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Love One Another

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Becoming a Real Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:47
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There are five functions that are essential for a healthy, effective church:
Connect with one another in fellowship.
Grow in Christ through discipleship.
Serve others in ministry.
Go into the world and make disciples.
Worship God.
Last week, I shared with you about three biblical truths concerning connecting with others:
Consider others - be concerned about people.
Encourage others.
Worship with others.
After some thought and conversation with others, I felt the need to talk this message about connected with others one step further.
What can we do, in practical ways, to connect with each other in this church—and those who are new to our church family?
Romans 12:9–13 ESV
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Main Idea
Connecting with one another is an essential element in becoming a healthy, biblical church community.
Jesus is the example of how we can effectively connect with people.
Transition for first principle.
Peter (Simon) has fished all night, catching nothing. Jesus directed them to put their nets out—and the boat began to sink because it has so many fish. It was after meeting his need that He called them to be his disciple. (Luke 5:1-11)
Because Jesus met the need, Peter and several others decided to follow Jesus.

Be observant of people and their needs.

PRINCIPLE: As Christians, we need to be observant of people—and concerned about their needs.
We value every person we come into contact with.
We are to be sensitive to what they perceive as their needs.
We first must focus on where they are and what they believe their need to be, rather than “drag” people to where we are and what we think their need is.
This shows humility and respect.
This allows opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work—without us assuming His role.
This also demonstrates that we are to treat people as people rather than a project.
And, when we do this, trust can begin to take root.
Transition for second principle.
People matter to Jesus, even those that were “culturally” unacceptable.
In Jesus’ day, a man would not typically have a conversation with a woman (who was not a family member) or someone of a different ethnicity. But that did not matter to Jesus.
One day, after a long journey, Jesus rested as a well in Samaria. The rest of His disciples went to town to find food. (John 4:1-45)
Soon, a woman came alone to the well to draw water. And, it was from this occasion that Jesus entered into a conversation—and it was not a one-sided conversation. Jesus did not just talk (or preach), He listened.

Learn to Listen.

PRINCIPLE: As Christians, we need to learn the discipline of listening.
Listening takes effort.
Either, we are impatient to earnestly follow what someone is saying—or we are focused on what we are going to say when given the opportunity.
We need to learn to ask questions in order to make sure that we are understanding what is being said.
Listening demonstrates respect. Sincere listening is one of the key ingredients to building trust.
Listening opens the door for the Holy Spirit to use you to help others.
Listening is essential for meaningful connection.
Transition for the third principle.
When you read the Gospels, one of the characteristics that Jesus demonstrates is compassion. Jesus was (and is) compassionate.
One day, as Jesus was traveling in the town of Nain, He and his disciples walked right into a funeral.
The man who died as the only son of a widow.
Luke 7:13 “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”
Luke 7:14 “Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’”
Luke 7:15 “And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him to his mother.”

Demonstrate Compassion.

PRINCIPLE: As Christians, we should be known for our compassion, rather than our judgment.
Compassion opens the door for effective evangelism.
Compassion demonstrates that people truly matter. It shows that we are more concerned about others that ourselves.
Transition for the fourth principle.
Putting people down—bullying—has always been a part of the human experience.
During the ministry of Jesus, there was a blind man that was the subject of a conversation among the disciples. They question whether the man was blind because of his sin or his parents sin. John 9:1-41.
Jesus brought correction to his disciples’ views:
John 9:3 ESV
3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
Then Jesus healed him.
And, because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath, the religious leaders viewed this as a violation to the Law. Because the man would not condemn Jesus, these leaders excommunicated him from the community.
John 9:35–38 ESV
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus would not ignore the weak.

Protect the Weak.

PRINCIPLE: As Christians, we are to protect the weak. We must have a heart for the lonely, the hurting, and the marginalized.
Jesus said to his followers:
Mark 9:35 ESV
35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
We should never ignore injustice—especially in the church.
We must reach out to everyone around us—and not assume that someone else will do it.
Transition for final principle:
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he demonstrated grace and kindness—even those that took a long time to understand the truth that he preached.
When you look at a disciple like Peter, you see a man who took several years to finally get it—to finally understand the Person and Work of Jesus.
Jesus even took Peter in after he denied him in the shadow of the Cross.

Be Patient.

PRINCIPLE: As Christians, we need to be patient with people.
We need to remember that we have not arrived at spiritual perfection.
If we want others to be patient with us, we need to be patient with others. It is the heart and meaning of the golden rule.
Main Idea
Connecting with one another is an essential element in becoming a healthy, biblical church community.
We need to be observant of people and their needs—because Jesus was.
We need to learn to listen—because Jesus listened.
We need to be compassionate—because Jesus was always compassionate.
We need to protect the weak—because that what Jesus did—and that is what he does.
We need to be patient—because God is patient with us.
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