Summary: 1- We must commend some people 2- We must greet all who are in Christ 3- We must watch out for those who cause trouble
INTRO.- ILL.- I heard someone say one time that there are two kinds of people: saints and aints. We’re all supposed to be saints in the church but sometimes we act like aints.
ILL.- David Lloyd George (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916-1922) was addressing a meeting in South Wales when the chairman, thinking to be witty at the chancellor’s expense, remarked to the audience that he was a little disappointed in Mr. Lloyd George’s appearance. “I had heard so much about Mr. Lloyd George,” he said, “that I naturally expected to meet a big man in every sense; but, as you can see for yourselves, he is very small in stature.”
Many people might have been upset by such an introduction, but not so Lloyd George. He said, “I am grieved to find that your chairman is disappointed in my size, but this is owing to the way you have here of measuring a man. In North Wales we measure a man from his chin up, but you evidently measure him from his chin down!”
How do you measure a person or perhaps a person’s worth? By his or her physical stature or appearance? That’s the way it is in Hollywood, but not in heaven.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
ILL.- The Perfect Church
I think that I shall never see
A Church that’s all it ought to be:
A Church whose members never stray
Beyond the Strait and Narrow Way:
A Church that has no empty pews,
Whose Pastor never has the blues,
A Church whose Deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek:
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind,
And all to other’s faults are blind.
Such perfect Churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still, we’ll work, and pray and plan,
To make our own the best we can.
Even though the church isn’t perfect because there are no perfect people, we do serve a perfect God. And the Lord’s people are important because they belong to God. And we need to have the right attitude toward people in the church.
PROP.- Let’s consider what Paul said about various people in the Lord’s church and how his words apply to us.
1- We must commend some people
2- We must greet all who are in Christ
3- We must watch out for those who cause trouble
I. WE MUST COMMEND SOME PEOPLE
1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.
ILL.- The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I'd give more praise," he said.
I think if we had life to do over again we’d probably give more praise! People die for lack of appreciation. Marriages dissolve or die for lack of praise.
ILL.- Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle had a very devoted wife who sacrificed everything for his sake, but he never gave her a single expression of appreciation for which her heart yearned. She came to regard herself as the most miserable woman in London and evidently died of heart hunger. After her death, Carlyle, reading her diary, realized the truth. A friend found him at her grave suffering intense remorse and exclaiming, "If I had only known!"
Children never reach their potential in school for lack of praise. Even most adult people never reach their potential in the work field for lack of praise.
1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. (a servant in the church)
ILL.- I heard a story one time an old elder in one church who said, “I’ve been an elder in this church over 30 years and not one person has ever said ‘thank you’ or said anything good to me.” HOW SAD IS THAT? We are all guilty of this sin of omission of failing to do good.