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)

Oct 222017
 

cross7

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

You would think that, after observing the behaviour of some people, they have a verse in their Bible that says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, go and tell as many people as possible. And then ultimately go and try to drive that person away.”

But this is not what Scripture tells us to do.

In Matthew 18, Jesus gave us the steps we should take when it appears someone has fallen into sin.
And I emphasize the word appears.

First, we must know all the facts.

When you hear something about someone,
– instead of talking about it,
– determine to go to that person and say,
-“I heard this about you. Is it true?”

Hopefully-
– you can get the issue resolved immediately.

But to fail to go to someone when you know a sin is being committed is-
– to actually cause that individual, and the church as a whole, the greatest harm.

Scripture says, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal 5:9).

In most cases, you will find that believers rarely approach a sinning believer or allegedly sinning believer.

Instead of seeking to help a person who possibly may have never sinned at all, they end up slandering that individual.

This is wrong!
This is sin!

If you have ever had this happen to you-
– then you know how painful it can be.

Remember, the devil wants to turn believers against each other.

He will attack us from the outside, but many times, when that does not work, he seeks to infiltrate our ranks and divide us.

Be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

(PA)

Sep 042016
 

family-bibleMary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah-
– where she entered Zachariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting-
– the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is your offspring! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me! Blessed is she who has believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!” Luke 1:39-45.

Mary was a maze of emotions on her hurried trek to Elizabeth’s house.
She was going with congratulations on her cousin’s pregnancy.

But to be honest, she needed someone to talk to.
Elizabeth was one of those people who would really care.

We Christians are actually pretty good at responding to a crisis-
– throwing our arms around a hurting friend, calling to check on someone who needs a listening ear.

But too often when someone-
– encounters a victory in her life,
finds the man of her dreams, or
takes a new job that doubles her salary,
– 
our congratulations are cloaked and guarded.

It seems we’re better at mourning with those who mourn than-
– at rejoicing with those who rejoice.

Try going into a new day with your eyes open for the people you’ll encounter at the store, the office, the school outing, wherever you’re headed.

Give someone your full attention today.

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.