Summary: We are to support one another.
THIS IS A HOLD UP
S: Encouragement and support
Th: Grace-Full Living
Pr: WE ARE TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER.
TS: In our study of Galatians 5:25-6:5, we will find four ways we can support one another.
The _____ way we can support one another is…
I. LIVE IT UP (25)
II. DON’T TEAR DOWN (26)
III. BUILD UP (1-2)
IV. KEEP DOWN (3-5)
RMBC 9/24/00 AM
ILL Notebook: Encouragement (patients in coma)
Lillian‘s physician stopped by her hospital room to see her every day while she was recuperating from an operation, but he hardly said more than a few words to her. One morning, however, he was unusually talkative. After chatting for about 15 minutes, he turned to leave and said, “It sure has been nice talking to you, Mrs. McDade. All my other patients are in a coma.”
Now tell me, how encouraged would you feel at that point?
I don’t think I would feel real encouraged at that moment, wondering if the coma was next for me.
But that little story brought to my mind this thought…
When things aren’t going right, we all appreciate those that are able to offer the right words and right actions, don’t we?
1. Have you ever enjoyed the support of someone in a difficult time?
There are many times in my life when someone has come along with the right words at the right time.
I am so grateful for the times of support when I felt so weak and unable to make it on my own.
But you know…
2. Unfortunately, sometimes the church is known more for its discouragement than encouragement.
Many of you have probably heard this little poem before:
To dwell above with saints we love,
oh, that will be glory.
To live below with saints we know;
well, that’s another story!
Through the years, I must admit that I am amazed at how many people in the church are gifted in discouragement rather than encouragement.
They really are very good at tearing down and not building up.
They know how to identify the problems, but offer no solutions.
ILL Notebook: Criticism (helpful congregant)
One day, a parishioner was talking to his pastor over coffee; and he said this:
"All I’m trying to say is that certain people might think that 12:15 is a little late to be getting out of church, that a pastor doesn’t need three weeks of vacation, that your office is offensive, that a guy my age doesn’t need a guy your age telling me how to raise my kids, and that if it weren’t for your crazy Third World projects we could have repaved our parking lot by now. I’m not saying those are my opinions, or course. I just thought you should know what others might be thinking."
I’ve read that when a group of musk oxen face attack, they stand in a circle facing each other and, with their back legs, kick out at the enemy.
Donkeys, however, do just the opposite.
They face the enemy and kick each other!
It is too bad that Christians are more often like donkeys than musk oxen
Though we express our disapproval of matters around us, it often seems we reserve our sharpest criticisms for other believers with whom we don’t quite see eye to eye.
Just when encouragement is needed, it is the very thing that is missing.
We are in our next to last week of our emphasis on discipleship.
I am looking forward to what Pastor Dick Murphy is going to lead us in tonight…some practical application about what it means to be a disciple.
But let me ask this question…
A disciple is a follower of Jesus.
A disciple is one that desires to live as Jesus lived.
Perhaps even more importantly, a disciple wants to live as Jesus would have us live.
But the great thing about being a true disciple of Jesus is that we are not left to do this discipleship thing alone.
God clued us in on how He was going to accomplish it in us through the prophet Ezekiel:
(26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
God puts His own Spirit in us.
He does this because, left to ourselves, we are unable to do what is required of us.
We need God working in us.
And the testimony of Paul, as he has been writing this letter to the church in Galatia, is that this is the very thing that has happened.