Summary: God has called us to be body builders – to build up His body! When you become a Christian, you are not joining a religion, but becoming a part of a family. Like pieces of a puzzle, we are all fitted together in the body of Christ.
A CHOSEN GENERATION #3: BODY BUILDERS
“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:4-9).
INTRODUCTION: We are a chosen generation, called to proclaim God’s praises.
• This tells us that we are living stones, and that we are being built up into a spiritual house. God has called us to be body builders – to build up His body!
• When you become a Christian, you are not joining a religion, but becoming a part of a family. We are all members of the same family – with God as our Father.
• This is our membership Sunday – we welcome five new members into our family!
• Paul talks about this theme: “Under his direction, the whole body is FITTED TOGETHER perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Eph. 4:16).
• ILLUSTRATION: Give everyone a puzzle piece. Like pieces of a puzzle, we are all fitted together in the body of Christ. When you do a puzzle, and you have one or two pieces missing, what do you notice? Not the beauty of the whole picture, but the place where the missing pieces should be.
JOKE: Coach Shug Jordan at Auburn University asked his former Line-backer Mike Kollin, who was then playing for the Miami Dolphins, if he would help him do some recruiting. Mike said, "Sure, coach. What kind of player are you looking for?" The coach said, "Well Mike, you know there’s that fellow, you knock him down, he just stays down?" Mike said, "We don’t want him, do we, coach?" "No, that’s right. Then there’s that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, you knock him down again and he stays down." Mike said, "We don’t want him either do we coach?"Coach said, "No, but Mike, there’s a fellow, you knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up." Mike said, "That’s the guy we want isn’t it, coach?" The coach answered, "No, Mike, we don’t want him either. I want you to find the guy who’s knocking everybody down. That’s the guy we want."
“8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. 10 God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” (1 Peter 4:8-10).
THREE THINGS WE CAN DO TO BE BODY BUILDERS:
1. Love everyone deeply.
2. Be hospitable to all people.
3. Minister your gifts to others.
I. LOVE EVERYONE DEEPLY.
• v.8 – “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
• Another translation calls us to love fervently. With full strength or maximum effort.
• Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:34-35).
• Jesus calls us to love each other totally, unconditionally, and sacrificially.
II. BE HOSPITABLE TO ALL PEOPLE.
• v. 9 - “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”
• Let’s look at the early church in Acts: “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:44-47). The believers shared their lives – and everything – together.
• MY TESTIMONY: Of my first church – Solid Rock in Regina – the people invited me into their homes and showed me love, acceptance and forgiveness.
• We want our church to be a city on a hill, a lighthouse in our community, and this will happen as we start loving deeply, being hospitable, and using our gifts…