Iron sharpens iron!

 Fellowship  Comments Off on Iron sharpens iron!
Feb 082018
 

“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called `today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).

We need people in our lives who will love us enough to warn us when necessary.

Just as “iron sharpens iron”-

– we’re to push each other toward Christ-like behaviour and protect one another from failing in our faith (Proverbs 27:17).

God calls us to “tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body” (Ephesians 4:25).

The basis for warning each other in loving truth is that “we all belong to each other.”

Our warnings are not to be mere rebukes.

They should be positive and redemptive-

– calling us to a higher place and reminding each other of our godly purpose.

They are exhortations for restoration-

– and are given as loving corrections with a humble heart and compassionate words.

The apostle Paul said, “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).

Can you hear the passion and compassion in his voice?

When our warnings are motivated by love and based on committed relationships, they rarely come across as harsh or mean.

When we warn others-

– we tell them how much we love them.

And as part of a Christian community-

– we also should be ready and willing to receive warnings from others.

The fact is-

– we all have blind spots.

Just like a driver sometimes needs help to see what’s in a car’s blind spot-

– we need friends to help us see things in us or near us that we don’t see ourselves.

And in the same way we would warn a driver, the point is not to tear down the other person, but to keep him safely on the road.

Paul also says the warning should be immediate – “as long as it is called `today.'”

We should seize the moment because waiting to warn only leads to disaster.

So what?

Take a risk!

You show your love for others by lovingly letting them know of blind spots.

It takes a risk to show love in this way, but what will it cost if you don’t warn your friend?

Who in your life needs to hear a word of warning?

Tenderly restore!

When you point out a blind spot, it should not be done in anger.

Your motive should be to restore your friend to a strong Christian walk and witness.

Ask, “How can I make this warning tender?”

Tolerantly receive!

Are you willing and prepared to receive a similar warning?

When someone points out a blind spot in your life, listen – and don’t defend yourself.

Take it to God and ask if it is true.

If it is, ask him what you should do about it.

(PA)

Dec 302016
 
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Proverbs 11:14.

A severe rash prompted a man from a rural area to come to town to be examined by a local doctor.

After the usual history taking followed by a series of tests-
– the physician advised the patient that he would have to get rid of the dog that was evidently causing the allergic reaction.
As the man was preparing to leave the office, the doctor asked him out of curiosity if he planned to sell the animal or give it away.

“Neither one,” the patient replied. “I’m going to get me a second opinion. It’s a lot easier to find a doctor than a good bird dog!”

It happens all the time, doesn’t it?

People go around asking person after person for advice until they hear the opinion that matches theirs.
But the reality is that we are the worst judges of our own actions because our opinions of ourselves will always be more favourable than reality.

That’s why throughout Scripture, you’ll find verses like today’s that stress the need to surround yourself with a biblical community who will encourage you with the truth even when you may not want to hear it!

The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone.

There are no “Lone Rangers” of the Christian faith.
So if you don’t have a community of others who know you and will help you grow in Christ-
– join a church Bible study or form a small group that meets weekly.
The best kind of spiritual growth you’ll ever experience will come when you have others who’ll give you the “second opinion” you really need!

Pray and ask God to give you a community of believers who will help you grow in your walk with Christ by encouraging you and giving you the “second opinions” you need!

Jul 252016
 
new_christians_341241708“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16)

A disgruntled church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained:

“I’ve gone to church for thirty years now, and in that time I have heard something like three-thousand sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. I think I’m wasting my time and the Pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This began a major controversy which went on for weeks until someone wrote in this reply:

“I’ve been married for thirty years now. In that time my wife has cooked some three thousand meals. For the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this … they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work…”

So true!

We need our spiritual nourishment to be able to do the work of the Lord effectively!
Corporate worship, fellowship with our brothers and sisters and Godly counsel are a great means to get it!

God does not want us to isolate ourselves!

He wants us to be in consistent fellowship with like minded believers, teaching and exhorting one another, singing psalms and spiritual hymns together!
Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together-
– especially as His return is drawing near! Heb.10-25.
Jul 242016
 

together“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

One day, a man was walking across a bridge and saw another man standing on the edge, about to jump off.

He immediately ran to him and said, “Stop! Don’t do it!”

“Well, why shouldn’t I?” he replied.
The other said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”

“Like what”?

“Well…are you religious or atheist?”
“Religious.”

“Me too! And are you Christian or Jewish?”
“Christian.”

“Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
“Protestant.”

“Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
“Baptist.”

“Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
“Baptist Church of God.”

“Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God.”

“Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”

To which he said, “Die, you heretic!” and pushed him off the bridge.

The body of the Lord is one big family.
Yes, we differ in opinion on some issues.

But we are going to be together for eternity and we must learn to live in peace with one another!
In order for us to make a real difference in the world, the world needs to see us loving each other.

Let’s not be like the man who pushed the other off the bridge.
Let’s laugh about it and try to learn from one another.

Jul 092016
 

together

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

Friendships are among our most valuable assets.

Acquiring quality companions—those who will laugh with us in good times and stand by us during trials—requires shared commitment and an investment of time and energy.

Healthy relationships thrive on . . .

Transparency

We must be honest with friends and encourage them to be truthful in return.

To preserve a strong bond, we can’t hide hurts or feelings of rejection they may have caused.
Transparency that is tied to accountability can also help make each individual a better person.

A solid relationship allows each party to gently point out errors in the other’s life and offer loving correction.

Time

Genuine friendship takes time to develop.
We must be willing to put aside other obligations and give priority to moments spent together.

A generous portion of our time with each other should be spent talking—speaking about our thoughts and desires and also asking questions to prompt our companion to open up.

This type of conversation allows a glimpse into the other person’s heart and mind.

Thanks.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
Expressing gratitude when friends are helpful will remind them that we’re thankful to have them in our life.

Moreover, we affirm our love when we communicate how much we enjoy a certain aspect of their personality or remember an occasion that is special to them.

Being a good friend is-
– a way to serve the Lord.

He designed us to be in relationship with others-
– so we should give our best to every companion the Lord places in our life.