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Summary: People who have been touched by the love of God should share that love and look after the needs of those around them.

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Pataskala Church of the Nazarene

January 17, 2010

Loving God and loving others

Stewardship month 2010

Caring for One Another

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Today’s Focus: God’s people care for one another.

SHOW VIDEO

My Decision: I will relax and rely on God.

PowerPoint Slide: REACH acrostic

Introduction

When John Lennon wrote the words of his hit song “Imagine,” he had a completely different world in mind than the one he saw.

He imagined peace and harmony among all people.

He imagined a world with no more war, no more murder and no more poverty.

The sad part of the song, though, is that the key to Lennon’s utopia was a world without God.

Lennon imagined a world without God to be a more peaceful and loving place.

This morning I want us to use our imagination to envision a world that is not unlike Lennon’s

utopia.

But, of course, the key to our new world will not be the absence of God, but rather the fullness of God and His Spirit.

We know that God exists.

We see His hand at work in the world, throughout history, and even in our own lives.

We have experienced His love and grace.

We have been changed into new creatures by His very hands.

But imagine with me, if you can, a world where a unified body of Christ carries the burdens of one another.

Imagine with me this church unified in the Spirit, working together for one purpose, every person who claims this church as their church.

Imagine with me PCN caring so much for others that we would begin to reach our community our friends because we CARE and to show the Love of Jesus.

Imagine the peace, the Shalom Peace of God that would fill the earth if every one of us shared the heavy load of others in this life.

Pictures of poverty would not fill our televisions.

Food pantries would spill over in abundance.

The homeless would find shelter, and the fatherless would find protection.

This week the unimaginable happened in the nation of Haiti. Our denomination has already responded and are present in Haiti helping.

Can you imagine 50 thousand possibly plus people killed in an earthquake?

Again I remind you the Word of God tells us that in the Last Days there would be earthquakes as a sign of Jesus’ coming again.

Matthew 24 and verse 7 reads, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against king-dom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”

Can you imagine?

Let’s take a look at the world of insects to gain some insight on the subject.

Solomon wrote recorded in Proverbs 6:6, “Go to the ant, you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise!”

The book of Proverbs boasts of the wisdom of some of the smallest creatures on earth: ants.

When it comes to community and caring for one another’s needs, ants get it.

All summer, with no one giving orders,

no boss handing out time cards,

ants ALL WORKING TOGETHER, GATHERING enough food that will last them all winter.

And it’s not every ant for himself.

They gather as a team.

They keep the food in common and share with everyone equally.

As a team they are able to carry pieces of food hundreds of times bigger than they could by themselves.

Think of it this way: insects go hand in hand with terms like swarms, hives, and nests.

Insects come in packs.

They live together, work together, and if Walt Disney has taught us anything, they even play together.

Some of you will remember the movie Antz.

Most insect’s entire existence hinges upon community.

These communities provide the basic needs of life for everyone involved: food, shelter and water.

Paul shares great wisdom with us in his epistle to the Galatians.

Paul isn’t revealing any mind-blowing theology.

He is stating the obvious.

People who have been touched by the love of God should share that love and look after the needs of those around them.

In one sentence, the Apostle Paul gives us the blueprint for true Christian community.

As we explore this concept this morning, we are going to be looking at what carrying each other’s burdens actually does for the body of Christ.

I pray that God will soften your heart to receive this simple yet profound message and empower us to take action.

I. FIRST - CARING FOR EACH OTHER LIGHTENS THE LOAD FOR EVERYONE: Jas 2:8

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.”

You’ve seen them walk into church, heads held low.

The heavy laden and the weary.

Their dark and hollow eyes rest in dark circles of unrest and worry.

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