Church care

SERMON LEFTOVERS 8.19.13

“Care for each other”                 

1 Timothy 5:1-16

Chapter 5 speaks to the church about how we care for each other  

Guiding principles

Each member of our church is part of our forever family (vs1-2)

This is the perspective we should have toward every church member

There will be tensions among us, but we always remain family

The local church has special responsibilities toward the members who are vulnerable (v3)

Widows had little recourse for survival. Who would help them?

The church is to be family for those without family; no one is meant to be on their own

Family responsibility is important to God: this is repeated three times (vs 4, 8, 16)

We cannot fix family members, but ignoring them is unbiblical

When we live to chase after more, we can begin to resent these responsibilities as unwanted intrusions

The church is not a welfare institution; it’s where the kingdom of Christ reigns (v5)

This means our responsibilities to others must represent that kingdom

If we settle on temporal needs rather than eternal needs, we become just another organization

Responsibilities in the church are reciprocal (vs 11-12)

It appears from the passage that these widows had a ministry role in the church; which is why leaving their role as a widow was a serious issue

Not only did these widows who were “enrolled” serve the church, they had to have served beforehand

The principle we should see is that commitment in the church flows both ways

If we are just a receiver from our church, we are in an unbiblical position

How can we put God’s heart into our lives?

1.  Take a step yourself

If we are thinking “the church” should do something, then recognize you are part of the church

The church includes everyone who is a member of it

Many at Greentree are taking these steps, imagine the impact if we all did!

Our emphasis on small groups is not just a call to attend them, but to embrace the purpose of them

Which attitude is ours: to be pleased or to serve?

If our perspective at church is how it should please us, or how something bothers us, we need a new perspective

We cannot follow Christ, if we don’t bow to serve (John 13:1-14)

2.  Be someone God is using

This is where quality of life is truly found!  

God is ready to use you (it may not be in dramatic ways, but it will be powerful)

People around you need God’s touch through you 

Some of these people are obvious to us, some are a bit hidden, but they are near

So let’s watch out for common obstacles

Too busy to stop and serve people

Too oblivious to notice people in need    

Too self-centered to be motivated

3.  Keep connected

We cannot fulfill God’s heart for each other without being connected

The New Testament is loaded with “one another” statements for the church such as:

“Love one another”, “comfort one another”, “bear with one another”, “encourage one another”, “build one another” and “pray for one another”

These things will not happen if we are not connected

It requires friendship that goes beyond just being friendly

4.  Keep reaching a little further 

If we are to reach people around us:

We need clarity with the gospel

We need the care of the gospel

Just as with care within the church, outreach by the church is something for each of us personally

To be a more evangelistic church, we need to be more evangelistic people

God wants to accomplish all these things through us: are we willing?

Look for marginalized people and pay attention to hurting people

Be a friend, be a listener, be biblical

May we all pray that God will increase our heart for it, and give us eyes to see