OSL-06 - Our Communion of Shared Lives

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But now comes the wonderful part. This truth is what has strengthened Christ's church through all these centuries since Pentecost—when we gather obediently as Christ's church, He is present; and when Christ is present He uses us to do his work of repairing one another from the injuries of life’s struggles.

This is what is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the pages of the New Testament:

Mended Lives Get Repaired And
Built Up by God's Word and People

The church that offers these needed repairs is the church that is truly an “equipping” and “edifying” church; and that is what we see as we follow this word through the rest of the New Testament. 

Continue with me to see six other times the Holy Spirit also uses the word “equip” we saw in Ephesians 4:12:

•    Cling to unity by helping others to stay glued together. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. NKJV          

Paul says for us to operate as Christ's church we need to all be working on fitting together, with no part of His Body being out of joint. 

Just like a twisted ankle can bring our whole body to a halt, so we must not let any part of this local body be twisted, and halted from ongoing, Spirit prompted fellowship and unity!

Prayer: Lord, keep me close to my family in Christ so I can pull others closer to Him.

•    Get mended by Christ so others can be helped. 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. NKJV    

Mended souls are a choice. We must want Christ's mending through others. We must want Him to use whatever it takes to make us complete, peaceful, and unified. 

This is our same word kartarizein, the word commonly used for setting a fracture, the word used in Matthew and Mark for mending nets.  It means “to supply that which is missing”, and “to mend that which is broken”.

Prayer: Lord, restore and renew my peace so I can help those around me.

•    Gently help wounded family members and be wary getting ambushed. Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. NKJV 

We are to seek out those who are stalled, broken down spiritually, and knock on their window and ask if we can help them. 

This is true ministry, and this is what God wants to flow through us to accomplish. We must step out of the climate control of our car driving through life, and help fellow believers with flat tires.

Prayer: Lord, nail down my wandering heart to seeking your paths so I can point others your way.

•    Pray for opportunities to mend others. 1 Thessalonians 3:10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? NKJV    

Paul shows us that Jesus uses our prayers for needy believers within His church to be the means through which HE mends other believers. Prayers prompted and empowered by Christ mend those around us.

Prayer: Lord, mend my faith, then help me to prayerfully be a part of mend another’s life.

•    All mending is to get us focused on Christ. Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. NKJV   

Jesus uses us within His church to be His instrument through which HE mends other believers.    

Prayer: Lord, restore my focus so I can see the needs of others and help them for you.  

•    Patient trust in God’s method of mending us keeps us healthy. 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. NKJV         

Through suffering God restores or mends or equips us. So suffering, if accepted in humility and trust and love, can repair some weaknesses of our character and add the greatness God wants us to have that before the suffering wasn’t there. 

Prayer: Lord, renew my endurance, and then bring me alongside of someone that is sinking, and let me help them.


How is your life? Is it in need of a little mending tonight? God's Word is available and in action this morning. 

Why not pause now and ask God to renew your soul that is troubled, mend your heart that is broken, heal your emotions that are frayed, quiet your mind that is spinning or darkened or saddened, and get you back on track with the Lord. 

That is what God wants to do here in and through His Church.

What is the result of being mended? 
You begin to get tied to God's Word. 
You begin to see that His Word is the lamp that guides, the food that feeds, the comfort that cheers our souls--as it points us to Christ. 

Being mended and built up means that we regularly learn that Jesus comes to us by His Spirit, through His Word and gives us the power to do what He asks. 

This power to do what He has told us to do in the Bible is grace. And God’s process of changing us on the inside I love to call “energized by grace”.

A survey of the one anothers in the New Testament gives us a good picture. We’re to:

Edify One Another (Rom. 14:19).
Counsel One Another (Rom. 15:14).
Serve One Another (Gal. 5:13).
Bear One Another’s Burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Submit To One Another (Eph. 5:21).
Bear With One Another (Col. 3:12–13)
Forgive One Another (Col. 3:13).
Instruct One Another (Col. 3:16). 
Comfort One Another (1 Thes. 4:18).
Rebuke One Another (Titus 1:13).
Encourage One Another To Do Good (Heb. 10:24–25).
Pray For One Another (James 5:16).
Confess Our Sins To One Another (James 5:16).
Be Hospitable To One Another (1 Peter 4:9–10).
 

SERIES: Our Shared Life
Our Responsibilities to
Christ’s Church

As members of Christ's church:

1.    We are His TEMPLE: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as God’s new temple—should increase our awareness of God’s very presence dwelling in our midst as we meet. 

I Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

I am Christ's Temple. I should want to grow in my awareness of living in His Holy Presence. That is what happens as we read His Word if we bow first in adoration and whisper a prayer of seeking Him. 

Have you personally sought your God, this week, in His Word? If so say “Yes” aloud right now! God wants us 100% employed in His Temple.

2.    We are His PRIEST: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as a priesthood—should help us to see more clearly the delight God has in the sacrifices of praise and good deeds that we offer to Him. 

Hebrews 13:15-16 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

I am part of Christ's Priesthood. I should want to delight in offering the sacrifices He desires. Have you thanked God for eyes to see with, ears to hear with, feet that walk, a mind that still functions? Offer Him the sacrifice of thanks for sins forever gone, of hope that it endless, of joy that never runs out. And then pick someone to “do good and to share” with. 

We all need to be spiritual Boy Scouts, each doing a “good deed” for others each week. And then, each day, and then all day long. God wants us 100% employed as His Priests.

3.    We are His RELATIVE: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as a family—should increase our love and fellowship with one another. 

I Timothy 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

I am Christ's Relative. I should want to increase my love and fellowship with those in Christ who are my true family. Try writing down a name each week of one person, and asking them how to encourage them. Then pray for that area all week long, and look for them next week and find out what God did in their lives. Can you imagine coming each week and looking for people you’ve prayed for and seeing people looking for you? That is what we need to be employed in doing. God wants to see us having 100% employment in serving and encouraging our spiritual relatives.

4.    We are His BODY: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as the body of Christ—should increase our interdependence on one another and our appreciation of the diversity of gifts within the body. 

I Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

I am Christ's Body. I should want my body to do what His did. Jesus went around doing good. He had compassion for the confused, He helped the poor, healed the sick, loved the outcasts, and comforted the lonely. 

God has no Hands but yours.
Brand & Yancey

God wants us 100% employed as His Body.

5.    We are His BUILDING PROJECT: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as a house that is being built—should stir each of us to be a part of the process of building up, edifying, and discipling one another. 

1 Corinthians 3:9b  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

I am a working partner in Christ's Building Project. I should want to be stirring up those around me to love an good works. I should become an expert in building up others, mending others.

Christ should find me 100% employed in doing what He created me to do.

6.    We are His BRIDE: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as the bride of Christ—should stimulate us to personally strive for greater purity, deeper love for Christ, and swifter fuller obedience to Him. 

II Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

I am Christ's Bride. I should want to strive to stay pure for Him. When I watch TV I am seeking His approval. When I dress its for His adoring gaze. I think of Him as my beloved.

God wants us 100% employed as His Bride.

7.    We are His FARM: Knowing that God looks on Christ's church as an agricultural crop—should encourage us to continue growing in the Christian life and obtaining for ourselves and others the proper spiritual nutrients to grow. 

1 Corinthians 3:6-9a I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

I am Christ's Farm, His own personal garden that He planted. I should want to bear the fruit He planted into my life. Jesus wants to harvest from me a crop of His love, His joy, His peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All these are what I want Him to find me 100% employed in growing by the power of His Spirit, in the soil of my life.