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s20060108notes_Lean On Me

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Notes For the Introduction:

The first church members did two things that are remarkable one they were together and two they had all things in common. It led them to the extraordinary activity of selling possessions to care for needs of their community. So are we responsible for each other? Are we to allow others to lean on us? If we are then why are we to offer ourselves as support for our spiritual family? The point of the verses in 2:44-45 is not to establish a utopian society. These members were in a unique position. They had many members from different communities. Acts 2 mentions some 17 different countries that these Jews were from. They are called the Greek Jews or non Palestinian Jews. Jews who were at home in Greek culture. Christianity is about a relationship with God that leads you to love and care for others, and that can be in any society. These folks were free to own or sell property. They are free to do whatever they want with their possessions as exemplified by what Peter tell Ananias and Sapphira. It isn’t about reforming Jewish culture and government. Rather grace is about reforming human hearts to the cross and mercy of God. It was about the cross. Acts 4:32 is another reference to keep in mind.

Lean On Me by Bill Withers

Born July 4, 1938, in Slab Folk, WV, Withers was the youngest of six children. His father died when he was a 13 year old teen and he was raised by his mother and grandmother. After a nine-year stint in the Navy, Withers moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career in 1967. He recorded demos at night while working at the Boeing aircraft company where he made toilet seats. Withers wrote "Lean on Me" based on his experiences growing up in a West Virginia coal mining town. Times were hard and when a neighbor needed something beyond their means, the rest of the community would chip in and help. He came up with the chord progression while noodling around on his new Wurlitzer electric piano. The sound of the chords reminded Withers of the hymns that he heard at church while he was growing up.

Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you're not strong and I'll be your friend.
I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on.
Please swallow your pride, if have things you need to borrow.
For no one can fill those needs that you won't let show.
You just call on me brother when you need a hand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you'll understand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
Lean on me when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend.
I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long 'til I'm gonna' need  somebody to lean on.
You just call on me brother if you need a friend.
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you'll understand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
If there is a load you have to bear that you can't carry.
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load if you just call me. Call me ( if you need a friend)
Call me

We should help members of our spiritual family with their financial needs.

2 Cor 8:12-15—Paul quotes from Exodus 16:18 as the basis for balancing God’s material blessings which he gives to all of us. The context of the verse is the gathering of monies for the relief of the Judean church during the famines predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. Paul is encouraging them to be generous. In verses 8-11 he begins by telling them that helping family members financially is a test of love for God. He reminds them of the generous act of Jesus becoming poor that we might be spiritually rich. It is from this reason he says when our family has financial needs we are to provide according to our means.

God has provided enough material blessing to feed and clothe actually every human on the face of this earth. Do you know that the population of chickens is almost exactly the same size as the population of human beings? In other words God has literally provided a chicken for everybody’s pot. In the same way that God provided for Israel in the wilderness with the quail and manna. He quotes Exodus 16:18 as a reference point for how we need to help each other with our material needs. An Omer is a little over ¾ of a gallon.

We should help members of our spiritual family with their emotional needs

Paul calls us to support each other with empathy, harmony, and humility. Everyone needs those who take the time to understand how they are feeling. Empathy provides security. We need harmony to feel love and acceptance. And humility adds the final need to others for their self esteem. This is God’s way of communicating to us that we are accepted and loved by him

We all have emotions. They are neither good nor bad. They just are. They exist as the mental air that our souls breathe. Did you every play a game when you were a kid in the school yard or in a church service to see how long you could hold your breath. Deny air and you will see how that one thing is very important. We all come to Christ as damaged goods. Emotionally hurt and deeply flawed. So we have three basic emotional needs that the church should respond to. First is the emotional need to feel understood. The church is God’s way of wrapping his arms around us. When Jesus wept at Lazarus tomb he was saying I understand. Second is the need to feel secure that is the value of harmony. And thirdly the need to be accepted the value of humility.

Support can only be given by interacting with each other. In order to emotionally support each other we must learn to be patient. Idlers are those who come to church not to serve, but to be served. How do you emotionally support them? With patient and honest admonition. This not tearing a person apart with angry incrimination. It is being honest and lovingly truthful. How do you emotionally support the fainthearted by emotionally encouraging them. how do you emotionally support the weak by helping them with their needs. Emotional support is the process by which learn to interact with each other with patient love.

We should help members of our spiritual family with their social needs

We all need friendship and a larger group than just ourselves. That is why humans always organized themselves into groups. Wether it is a nation or cub scout pack. It is that basic need of acceptance. God organized his children into a spiritual family. In other words we need to be individuals, but we also need to belong to a group. How to be successful member of a group. Two things required. 1st open your heart, and then seek room in others hearts.

We should help members of our spiritual family with their spiritual needs.

We are commanded to build up each other up in the faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God. Look forward to the mercy of Jesus. Four things we need to do for each other. 1) Help each develop a growing biblical faith, 2) develop spiritual prayer lives, 3) keep each heart focus on the most important thing which is to love God. 4) Look forward to the mercy of Jesus that leads to eternal life. So how do we do it by mercy on the wavering and mercy on those stained with sin.

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