And not only can you find amazing mentors in the church, but it is also where God wants to use you as a mentor.

Seven: Influence Your Children in the Ways and Things of God – If you want your children to love God, they need to see that you love God. Your children need to observe you making God a priority every day of the week.

Eight: To Be a Light to the World – Jesus said they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. The Spirit can use our devotion for one another to bring others in.

Nine: Help Carry Each Other’s Burdens – Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Life can be hard, but being part of a church body means you never need to feel alone because you have support.

Ten: The Word of God Says To

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
Excuses are easy to find. Devotion is not. Be devoted to the things that matter most.

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