Monday, April 15, 2013

putting others first


The most touching thing I have ever seen is the way people get lost in helping other people. 
This could be anything from a simple act of kindness, a listening ear or a few minutes to time to a big sacrifice that costs you something.  The fact is each of us have seen this lived out.

We started a new series calling I LOVE COMMUNITY yesterday.  We are going to discover our core values and how they fit into our personal lives and our church life.  But I suggest and even press the point that much of what we hold onto is really what God has called us to do in our every day lives as His children. 

It is all about Jesus.  That is how our salvation started. If you are going to find purpose and life and strength, it is going to start with Jesus.  Wanting Him.  Seeking Him.  That is the biggest and best part of this process.

Others.  Others.  Others.  Our purpose is found when we put others above ourselves.  Think about it.  It is important to care.  You have to care about yourself so you can care for others. Self esteem plays a big part. But hold up. The way we are treated plays a big role in what we believe about ourselves.

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

By treating others right and out of kindness we will make a difference in the lives of others and in our lives.  Three of our core values at The Community Fellowship have to do with how we connect to others and share the love of God.

Community.

Matthew 22:37-39  NLT
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

We have to understand how much God loves us so that we can love others.  It is not easy to love others all the time.  In fact many of us say we love people, but we don’t. 

Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.

Be real. Transparent.

If you look through Matthew chapter 5 which is known as “The Sermon on the Mount” and the “Beatitudes”, we find that God lifts people who realize they need God and act from a pure heart.  Getting real means that we meet people where they are, AND it means that get real about who we are and where we’ve been and what we have done.

It is time to deal with brokenness.  The people we meet every day are broken, and if we are honest, we have been broken before as well.  The church for too long has overlooked the pain of the people we meet.  Here is a piece of a blog post that I believe says what we are to do as a church by embracing brokenness.  (The original post is found at this link.)

Churches must embrace brokenness.
·      Church should be a place where it’s OK to struggle with depression.
·      Church should be a place that’s home to the recovering and relapsing liar.
·      Church should be a place that welcomes the alcoholic.
·      Church should be a place where leaders can have faults.
·      Church should be a place where we’re not afraid of pain.

Brokenness is a reality, and when we get real, we will help others get real and find healing. 

Accept others.

God accepted us.  We can accept others.  The fact is that God is the creator of the church, and the church is the place or the origin where we as God’s children show others what God is like.  God is love, and He accepts us as we are.  Forgiveness is given.  Hope is found.  Peace is realized.

Romans 12:13-16  NLT
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.  Always be eager to practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you.  Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.  Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with each other.  Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all!

Live life with others.  Share life.  Laugh with those who laugh.  Cry with those who cry.  Live as an example of God’s love, accept others and be real.  May God use us to help others come to know God.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

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