Summary: Paul tells us how the church should look, behave and operate.

Paul’s Instructions

Today I want to look at the church as Paul instructed it to be. You see it is easy to get caught up trying to grow a large church when it is reality we should be growing a strong church. A church that is lined up with the plan of God as He intended it to be. This is what I want Turning Point to be. And if we are successful raising up a church like this then we will be successful growing a large church as well. The size should be the result of the strength of the church.

This week I have done a lot of praying for the church, the vision, for each of you and the future. Seeking the wisdom from God that I need as pastor and shepherd of the church. I have went out with some others this week to violent prayer. Where we have prayed for the church and God’s vision for us. I have spent time meditating on the voice of God for us. As I was praying this week I was reminded that I am not the first to pray for Turning Point and for you individually.

Right before Jesus was taken into custody in the garden, He prayed this prayer

19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. 20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

John 17:19-21

It was the will of Jesus Christ that everyone who would believe in Him even beyond the disciples that they would be unified in their belief and in their journey. That together we could strengthen one another, that our strengths could be a benefit to others. That in our moment of need we would find encouragement from others. That we could feel safe with one another and together be making our lives count for something of lasting value. Think about this scripture… Jesus is getting ready to face this terrible moment of sacrifice and you were on his heart as He prayed to God.

So we know from this that it is the Will of God for us as a church to be united, to be strong, and to be there for one another. That we know that God will help us to build strong families. Now please understand… in order to be this kind of church we need each of you to do your part. So are you willing? Willing to do your part? Let’s look at Paul’s instruction on this very topic.

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. 9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.

20 Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

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