Summary: Some practical instruction for living the Christian life
Healthy Life Choices for Members of God’s Family
Gladstone Baptist Church – 9/10/05 pm
We have started on a 2 week series on being the family of God. Being in a family is often an interesting experience isn’t it. I can remember growing up as a boy and having all manner of fights with my brother and sister. I was the middle child and thus was the neglected one – everyone say “OH poor Davey!”
I was also probably the one who in actual fact causes a lot of the arguments because I loved teasing people and probably often went too far.
My sister was 18mths older and had no interest in sport or anything important like that. She’d far prefer to sit and read a book inside than come out and throw a ball with me. That made me mad!!!
My brother was 3 years younger and also had other interests – probably because he was at a different stage. He didn’t like playing sport with me much either because I was bigger and stronger and therefore typically better. I can remember getting into all manner of fights with my brother when I was young – I used to love pinning him to the ground and teasing him. Not really nice was I – but Hey – I was a middle child and I blame it on that!!!
Family dynamics are interesting aren’t they. We sometimes fight like cats and dogs, but just let someone else try to attack one of our brothers or sisters and we’ll rush to their aid and fight for them like there is no tomorrow.
Many families are dysfunctional and even when their members mature – they still fight like Cats and Dogs. I am pleased to announce that I don’t fight with my brother and sister any more – we’ve a good relationship now.
The Bible calls us the family of God. Rom 12:10 instructs us to
(NIV) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
(CEV) Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves.
We are called to be a part of a family and in that family, we are to love each other and honor each other.
The Bible gives a lot of good practical instructions for how we are to act towards “one another.” There are a lot of “one another” sayings and so this week and next week we thought we’d look at just 4 of them. Roger looked this morning at belonging to one another. Next Sunday morning we’ll look at bearing with one another and forgiving each other and next Sunday night, I’ll look at the command to serve one another.
But Tonight, I want to look at the topic of ENCOURAGING one another. Australian’s aren’t always very good at encouraging each other. At the footy or a sporting event, we show our encouragement through cheering, but at the same time, we love to sledge the other team – and even our own team if it doesn’t perform. Our compliments are often backhanders and we seem to be far better at bringing people down a peg or two rather than building them up. We are quick to judge and quicker to condemn. So tonight, I want to talk about 3 life choices that every single member of God’s spiritual family needs to make in order to encourage one another.
Read Rom 14:1- 15:6
14 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (What is a disputable matter? It is something which the Bible doesn’t set out clear guidelines about. E.g. Should I go to movies? Can I drink alcohol? Can I play sport on Sunday? Is Stem cell research acceptable? There are some guidelines, in Scripture, but no clear answers. Paul gives us some examples of his own here …) 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
(As I read the next 4 verses, I want you to count how many times the phrase “to the Lord” occurs.)
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.