This week, we will focus on the second quality, Heart for Each Other. We live in a time when it is easier to stay in touch, but people are starving for a in-person touch.
What’s the solution to our increasing loneliness and social isolation? A loving relationship with Jesus and through Him a loving relationship with one another. Jesus invites us to follow Him and belong to His family. In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he reminded them that as Christ-followers they were to show a heart for each other. As followers of Christ, we are to show a heart for each other.
Below is an automated transcript of this messageWe are “rising up” for each other; that’s what we’re talking about. We’re in week three of this series. This series is really based on two commands from Jesus. One is called the Great Commission and the other of the Great Commandment. In the Great Commission, Jesus commands us, Matthew 28:19 (ESV) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And then, in the Great Commandment, He commands, Mark 12:30-31 (ESV) ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
As we look at these two great commandments from Jesus, the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, we have written our church purpose statement based on these. Any church that would follow Jesus will come up with a statement based on these two. Ours reads like this:
Our church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ who have a growing . . . Heart for God expressed in passionate worship and generous giving. Heart for Each Other expressed in authentic fellowship and devoted discipleship. Heart for Our World expressed in intentional evangelism and sacrificial service.
Our church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ who have a growing heart for God (we talked about this last week) expressed in passionate worship and generous giving. Second, a heart for each other expressed inauthentic fellowship and devoted discipleship. And then finally, a heart for our world expressed in intentional evangelism and sacrificial service. We believe that we’re called to be disciples of Jesus and to make disciples of Jesus. What do these disciples look like? They look like people who have a heart for God, a heart for each other and a heart for our world.
Today, we’re going to focus on that second character trait, “Heart for each other.” We live in a time that it’s easier to stay in touch but more difficult to have a personal touch. Wouldn’t you agree with that, even before the covid pandemic? This article, written by Rebecca Harris entitled, “The Loneliness Epidemic,” is becoming more and more true in Western culture, she writes this; she says, “Modern life is making us lonelier, and recent research indicates that this may be the next biggest public health issue on par with obesity and substance abuse. A recent review of studies indicates that loneliness increases mortality risk by 26%. Social pain is as real a sensation for us as physical pain, and research has shown loneliness impacts on health in a greater way than smoking or obesity.” That article was written before covid. Now, since covid, I would say that loneliness has increased. Wouldn’t you agree with that? Social isolation has increased. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made our mental and social health even worse! “The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many people’s mental health… a broad body of research links social isolation and loneliness to both poor mental and physical health. Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has brought attention to the widespread experience of loneliness as a public health concern in itself, pointing to its association with reduced lifespan and greater risk of both mental and physical illnesses. The data is showing that significantly higher shares of people who are sheltering in place report negative mental health effects than among those who are not. Additionally, many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, such as difficulty sleeping or eating, increases in alcohol consumption or substance use, and worsening conditions, due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. Of particular concern is those reporting an increase in suicidal ideation during this time, as isolation is a risk factor for suicide.” –– KFF “Kaiser Family Foundation,” “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” 8/21/20 Here’s what’s going on in our society. There’s a hidden story that’s not being reported; it’s the story of what happens to people, who were made for one another and are denied being with one another. There’s a consequence to this and it’s happening now.
You see, we were made by God for God. After He made us, He also made us for one another. If you read the book of Genesis, God is going through what He made. He made the fish and He says, I did a good job on the fish. He made the animals and He says, I did a good job. Then, He made a man and something was missing. He say, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” It’s still not good for man to be alone. We were made for God. We were made for each other.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he reminded them that Jesus Christ had given them a command to have a heart for God but also to have a heart for each other. To love your neighbor as yourself. To love yourself. As believers, to love each other because we’re considered one body in Christ.
As we look at the scripture today, as Paul wrote to the Colossians, to the people of Colossae, we’re going to be looking for three marks of what it looks like to have a heart for each other. Let’s look at chapter three of the book of Colossians; we will pick up at verse nine. Colossians 3:9-16 (ESV) 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, , barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This is God’s word.
We’re going to be looking for three marks for what it looks like to show a heart for each other. Here’s the first mark.
Three marks that show a heart for each other: 1. Authentic in fellowship.
Someone who has a heart for God and a heart for each other will be authentic and the fellowship with other believers will be authentic. Now, we’re told by those who polls such things that the youngest two generations care deeply about authenticity. The millennials, also called “Generation Y” and then, the ones younger than are being called “Generation Z.” I don’t know what we’re going to call the next generation. We’ve run out of the alphabet. They might have to be called something like “The Hurricanes,” or we might have to go to the Greek alphabet or something. I don’t know what we’re gonna call the next generation, but Generation Y and Generation Z is what we have today.
The millennials love authenticity. Perhaps it’s because they’ve seen so much hypocrisy in their families and in other places in society. Everything has sort of a “fake veneer” to it; the millennials desire authenticity. Long before that generation was ever born, the bible called us to stop lying to one another. Do you see it in verse nine? It’s the first command that we see here, “Do not lie to one another.”
Now, by the way, that means to tell the truth to one another, to be authentic, to be real with one another. I would make you aware that there are 59 “one another” commands in the New Testament. You might be saying, How do you know that? Well, I counted them; that’s how I know there’s 59 of them. There’s 59 “one another” commands. If you do a careful count of our reading today, you’ll see five “one another” commands just in this passage. May I say this to you; I want you to hear this. “You can’t do the ‘one anothers’ without one another.” You can’t do them. You can’t do those 59 “one another” commands without one another.
The first command here is to tell the truth. Stop lying to one another. How do you do this? Well, he follows it up by saying, 9 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” Paul is using an extended metaphor here in analogy. He’s done this in other places in the scripture, where he talks about “putting off” and “putting on.”
In Ephesians, he says, “Put on the whole armor of God.” Put on the spiritual armor. Here, in Colossians, it’s more like articles of clothing. He’s basically saying to put off the old grave clothes.
Remember when Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave? Lazarus came out and he was wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus said, “Take off his grave clothes and let him go.” He needed help with that. Jesus had raised him from the dead, but he needed the body. He needed the people around him to help get his stinking clothes off from his dead life, from the grave.
It says here, in Colossians, to put off the old self, put off the old sin nature. When we come to Christ, we get a new nature but, for now, we’re still in this world. There’s a kind of warfare that goes on with the believer, Am I going to walk according to the old nature, the old practices or am I going to put that off?
I have a habit that sometimes, when I’m getting ready for bed, I’ll lay that day’s clothes over a chair that’s next to the bed. When I get up early the next morning, sometimes I will just throw those back on. After a shower, I’ll put some fresh clothes on. Sometimes, I’ll put those old clothes on. If I have a day off, sometimes I’ll wear those previously worn clothes all day because I’ll be doing some other work or whatever. They’re just “broken in” already; they’re just comfortable and they’re laying right there. They’re just convenient and I’m used to them. They’re already “broken in .”
We’re all tempted to put on our “old clothes” when we get up in the morning. We get up in the morning and say, You know what? I think I’ll just take it easy today. You just put on the old life. But we’re called to put on a new nature, to put on a new life with new practices.
It says in verse nine to “put off” the old. In verse 10 it says to “put on” the new self. “Put on” the new clothes that were purchased by Christ Jesus. “Put on” the new clothes; “put on” the new self. Here is one way to visualize this; in the mornings before you even let your feet touch the floor and you are getting out of the bed, put your hands down on the bed like two cups. Put them down and say, “Lord, I just empty myself of anything that stands between me and You. I know you are forgiving me, but I need to “put off” and I need to “pour out.” Lord, just forgive me of that and help me to put all of that away.” Now, raise your hands up like this and say, “Lord, fill me up. Help me to put on the new life that is in You.” Then, let your feet hit the floor. You’ll find out that your day will go much differently. It’ll go much better. Put on the new nature, the new self.
What’s the character trait of the new self? It is being renewed, in knowledge, after the image of its Creator; this is Genesis language. Remember how He created man and woman in his own image? The Bible says, “And let us create man in our own image.” That’s how He created us. And so, but because of sin, that image has fallen. That image is marred and twisted, but because of Jesus we can put on the new nature, which is restoring that which God always intended for us, that we would be made in His image, putting on the new self, the new identity.
In verse 11, he begins to describe the kinds of identities we used to go by formerly. We go by a new identity now when we put on the new self. But the old clothes used to have labels in the collar like this, like “Greek” or “Jew.” In other words, what race you came from so that your identity is based on your race or your skin color. That is not the way we identify ourselves. “…circumcised and uncircumcised… in other words, what kind of religion did you come from? “…barbarian, Scythian…” that’s culture. “…slave or free… ” that’s economics or your socioeconomic level. he says. We don’t go by those labels anymore; that’s who we used to be. That’s not our identity anymore. The new authenticity we have is that we are new people in Jesus. We’ve put off the old we’ve put on this new self; this new self is Christ is our all in all. This is our new identity.
What does it look like to be truthful like this? Ephesians 4:15 (ESV) “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” We’re to be authentic with each other and speak the truth to one another in love.
Truthful hearts are marked by this sincere love for one another. 1 Peter 1:22 (ESV) “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” When you have sincerity and purity in your heart , when you have a truthful heart, your love looks sincere and authentic. It is not syrupy; it is not false. It is real. This idea of “do not lie to one another” includes the idea of “do not be a hypocrite.” Don’t put on a false face; don’t be inauthentic with one another.
What might this look like to live so truthfully with one another? Be willing to truthfully ask others to pray for sin areas in your life. James 5:16 (ESV) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Believers, He says to us that we should be so real with each other that we share what we’re struggling with and we ask others to pray for us. We can say, You know, I’m struggling with this area. I’m struggling with a bad temper. Maybe a mom goes to another Christian mom and they’ve built a relationship. She says, I’m just losing my temper so much. I just feel like all I do is say “no” all day long to my children. The other mom is, maybe, a little older in Christ and a little older in her parenting. She might say, Honey, I know I’ve been there, too. I know how you feel. We have to discipline our children but we also have to be in balance with love. Let me just pray for you right now. Do you see how that sharpens each other, but it also builds up one another?
This is authenticity; being real with one another and even sharing our hurts and challenges. We have a saying in our church, “Building a bridge of trust that will bear the weight of truth.” We use that statement as it regards sharing our witness with someone. It’s important, if you’re sharing Christ with someone, that they feel like you like them, maybe even love them. It’s hard to share Christ with somebody when they can tell you don’t like them. Be friendly and smile when you talk to people and tell them about Jesus. “Build a bridge of trust,” so that when you tell them about Christ, there’s a bridge that will carry the weight of it.
You can apply that same statement to relationships with one another in the church, with other believers. We want to grow in trust, and as we increase trust levels, it increases intimacy levels. Look at this chart; pop up this chart. It’s entitled, “the seven levels of intimacy.”
The first level is just a surface level; it is “cliche.” How’s the weather? Do you think it will ever stop raining? I’m so glad the sun came out. You’re just talking about stuff that everybody knows. Men like to share facts. Men will stand together and talk about facts. Did you hear what happened to the Panthers last week? As soon as we got McCaffrey back, he hurts his shoulder . It looks like he’s gonna be out again.
The next level is “opinions.” That’s where you start telling people your opinion about things. It’s a deeper level of intimacy. Except on Facebook; everybody seems to start there on Facebook. Everybody “vomits” their opinion out before they make sure that they have really loved one another.
The next level is “hopes and dreams.” If you start telling people what your hopes and dreams are, you’re starting to trust each other. You’re kind of showing your heart. The levels keep going: “Deeper feelings”which reveal how you feel. “Fears, failures and weaknesses” is the level at which you don’t share that with anybody unless you trust them. Finally, “your deepest needs.”
Here’s what I see; “do not lie to one another” has, inside of it, this idea that we’re one body in Christ. We need to get real with each other and stop being hypocrites. Stop “playing church” and start telling one another the truth. If you’re struggling with something, get with somebody and share it with them. Let them pray for you. Stop trying to walk through life by yourself.
Let me give you some tips about how to share life with one another. Here’s the first; it’s kind of a warning. Some people reveal too much too soon. Are you one of those people? You walk in the room and somebody says, Hi, my name’s Sally. What’s your name? You reply with, My name is Mary and then “Boom,” you begin to “word vomit.” Sally wants to run now because you have revealed too much too soon. You’ll scare people by this, so let them find out what your name is and a little bit about you at first. Also, make sure you hear them, too . The person who shares too much too soon usually is not even sure who they’re talking to yet, and so that’s a warning about authenticity. Levels of trust and levels of intimacy go together. “Building a bridge of trust that bears the weight of truth.” I’m releasing you to be real. Build some trust as you do it first.
There’s the other extreme people who won’t share anything. They’re just clammed up and you never know what’s inside their head. That person is putting on a “false shell” by not being willing to share. They won’t share. Their lack of openness means that trust and intimacy will never increase in any fellowship they are involved in. They will be like a “damper” on the whole fellowship because they’re not sharing. Some are fearful; they’re fearful because they’ve been hurt before. They have revealed their heart and then somebody gossiped about it. We have a saying in our community groups. Community groups are the small group ministry of our church; they meet during the week in people’s homes. We have a saying in our community groups. The saying goes something like this, “What’s said in the group stays in the group.” That builds trust because now I know I can be authentic in this room and these people will keep it to themselves. They’ll lift it up to Jesus, but they’re not gonna lift it out to anybody else.
This doesn’t mean to parade around in your “old clothes” and celebrate it. Sometimes I’ll see Christians who have been a Christian for a while. They think it’s cool to use bad language. What I’ve noticed about being a new Christ follower, in the first place, the Lord cleans up their vocabulary, their mouth. But, I’ve noticed there’s something going on in our culture today where young believers somehow think it’s cool or maybe it’s more real. Don’t misunderstand me. The authenticity I’m talking about is not “putting on” old clothes, not “putting on” old nature. If you’re struggling with something in your old nature and you need to share it in order to receive prayer and to be built up, that’s authenticity. But celebrating your old clothes and preferring them is not being authentic. That’s called “being carnal;: that is called “walking in the flesh,” so, don’t misunderstand me.
Being real doesn’t mean being sinful. What I mean by being authentic here in fellowship is sharing with one another, even those places you’re struggling with, and praying for one another, in a safe environment because you’re working together on it. Is that making sense? Okay, so that’s the first mark of having a heart for each other, that there’s authenticity and fellowship.
Three marks that show a heart for each other: 2. Loving in relationship.
Let’s look at verses 12 to 14. “Loving in relationship.” Once you look at Verse 14, circle “above all these.” Do you see it in verse 14? Above all these; what’s above all these? 14 “And above all these put on love.”
What is 14 “And above all these put on love” about? Let’s look at this; we’re starting in verse 12. We’re going to read verses 12 through 14. He’s talking about what you “put on.” He’s finished with what you “put off,” that old identity, that old nature. He’s going to get more detailed about what you “put on.” He starts naming the articles of clothing that you’re to “put on” before he does that. He does a little “time out” and says, Let me remind you who you are again. You’re God’s chosen ones. Remember that you’re God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. You are loved by God, remember that that’s who you are. So when you get ready to leave the house, put on the right clothes because you are chosen, you are holy and you are beloved by God. So, put on compassionate hearts, hearts that are tender and loving towards other people; put that on. What else? Put on kindness; be good to people. Be good to people. Do good for others. Put on humility; think of others before you think of yourself. Put on meekness.
Now, meekness is not weakness but strength under control. Meekness has the idea of gentleness. Visualize a 6 ft. man bending down on one knee to talk to his three-year old toddler. Strength under control. It is not weakness, but it’s reigning in your strength in order to be gentle and patient.
The word, patience, is defined in verse 13. It is giving you an example of what it looks like to bear with one another; having patience that puts up with others. You know, that’s good advice for marriage; put up with one another if you want to be married as long as the Skinners that we interviewed earlier that have been married for forty years. My wife and I’ve been married for 41 years. After about five, six or seven years, we started thinking that we can’t help some things. We put up with each other. You just learn to put up with some things because you realize, You know what? We’re not perfect. Just learn to be patient with one another. So what if he squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle and you’d rather roll it up and keep it neat at the top, right?
People, listen, some of our earliest marital arguments were about who made the bed. What did you do to the toothpaste? Where’s mine? You know, arguments about habits, of how you live in a house together. Are you easily offended? If you just touch someone, are they easily offended? I’m never gonna go back there again or I’m going to run away from that. I don’t like him. I don’t like her. Listen, christians, we need to stop being so easily offended. We should really, in Christ, be unoffendable because we know Jesus. We have him and so we have it all. We are the ones that are bringing healing, hope, love and forgiveness to the world. Why are we so easily offended? It’s because we’re still wearing some portion of “old clothing.” Our sensitivity to offense is evidence of an area that we’ve yet to surrender to Christ and let it go. We want to grow up and we want to grow in love.
Verse 13, “if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” . He forgave me even though He had done nothing wrong to me. So it was a one sided offense and He forgave me. I’m supposed to forgive people whether they asked for forgiveness or not. Why? Because I have unlimited forgiveness, poured out into my soul, through Jesus. I can write forgiveness checks because I have an unlimited deposit on account from Him. I’m not to walk in unforgiveness. I’m not to walk in broken relationships. I’m to forgive others. That’s what “new clothes” looks like. I need to put on forgiveness.
Verse 14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Above all these other articles of clothing, these holy, close, righteous clothes that we are to put on, we are to put on love. I don’t know if it’s like an overgarment. Ladies, help me. Somebody out there, somebody’s out there drawing it right now. Is it an overgarment that holds the whole ensemble together? Is it a belt that holds your trousers up? Does it give you a place to tuck in your shirt? I don’t know; it’s above it all. Not only that, but it binds it altogether. If it weren’t for this, none of it would match this one piece of clothing. Ladies, it keeps it all together. Men, it holds your “britches” up.
Love holds it all together; it binds it altogether. How? In perfect harmony. Love is the mark. What kind of love is this? It’s the word of God, which is God’s kind of love, unconditional love. It says in 1 John 4:7-8 (ESV) “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Do the people that work with you think of you as a person who loves others? Do the people in your neighborhood, do the people in your family? When they think of you, do they think of you as a loving person? It’s the part, out of all the “clothing,” that would be the most obvious; that’s the mark of having a heart for one another. A heart for each other.
It’s a command from Jesus. He says in John 13:34-35 (ESV) 34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Can you imagine being one of the twelve disciples when Jesus came out with this commandment? I have a commandment for you, Peter, James, John, Simon, Judas and Timothy…I’m talking to all of you. I’m especially talking to you, James and John. James and John were brothers; they were also called “The Sons of Thunder.” You have to love one another. Imagine one of the twelve disciples; maybe it was Peter who said, Lord, I’m all good about following You, but I’m not so sure about hanging out with these other disciples. Then the other disciples look at him because there’s Peter always shooting his mouth off without thinking. James and John are having another argument again. He looks over to see Simon the Zealot, and there he is, posting about politics. He looks over at Judas; he’s counting his money. He still owes all the other disciples for the last time. He’s never taken his turn picking up the tab. It’s hard to be with these guys, Jesus. I want to follow You, but do I have to hang out with all these other losers? And then Jesus says, Not only do you have to hang out with him, but I want you to love them as I have loved you. This is the mark having a heart for each other. You can’t keep the ‘one anothers’ without one another.
Have you put on the holy clothes love that covers it all? Are you in a community group where you can practice these things and practice this love. Are you willing to bear this mark of love towards your brothers and sisters, not being so easily offended but staying in a relationship with others?
Three marks that show a heart for each other: 3. Devoted to discipleship.
We’re looking at verses 15 and 16. I want you to note that the word, “heart,” has been in this reading today three times. It was in verse 12, compassionate “hearts,” and then it’s in verse 15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” and in verse 16, “with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
When we talk about the heart, we’re talking about devotion. We’re talking about that which the heart has passion for. Notice here, in verses 12 through 14, this idea of passion and devotion. I believe we are to be devoted to two things. As we look, how we are going to be devoted to one another, we have to first be devoted to Jesus . So first, we have a heart for God; our heart goes towards God. When we’re right with God, he makes us so that we want to be right with one another. We’ve been given this ministry of reconciliation to be right with one another. What does this ministry of reconciliation look like?
First of all, be right with Jesus. If you look at verse 15, he says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” That word, “rule,” could be translated “to umpire, to direct, to control, so that the peace of Christ would be like that which controls your heart and says, Oh, that’s out of bounds. Don’t go for that or don’t swing at that, like an umpire. It tells you a feeling towards someone else or someone you’re about to speak to and you’re about to say something that’s not kind. The Holy Spirit is in you and the peace of Christ is umpiring your heart. How can I encourage this person? This is a command. “Let the peace of Christ rule, (umpire control) your heart,” because what is in your heart will come out of your mouth.
Have you ever ever heard the acronym that computer programmers used called GIG? “Garbage in, garbage out.” If there’s garbage in your heart, garbage will come out of your mouth. So you ask the Holy Spirit; you say, Rule my heart; empire my heart. Let the peace of Christ rule. I want to be a devoted disciple. You were called to be in one body. If you don’t have peace in your heart, if you have warfare in your heart, there will be warfare in all of your relationships. You won’t bring peace to the body. Be thankful.
And then, in verse 16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” So let the peace of Christ rule and let the word of Christ dwell. In other words, let it abide. Let it live . Read the word. Listen to the word preached. Study the word. Get it in you. How much? Richly; a lot. Get it in you. So we have these two commands. Let the peace of Christ rule and let the word of Christ dwell.
We have three participles three “ing” words that come out of this. If you have peace in your heart you have the word living in your heart; it overflows. Peace comes out and the Word comes out. And how does it come out? Through teaching. Where’s my next “ing” word? It’s admonishing. The next is singing. If you remember your English grammar, how that works, the verb drives the participles. They are dependent upon the verb and the verb says, If you let the word of Christ dwell in you, then you will be a teacher of one another. You will be an admonisher of one another and you will sing together with one another. You’ll sing songs together.
This is how you build one another up. This is how you will express your discipleship to one another because we’re to teach. Well, Gary, we knew you were supposed to teach. Well, did you know you are supposed to teach, as well? There’s always someone younger than you in the Lord that needs teaching.
Did you know you’re supposed to admonish one another? What does that mean? It means to correct one another. The only time you’ll commit to that is if you’ve committed to the previous two marks; you’re being real with one another and you really love one another. If you are being real with one another and you really love one another and you see someone about to drown or you see someone on a pathway that’s going to lead to hurt and you say, I will stay out of this, you need to instead admonish them. Sometimes it’s good to stay out of something but if they’re your brother, your sister and they’re about to stumble, it says, to admonish them from the word of God that lives in you.
You are to sing together. It gives you all kinds of songs you can choose from. It mentions “psalms;” there’s 150 of them in the middle of the Bible. We have many songs today, put to modern music that we sing, based on the psalms. Hymns are usually more orderly and often filled with theology. Spiritual songs are usually repetitive choruses that engage the heart. Sing all kinds of songs. Sing it together because the verb is still about the word of God dwelling in you richly.
How is the word of God expressed? It is expressed through your teaching one another, your admonishing one another and your singing together with one another. This is what it looks like to have a heart to love each other.
The first century church was marked by its devotion to being disciples and making disciples, and this is the mark of our community groups.Acts 2:42 (ESV) “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” And so, they were devoted to one another and doing these things together.
We’re also committed to making disciples. Our verse, that is really the DNA for our Life on Life discipleship, is found in 2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV) “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” We are to receive teaching but we’re not supposed to let it just stop with us. We are to “let it dwell richly” and then we’re to teach others, and we’re to ask them to teach others. This is the way we will reach the world for Christ; one heart at a time. A changed heart who has a heart for God, a heart for each other, which results in a heart for our world.
There are 59 “one another” commands in the Bible and you won’t be able to keep the “one another’s” without one another. We need each other. We were made for God and we were made for each other. Stop being a hermit. Join the family. We were built for family. We need one another and we’re in a season right now where this is deeply important. Will you join us in “rising up,” at a season when people feel like laying down? Would you join us in “rising up” because we have Jesus? Would you join us in “rising up” and making room for more disciples, who can come, just as they are and be forever changed by the love of Jesus. We are to make disciples who have a heart for God, a heart for each other and a heart for our world. Let’s pray.
Lord, thank you for Your word. Thank You, that you first of all call us to yourself and then you call us to one another. I pray for the person here that’s either in person or watching online and has never committed their life to Jesus. They’ve never surrendered their life to Jesus. We invite you right now to pray with us and ask Christ to be your Savior and your Lord. You can do that by talking to Him in prayer. Pray like this, Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. I need You. I believe You died on the cross for my sins, that You were raised from the grave and that You live today. Come and live in me. I invite you to be my Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sin and make me the person You want me to be. I want to be a child of God. If you’re praying that prayer right now, believing, the Lord will save you and make you His own. Maybe you’ve already done that. Maybe you’re a believer. But you’ve been wearing some “old clothes” lately. Would you repent of that today and say, Lord, forgive me. Help me to put off the old and put on the new. Lord, give me a heart for each other. I want to show love above all things I want to be real. Lord, I want to grow up to be like Jesus. Help me. I pray all of these things now in Jesus’ name, Amen.