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Summary: Guidelines from Paul for getting along with others.

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Someone with Skin

TEXT: Phil 2:1-4

INTRODUCTION

· In a parable she has written, Karen Mains describes the following wedding:

DOWN IN FRONT STANDS THE GROOM IN A SPOTLESS TUXEDO - HANDSOME, SMILING, FULL OF ANTICIPATION, SHOES SHINED, EVERY HAIR IN PLACE, ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE PRESENCE OF HIS BRIDE. ALL ATTENDANTS ARE IN PLACE, LOOKING JOYFUL AND ATTRACTIVE. THE MAGICAL MOMENT FINALLY ARRIVES AS THE PIPE ORGAN REACHES FULL CRESCENDO & THE STATELY WEDDING MARCH BEGINS.

EVERYONE RISES & LOOKS TOWARD THE DOOR FOR THEIR FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE BRIDE. SUDDENLY THERE IS A HORRIFIED GASP. THE WEDDING PARTY IS SHOCKED. THE GROOM STARES IN EMBARRASSED DISBELIEF. INSTEAD OF A LOVELY WOMAN DRESSED IN ELEGANT WHITE, SMILING BEHIND A LACE VEIL, THE BRIDE IS LIMPING DOWN THE AISLE. HER DRESS IS SOILED & TORN. HER LEG SEEMS TWISTED. UGLY CUTS & BRUISES COVER HER BARE ARMS. HER NOSE IS BLEEDING, ONE EYE IS PURPLE & SWOLLEN, & HER HAIR IS DISHEVELED.

"DOES NOT THIS HANDSOME GROOM DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS?" ASKS THE AUTHOR. AND THEN THE CLINCHER: "ALAS, HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH, HAS BEEN FIGHTING AGAIN."

· Unfortunately, that parable is sometimes all too true in the Body of Christ, in families, & other relationships

· Paul gives guidance for getting along with others

· Look only at Phil 2:1

I. BE PEOPLE OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND COMFORT

A. Combined because related in the Greek

1. Encouragement that comes from nearness or walking along

side someone

2. Comfort that comes from nearness or walking along side someone

3. If you’ve received this from Christ, pass it on to other

(IL) Little boy who is afraid of the dark when he goes to bed at night. Dad went up to the room and talked to him. He told the little boy that there was no need to be afraid because God was with him. The little boy said, "I know that daddy, but I want someone with skin."

a. Paul wants us to be someone with skin to others

B. We all need "someone with skin" to encourage, comfort, walk along side us from

time to time as we go thru difficulties

1. Affair of a spouse, financial setback, divorce, unexpected pregnancy,

alcoholism, abuse, homosexuality enters the family, illness or death of

loved one

2. Where can we find someone with skin?

a. The fellowship of church, family, or elsewhere?

(IL) BRUCE LARSON & KEITH MILLER IN THE EDGE OF ADVENTURE: THE NEIGHBORHOOD BAR IS POSSIBLY THE BEST COUNTERFEIT THERE IS TO THE FELLOWSHIP CHRIST WANTS TO GIVE HIS CHURCH. IT’S AN IMITATION, DISPENSING LIQUOR INSTEAD OF GRACE, ESCAPE RATHER THAN REALITY, BUT IT IS A PERMISSIVE, ACCEPTING, & INCLUSIVE FELLOWSHIP. IT IS UNSHOCKABLE. IT IS DEMOCRATIC. YOU CAN TELL PEOPLE SECRETS & THEY USUALLY DON’T TELL OTHERS OR EVEN WANT TO. THE BAR FLOURISHES NOT BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE ARE ALCOHOLICS, BUT BECAUSE GOD HAS PUT INTO THE HUMAN HEART THE DESIRE TO KNOW & BE KNOWN, TO LOVE & BE LOVED, & SO MANY SEEK A COUNTERFEIT AT THE PRICE OF A FEW BEERS. WITH ALL MY HEART I BELIEVE THAT CHRIST WANTS HIS CHURCH TO BE...A FELLOWSHIP WHERE PEOPLE CAN COME IN & SAY, "I’M SUNK!" "I’VE HAD IT!"


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