Caring for Other Beleivers
Sermon shared by Brian Bill
Summary: You and I were created for community. That’s why our topic this morning is so important. You were made to have intimate relationships, to serve people lavishly, to share the stuff that you have, to build into the lives of the people around you, to have p
Audience: General adults
Having my friend Pastor Ray here a couple weeks ago reminded me of something he told me once. As you may know, he’s from the South. One of the most challenging things for him living in Chicago is that it’s difficult to find a restaurant that serves grits. I asked him once what a “grit” was. He told me that there’s no such thing as a “grit”. They don’t come by themselves they come in a community of other grits. You can’t just order one grit.
You know, we’re a lot like grits some of us are “grittier” than others. We’re not here on our own we’ve been created to be in community with others. Other people have touched our lives -- parents, neighbors, friends and teachers (Sunday School). Some touched you for the better, and others may have made you cry.
God made us that way. He said that it is not good for human beings to experience the oppressing, isolating aloneness that wounds the heart. Genesis 2:18 says that “It is not good for man to be alone…” God made one human being and said, "They don’t come by themselves."
You and I were created for community. That’s why our topic this morning is so important. You were made to have intimate relationships, to serve people lavishly, to share the stuff that you have, to build into the lives of the people around you, to have people to whom you can entrust the secrets of your heart and to laugh, praise, pray and cry with other human beings. Many of you are experiencing that every week in your TLC group.
But, here’s a weird truth about human beings. While we long for community, we also run from it. It has been said that when humankind fell from grace, we inherited not only a tendency to hide from God, but a tendency to hide from one another as well. We struggle with conflicting desires. On the one hand, we desire to be close to one another, and on the other, we want to hold others at arm’s length. We have learned to be suspicious of other people’s motives. At times we’ve been taken advantage of and we fear being burned again and so we erect barriers. These barriers effectively insulate us from one another, and become an impediment to true community in the Church.
Jesus prayed, in John 17:22-23, that we might be one, even as He and the Father are one: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
But for that to happen, as we sang earlier, many walls have to fall down. Suspicion has to be replaced with openness; uncertainty has to be replaced with willingness; and fear has to be replaced with love. On the day of Pentecost, that is precisely what happened — the barriers came falling down. The Holy Spirit of God moved in and produced a wonderful unity in that first group of believers.
Our text today describes the extent of that unity as it existed at the very beginning. For a while, they were allowed to live in the glorious oneness which only the Spirit can produce. I believe this sense of community can be recaptured today when we allow Christ to be Lord, and surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our personal lives.
I believe that deep down within us, we all long
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