Burning Brightly

Are we a family? What is the best thing about family? Why is it we want to be a part of something so badly? Funny even in the beginning God said in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone. We are relational creatures, designed after our creator, that is the reason we desire family so much. And the Church definitely ought to be the desire of many, we ought to have the family plan down pat, so that we can be the light of the world. In Heb 12:14 it says:
Hebrews 12:14 NIV
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
A newly ordained pastor was consoling a recent widow of an eccentric man. While they were standing before the casket the pastor put his arm around her and said, “I realize this must be hard for you Mrs. Johnson. Just remember that what we see before us is only the husk, the shell of your dear husband – the nut has gone to heaven.” It doesn’t really matter how we encourage others, only that we try.

Stoking each other’s fire

Hebrews 3:12–14 NIV
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
A. The writer of Hebrews is adamant
1. We are a community
a. We are the fire stokers
b. Sometimes you have to turn each other’s lamps up
Have someone come up and turn up the lamp
John 5:6–8 NIV
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
2. We are responsible to and for each other
a. Do we know each other enough to ask
i. Two people in this situation Jesus and the paralytic
ii. Jesus had to ask and the paralytic had to answer
b. We must ask the right questions
i. It takes commitment
ii. That is what community is all about
B. Need Christian Partners
James 5:16 NIV
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
1. Hold accountable
a. Mighty men
b. Are our groups talking about sin
3. Got to have someone
a. sometimes to vent
b. Sometimes just for encouragement
i. Getting the courage
ii. Realize we are not alone
iii. We have God and each other
Just talked about this, building up our love banks.

Heat of Discipline

Hebrews 6:1–3 NIV
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
A. Teach each other
1. Move one another on to maturity
a. Not just the pastor’s responsibility
b. Do I have the desire?
Desire to teach my kids like my Dad taught me. I heard it at the football game last Monday, so many people wanting to teach the lessons of the past.
2. Draw each other deeper
i. Older to the younger
ii. Take time to take on a mentor
James and I
B. Staying at the beginning leads to falling away
Hebrews 6:4–6 NIV
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
a. We have to keep drawing from the fuel
b. Cannot come to a place where we think we know
c. No retirement in the kingdom
i. Either learning more or teaching more
ii. No time to just soak it in, have to be working
3. Don’t become stagnant
James 1:22 NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
a. We have to do the work
God calls us to dig a hole, don’t just lean on the shovel
b. We have to do as well as believe

Burn Stronger together –

Heb 12:14-15
Hebrews 12:14–15 NIV
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
A. Being Holy
1. The goal is the Kingdom
a. The goal is not individual
b. The task we perform is
Philippians 3:14–15 NIV
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
2. Different than the wordly family
a. Only what I get out of it
b. Godly family is what do I bring for others
B. Draw Our Strength
1. From Christ
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2. And each other
Proverbs 27:17 NIV
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
a. How God designed it
b. So we would rely on each other
c. In holiness call upon the Lord
Proverbs 16:3 NASB95
Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established.
B. We complement each other
Hebrews 10:24 NIV
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
1. We have to stir each other up
a. What draws people to things
i. other people
b. When we stir each other up
i. get excited
ii. Want to do more
Word of mouth advertising, exactly what we are called to do
2. Hold each other accountable
a. Not always just hunky dory
b. But in love we have to guide other to truth
PT test story. Couldn’t have made it without someone there encouraging and calling me on. Hebrews says see to it that none of you has a hard, unbelieving heart, we have to encourage each other on to the prize that awaits. This is a life-long race that has no breaks, we don’t get to rest from kingdom work, which is why we need each other all the more. And if we want our lights, all of our lights, to shine brightly then we must stir each other up to good works and to faith that is in Christ Jesus.
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