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May 26, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ often tell people, especially what you do there and I have a primary job is my primary job with all of you. My job is to help pay. That's my job.
That's the description in the census are missing that we need to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. We need to get involved in joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world. Pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word meets when all this begins because of the divine appointment in the providential relationship.
That's how God operates providential relationships often come unexpectedly something else. So we have to say relationships are not necessarily the key relationships can be positive good or terrible with the consequences.
Turn with me now to Proverbs 13 a Proverbs of Solomon. When this proverb if you have a college kid. It's going to be living in a dorm get this made in a refrigerator magnet so they can see it every day. Solomon says he who walks with wise man will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. He walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion and noticed the word companion means it doesn't just simply mean a moment it means companion, spending time with, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. How many times have you ever tried to get that across to your kids. Everybody I think every parents try that and the only trouble is when a teenager it's almost like someone immunize them against this in a and you know that because you were teenager you think about it from a completely different perspective.
At that time but it's solid advice using the idea of it is is that and it's this easy principle you become who you hang out with. That's kind of the way life is. That's relationships, I always say this, the parents and they never probably believed me about this, but if you want to know what your children are like just look at the front just see who their friends are and it's almost always known I know my child is nothing like their friends. My child wonderful.
The friends of my Jewish know your child just like their friends. That's a principal because you could become who you hang out with and I have to be careful this think that principle the New Testament. First Corinthians 15 in verse 33 the single verse by the apostle Paul. Every your parents that have that view of your children. This verse will apply more to you. Verse 33 first Corinthians 15 do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals.
Okay, now what's so great about that verse by the way, is that it's it's not Hebrew. It has no orientation in Proverbs.
The point is pretty much Jewish wisdom, but it's Greek it's a quote from way, a Greek playwright meander.
This is his quote he says bad company corrupts good morals and notice how he sets it up. Don't be deceived.
Why does he have to tell us that because we are easily deceived. You see, we are easily deceived in this area, it won't really crop me that sort of the argument we is not a crop me.
I think it will. I think that's the principle of the whole idea. Peer pressure and we get we need to have the relationship. Stephen Wright, the comedian said, you know that's one of the things he admires about hermits. Hermits don't have any peer pressure and that that's true and know if and by the way in. If your hundred and two no peer pressure deceived but outside of that we all have peer pressure because were all in relationships and we all should be. But the idea that the relationship could be very, very good to be very bad.
We have to realize that, in other words, there is a spiritual component all the relationships you have and I would say this way every relationship you have has someone either contributing to the positive spiritual growth of your life or they are diminishing the spiritual growth of your life.
That's why relationships are so important and we have to be so discerning when it comes to those kind of relationships now how do we apply this principle. What is it we need to do so that we can get the most spiritual growth out of the relationships we have. We need to be intentional and available to take advantage of providential relationships in any for many of us must ensure we like, especially men. This is one of the areas men do very well and I think in the sense of studying the word of God that they're pretty good at that. A pretty good by the way, pursuing ministry, but men generally are really weak in this area of getting the most out of relationships in her life. Women by nature are just much more social more in the relationships than than men are. I read a book. Not long ago by Todd Bowles and her it's called a takes a church to make a Christian. It's an interesting little book and he says at one level we want relationships at another level, we don't want them in creation. We were made to live in community, but because of the fall, we tend to run from the very friendships that we need quite often are longing for them is tainted by sin, we pursue them only as long as they satisfy our desires and our needs. We have a love-hate relationship with relationships. He says the Bible recognizes this profound tension but still places our individual growth in grace in the context of the body of Christ.
The Scriptures call us to be intimately connected to our brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellowship is an essential ingredient for lasting change. The work of redemption involves he says our individual relationship with Christ alongside our relationship with all others. You have to have that you see I can't, God can't use providential relationships of you don't have relationships with anybody, and I think that sometimes what happens is a divine appointment is brought into your life and you ignore and you don't take advantage of those kind of relationships. The second question I have for you when I said earlier, think of someone who had an impact on your life spiritually. My question is right now how would you think of the relationship chewing right now the friendship you have right now who got us place to you see what's happening in those are you taken in a sense, are you being in it it it just as I said earlier, are you being intentional in this relationship you want to contribute to somebody's growth.
Are you available in the relationship as a relationships are always two folders always a giving and receiving.
Whenever I first met Pastor Dave, I was in the receiving mode.
He was definitely available to be in the giving mode. You see, that was all that was a wonderful thing. And by the way, I'm even know I was in the receiving mode. I kinda thought at that time I was sort of in the giving mode.
I was going to enlighten him one of the things that happen is after we got to know Dave, I invited them up to our house in a neighboring town. He came in, I wanted to explain to Dave what what the predestination and free will really meant. Okay. And so I had that conversation with Dave and it was incredible. Looking back, that he just didn't get up and leave, but he was so patient with me and he would say things like, you know, you really given us a lot of thought, but I don't know if you've thought about this. We thought about that I realized. By the time he left that I had covered about 1% of the topic, but I thought I had about 99% of it down.
You see, that's a relationship that when I was on the receiving and he was on the giving he made himself available, you see any encouraged me these are the kind of relationships there so many places you can go about establishing these churches often say the way to establish relationships is organizationally so basically you say okay for you to be in our church which really need to do is you need to organizationally be in other relationships whether Sunday school class of small groups, community groups, whatever it is you going to these relationships and sometimes that creates a providential relationship, but often it doesn't.
And I think that the reason it doesn't it. It's it's not necessarily a natural relationship and is not necessarily providential to more organizational we used to call this especially we were in Texas when that we were in church and that everybody depending on where you live, the new rage he had been pushed in with particular group and up and so we we we call that the force fellowship okay.
And the idea I'm sure was good. The idea was willing to create these relationships now. I can only speak from my point of view. I don't remember any of the relationships.
None. I don't remember that at all in the contributing way. It was a natural and there wasn't a lot in common.
But I do believe there's a way in which you can create these relationships and be very scriptural in the way you do it with me now to Romans chapter 12 and verse 10.
Romans 12 in verse 10 know if you remember beginning of chapter 12 in verse one is the great watershed, verse that if you really want to be all in with Jesus Christ you need to present yourself as a living sacrifice that, in other words, Lord, you have my life. That's all in. And then he says you can let the world conform you.
You need to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, but then he gets down in verse nine he talks about a relationship with others and he says let love be without hypocrisy up or what is evil and cling to what is good and then this word be devoted to one another in brotherly love give preference to one another in honor while you think about that with other Christians, those who worship within those you work with than those who live with be devoted to one another in brotherly love and give preference to one another in honor that Greek word and honors the same as he writes to Timothy when he says honor the emperor it's honor. When you think about that. He said that's the way it is in fact this is the one another. It's amazing how many different one another's or find a New Testament and mostly all them in the epistles over and over and over and over again. God gives us commands to one another.
In fact, love one another.
John 13 forgive one another.
Ephesians 4 accept one another. Romans 15 bear with one another. Ephesians 2. Greet one another. Second Corinthians 13 be hospitable to one another. First Peter four. Be kind and compassionate to one another in Ephesians 4 share with one another.
He was 13 serve one another in Galatians 5 carrying one another's burdens. Galatians 6 he says build up one another in first Thessalonians 5.
Encourage one another daily in Hebrews 3 comfort one another in first Thessalonians 4 and then what I want to look at in a moment. Instruct one another in Romans 15 admonished one another in Colossians 316. Pray for one another in James five. Confess your sins to one another in James five being of the same mind toward one another in Romans 12 and submit to one another.
Why do you think he saying that because we need to. But why do we need to what happens when we do that is our best chance to grow. It's the best chance we have to grow our faith.
It's a context relationships.
Iron sharpens iron has tremendous impact on our lives. Christians can never really grown up all they need to be in isolation. You just can't.
And I'm saying Yep you want to organize a group and see if it comes out of that that be fine but if you just simply follow the one another's of Scripture human end up in those kind of relationships because they're so meaningful and they offer so much in the area of ministry. The one I still want to look at us. Hebrews chapter 10 Hebrews chapter 10 verse 23 the writer of Hebrews says this he said let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful to me paraphrase that this be people of great faith. Let's really hold fast seat. As I said the very first sermon.
Who would want to have great faith.
The way the world is right now who would want to have great faith you see the way our culture is who want one have great faith, the possible diagnosis and prognosis that everyone of us will probably face medically. Who would want to have great faith you see great faith, something we all want. That's why we admire it and he says look I want you to have great faith. He says hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering. I want you to have great faith and then he says this and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
We need to consider how to stimulate one another that were stimulate is par Oxman's very unusual word and doesn't almost almost never is in a positive situation. It means sharp literally the Greek word means sharp pointed remember when I said that Barnabas and Paul had a sharp disagreement same word. It almost is always in the context of hostility toward each other or anger, but here it it often would mean not just that it would mean to provoke so he says let us consider how to provoke one another to love and to good deeds.
In other words, we have to interface with each other's lives.
We have to intervene as a role. I often tell people, especially visitors. United ask about things like you know what you do here. I guess they think this is about it for me at the desk. What you what you do here and I said I have a primary job and on my nerves.
My primary job with all of you. My job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Okay that's my job. That's the description in the sense that's all of our jobs, you see that we need to stimulate provoke one another to love and good deeds. We need to get involved see Pastor David just ignored me completely. I don't know how my life would've gone know God sovereign, so I'm not selling God surely might add another divine appointment and another one, but I think of all the different people that have impacted my life all along the way. Every one of those was absolutely essential to my spiritual growth as a person and virtually what happened to me as I one from the receiving end to now much more on the giving end. My job in that sense is the same. The roles of change that I take his role in my job is to stimulate you see stimulate one another to love and good deeds. All of these one another's to establish potential relationships, but we have to be intentional and you have to be available providential relationships often start unexpectedly relationships. By the way can provide really provide both good and terrible consequences in your life you have to be discerning when it comes to relationships.
And thirdly, you need to be intentional and available to take advantage of the providential relationships that God puts in your life. When I came to Jesus Christ. I didn't even know that there were such a thing as a providential relationship.
I didn't know a thing about it, but I know this. Pastor Dave made himself available to a highly zealous but little misguided young man and you know not just for this sermon, but periodically my whole life all these years in my prayers. I think God for Pastor Dave.
I just think what a divine appointment.
You see, what a providential relationship. What a stimulant to my growth. That's what we all need.
We all need to grow in the context of relationships with Sprint father my prayer this morning is that for many of us were not very intentional about the relationships we don't really see all of these relationships is a potential divine appointment by which we can impact people there people we work with the don't know Christ who are facing terrible crisis difficult situations they have fear they have anxiety.
We have an opportunity to bring the peace and love of Christ to their lives to bring the hope of the word of God, to them to offer them a respite from the turmoil which they find themselves in, and perhaps begin a relationship by which they not only come to Christ, but that they grow in Christ, father, for those of us who are believers strong.
We need to make ourselves available to those in the body who need our example just like Timothy needed Paul's just like Elisha meeting the lodges they need our example. They need our interaction. You simply ask that we make ourselves available with the purple goal to stimulate them in their spiritual walk and in the spiritual journey father. None of us will ever grow into what we should be in a vacuum.
All of us are independent and yet dependent on one another. We are the body of Christ. Each part of it is essential and we needed all father.
I just pray that we see ourselves in a very intentional way is in only to our growth pray this in Jesus name for his glory and Pastor Bill Gebhardt you ever miss one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember that you can Google great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast so many of our previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly fourth just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.
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