Summary: 1. Times are tough. Families are struggling. Situations are serious.
1. Times are tough. Families are struggling. Situations are serious.
a. Not everything is going the way they would like.
b. Really nothing is going the way they would like.
c. That’s the first century church, believers living out their faith under severe persecution.
d. Daily they could find example after example where they could EASILY say, “THIS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG!”
NOW Things might not be that tough for us… YET, but there are still things we can find in our lives where we say:
• “This is JUST PLAIN wrong.”
• Sometimes we brought it upon ourselves…
Like the great preacher FB Meyer once said:
THIS IS THE BITTEREST OF ALL—to know that suffering need not have been; that it has resulted from indiscretion and inconsistency; that it is the harvest of one’s own sowing… Ah me! this is pain
• AND Other times it’s been brought upon us by others.
• AND still other times, God may will us to suffer… 3:17 & 4:19
So what are we supposed to do? How are we to respond?
• Let’s read through 3:8-17
I. (3:8-12) LOVE IN UNITY
1. (8) Disrupting Unity.
a. Guys know this… one of Satan’s most used and worn out weapons is DISUNITY.
b. He throws all his weight into disrupting unity among the brethren, within the family of God! Why?
Psalm 133.1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It’s neat to see wonderful things follow our unity in Jesus Christ…
#1 – COMPASSION – sincere ‘feeling for & with’ the needs of others.
• When they hurt, you hurt. When they struggle, you struggle.
• Compassion flows from a soft heart, not a hard one.
• You’re sensitive for people dealing with pains & sorrows.
#2 – BROTHERLY LOVE & #3 TENDER HEARTS.
• These flow from the heart of Jesus to us & through us.
• With tender hearts, we can sense the leading of His Spirit to look out for others with an openness to meet other’s needs!
#4 - BE COURTEOUS
• This is humility, as we put others ahead of ourselves.
APP: We’re a family here. A family of believers drawn here and knit together by Jesus great & compassionate love for us!
• Some of you don’t have family outside of the Body of Christ.
• This is the one that God adopted you into and the bonds here are greater relationships than even blood relations.
• That’s why it hurts when there’s disunity, and flesh inspired heartlessness among us.
• The heart of Jesus is seen through love, compassion, tenderness and courtesy!
AND SOME MAY SAY: BUT I’ve been wronged! I’ve been hurt! I’ve received the short end of the stick. They’ve gossiped about me.
• She really hurt me. He did it on purpose… and v9 says.
2. (9) Not Returning Evil for Evil!
a. That humble spirit is shown in not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, or pain for pain.
APP: Has someone hurt you? Are you returning evil for evil?
• Jesus’ way is that we don’t do that. He wants us to look to Him.
• Paul writes strongly to the believers in Corinth because they decided to take things into their own hands.
• Let’s flip over to 1 Corinthians 6.5-8 (key is v7)
1 Cor. 13.5-6 (NIV) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.