Summary: A Three Part Series with three important trees to teach your church the supporting roles they need to fill.

The Banyan Tree. The Banyan is native to India, but they can be found in the United States and other parts of the world, especially Asia. It grows as a young tree and then, as it gets larger, the heavy limbs put forth roots which drop to the ground to form a secondary trunk to support the large limbs. Step under an old Banyan tree, and you are stepping into what looks like a mini-forest. They can grow, therefore, to an absolutely enormous size, and have a long life span. If you look you can see all of the secondary trunks supporting the older, heavy limbs. I saw a large area under which people could gather, as indeed they do in many Asian communities, to discuss issues and concerns of a village. And I saw a metaphor for the church. This sermon, then, is a sermon about the nature of the church. A large host trunk, many long, large and heavy limbs extending in all directions, supporting trunks and root systems, a huge shaded area where people could gather in community, find shelter from the storm, or rest from their labors.

The Church Supporting its ministries

In a fast paced world that we live in we all have lives that are very busy. Each of us hardly finding the time to do the things we want to do, let alone the things we need to do. (Focus on getting everyone to each others events)

Colossians 3:2 ESV

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Matthew 6:33 ESV

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Romans 8:5 ESV

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

1 John 3:16 ESV

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

The Church supporting its community

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

How do we support one another in the church is how we support one another outside the church. I want you to think of that statement for just a moment. As you look around this evening you see your Brothers and Sisters, not knowing what they are facing or having to go through in their own life. And the majority of the time we do not take the time to care much less to listen.

How we are treating our own sheep is a reflection of how we will treat the world.

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

Thou shalt love thy neighbor - The love of our neighbor springs from the love of God as its source is found in the love of God as its principle, pattern, and end; and the love of God is found in the love of our neighbor, as its effect, representation, and infallible mark. This love of our neighbor is a love of equity, charity, succor (Assistance and support in times of hardship and distress) and benevolence. We owe to our neighbor what we have a right to expect from him - "Do unto all men as ye would they should do unto you," is a positive command of our blessed Savior. By this rule, therefore, we should speak, think, and write, concerning every soul of man: - put the best construction upon all the words and actions of our neighbor that they can possibly bear. By this rule we are taught to bear with, love, and forgive him; to rejoice in his felicity, mourn in his adversity, desire and delight in his prosperity, and promote it to the utmost of our power: instruct his ignorance, help him in his weakness, and risk even our life for his sake, and for the public good. In a word, we must do every thing in our power, through all the possible varieties of circumstances, for our neighbors, which we would wish them to do for us, were our situations reversed.

This is the religion of Jesus! How happy would Society be, were these two plain, rational precepts properly observed! Love Me, and love thy Fellows! Be unutterably happy in me, and be in perfect peace, unanimity, and love, among yourselves. Great fountain and dispenser of love! fill thy creation with this sacred principle, for his sake who died for the salvation of mankind!

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