Summary: Working for an auto dealership as a master technician and making a lot more money than I do as a pastor didn’t bring true abundance. I was not happy, making money. God's Word show us ho to truly live the abundant life.
This story was related by Donald Grey Barnhouse. Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other. After their graduation, they planned to practice law together. No believer is complete by himself, we are to minister to one another, as a family. (Source unknown).
Secret #10 - Abundant life is found in Community -
Christianity is meant to be lived in Community. There are no “Lone Rangers” in the Kingdom of God.
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. The idea of Community flows like a river, throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
• It starts in Eden, when God says “It’s not good for man to be alone…”
• It follows in the preservation of Israel. Israel was preserved as a Nation.
*The feasts and fasts, celebrations, and sacrifices all revolved around bringing the people together in one place - preserving the unity of the Nation.
• In the New Testament when Jesus prepares His disciples for going out in ministry He pairs them up.
• Each time the Apostle Paul heads out on a missionary journey - he teams up with others to make the journey.
God designed us to work together in community and that community is the local church. When we look around or county we see so much contempt in churches, today, The number one reason for this is, the enemy works overtime to keep Christians upset with one another.
That is why people make accusations about the church and her members.
This statement is not pretty and it may seem hurtful but it is so true…“Most people who refuse enter the church won’t enter it NOT because of who Christ is but because of who we are…
All the enemy needs to do is keep us out of fellowship with other believers and he can keep us from the abundance that God has designed for us.
I talk to people all the time that say they will never again step foot back in any church. They watch TV preachers, they call me or send a message on our prayer group on “Face Book” they even send their tithes to us or some other church. They say they are happy but they are not living the abundant life God designed for them.
Reaching the abundant life that God wants for you is difficult enough but it is nearly impossible outside of fellowship with the local church.
1. There is accountability in a Community:
It is in the local body of believers that we find accountability and challenge for our spiritual walk. King Solomon, known as the wisest man who ever lived, wrote in
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.”
Paul tells us in: Galatians 6:1-2 - “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
One of the missing keys in the church today is accountability. Knowing if you get off track someone will come alongside to help you with your Theology, lifestyle, integrity. Not as disciplinarian but as brothers and sisters.
2. We find encouragement in a Community:
When we come into community we find encouragement to weather the difficulties of walking a Christian walk. This life we live is no bed of roses, and it’s in community with other believers that we find the encouragement we need to weather the storm. We pray with each other, counsel each other, comfort each other and challenge each other. The writer of Hebrews encourages us with these words. Hebrews 10:24-25 “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.”
3. We find Passion in a Community: Acts 2:46-47 - “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, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”