Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgive One Another

Forgiveness, that's something we all need and want from others but one of the most difficult things to give to others.

How do we learn to forgive?

Colossians 3:13 says, Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

I know what your thinking, "You don't know how I've been hurt. I don't want to forgive, I want justice. I want the other person to know the pain they caused me.

The truth is, forgiveness is not easy, it does not come naturally. But we must learn to forgive.

Did you catch the last phase of that verse in Colossians? "Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you".

Jesus could certainly find fault with us. All the things that Jesus wants us to do, and we don’t do them. All the things that Jesus doesn’t want us to do, and we do them. But Jesus forgives. Not because we deserve it or have earned it, but because He loves us.

We must learn to do the same.

Serve One Another

What do you think of when you hear the word servant? What picture comes to mind?

Some people have a positive image of a servant. One who is serving their country or community. Most probably have a negative image of a servant. One who is stuck doing menial chores or cleaning up other people's messes.

Throughout the New Testament we see the picture of a servant over and over. The apostle picture themselves as servants and believers are called to be servants of one another.

Galatians 5:13 says, "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

Did you catch that last phrase? "Through love serve one another". Servant hood should grow from our heart, rooted in our love for God and for others.

Jesus said in Mark 10:43, "Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant".

I can't promise that you will be applauded by many people for being a servant of others, but one thing is for sure, Jesus will think your great.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Live in Harmony with One Another

Most often when we hear the word harmony we think of the musical term which is defined as, “The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect." When there is harmony it sounds good.

The opposite of harmony is dissonance. Dissonance can be defined as a, “...tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.” When there is dissonance the sound is not good.

When there is harmony in the church it is good and great things can be accomplished because we are on the same page, but when there is dissonance the church is greatly hindered. One of the primary ways the devil attacks the church is attempting to disrupt the harmony that is there. In Luke 11:17 Jesus said, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls."  
In Acts 2 we see a model of how the church lived in harmony with one another. 

 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.  
Acts 2:44-47

I am sure they had disagreements and disputes, but they were still of one mind. This does not mean they were not individuals who at times had their own opinions and ways of doing things. It means they understood the kingdom was bigger and greater than any single individual.

If the church of today can learn to be of one mind, learn to live in harmony, it will make an impact upon the world we cannot begin to imagine.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Encourage One Another

"Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25

"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." 
1 Thessalonians 5:11

When the Bible calls us to encourage one another, what exactly does this mean? The New Testament word for encourage is such a beautiful picture by itself. The Greek word the Bible uses means, "to come alongside of, to stand with.” You encourage someone when you come alongside them and help carry the load; you help them keep going.

The year was 1992, and Derek Redmond was set to run in the semifinals of the 400 meter race at that year's Olympics. As the race began Derek took an early lead, and it looked as if he might win the race. At a heartbreaking 175 meters from the finish line, Derek grabbed his right leg. He had just pulled a hamstring and he immediately fell to the ground in pain.

He got up after a few seconds and was determined to finish the race. As he slowly hobbled down the track, a man suddenly ran from in the stands to his side. It was his dad.

"You don't have to do this," his dad said. "Yes I do!" replied Derek. "Then we'll finish together," said his dad. He put his arm around his son, and the two of them made their way down the track.

This is what it means to encourage!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Love One Another


What is it that defines us as Christians? We could be defined by our mission- to make disciples. We could be defined by our worship. But the one thing that should define us more than anything else, that can really set us apart is love. 

The call to love one another is repeated thirteen times in Scripture. It is given by three different authors in six different books. It is the one principle on which all the other one another principles depend.

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
 John 13:34-35

We tend to see love as a purely emotional response. We fall into love. We fall out of it. We can't determine whom we will love, or why. It just happens. Jesus' view of love, however, is different. It is not primarily a feeling but a choice. It's a decision to treat someone in a gracious and generous manner. The love Jesus commands is not how I feel about you but how I treat you. It's based on what I can do for you, not what you can do for me.

It’s a new kind of love. 

Jesus doesn't just give us this new command to love one another, but He attaches it to the highest standard, the greatest measure imaginable.

 “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 

Some things to think about:

1. Why do you think Jesus puts such a high priority on how Christians treat each other?

2. What does it mean to love one another as Jesus loves us?