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Endurance and Encouragement

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
August 31, 2020 11:02 am

Endurance and Encouragement

The Verdict / John Munro

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August 31, 2020 11:02 am

Pastor Tim Hathaway August 30, 2020 Romans 15:1-7

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Good morning, everyone. Great to see you. Thanks to all for joining on our live stream, as we've already mentioned.

Go ahead and turn your Bibles to Romans chapter 15. That's going to be our passage this morning. I think as most of you know, I have the privilege each week here of serving as pastor of worship. I have the honor of working with our tech team, working with our music team, and thanks again to Jacob and Brian, Elizabeth, the whole team for the great job that they did leading us.

This morning. And our worship ministries of every age, our goal really is to help Calvary Church to worship God. We're not here to perform at anyone. We're here to join together and to help each other praise the name of our Lord, to make His praise glorious, to be God-centered in our worship. That's the emphasis of our ministry. One of our ministries at the church is also a ministry to one another. And for our worship ministry, when we gather for our rehearsals on Wednesday and our preparation on Sunday, we desire not only to prepare to lead our church in God-centered worship, but also to be a ministry to one another, to be a ministry that encourages one another and in so doing honors the Lord. And this passage that we're going to look at is a passage that's been valuable to us as a team. There's even a couple of kind of musical overtones in it, and I trust will be a value to us as we look in God's word today. I'm going to go ahead and read these verses from Romans chapter 15.

I think they're going to be on the screen here. Yeah. Thank you.

There we go. That through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God. And we see in verses four and then verse five, may the God of endurance and encouragement. We see these two words and how we need today and any season of our lives, these elements of endurance and encouragement. So as we look at this passage today, we're going to see how that we draw endurance and encouragement from God, who is the provider of endurance and encouragement, and also how we share that with one another, build each other up, and in so doing, God is glorified. The name of Christ is exalted. Let's pray together. Father, thank you for these rich and living words. They are life to us, and we pray that today as we look in your word, Father, you would give us eyes to see and ears to hear from you, and that you would transform us, Father, that we would be more conformed to the image of Christ, and that we would honor and glorify your name. We commit this time to you with thanksgiving. In Christ's name we pray.

Amen. First of all, this element, this principle that God provides his people with endurance and encouragement. God provides his people with endurance and encouragement. Spreading out on these chapters, Romans chapter 14 and 15, as we go through in the context of these verses, it's on the interaction of the body of Christ with one another. We're told in chapter 14 in a summary to lay aside our liberty for the sacrifice and for the benefit of each other, and there's so much in these verses about how we glorify God and how that we interact with and serve one another. But it's interesting that right in the middle of that, God gives us these verses that talk about endurance and encouragement.

Again, principles for all time and for serving one another as well. We know that we're left to our own strength and our own preferences. We'll tire.

We'll get off track. So God provides us with endurance and encouragement for the benefit of us, for the benefit of each other, and to his glory. How does God provide us with endurance and encouragement? Well, a couple of ways are listed in these verses. First of all, we have the work and the example of Christ.

The work and the example of Christ. These verses are written to the body of Christ, and it assumes that we are in Christ, that we are followers of Christ. So, just as we heard the team sing and sang together about the living hope that God has bridged the chasm between our sin and His holiness through Christ, that we put our trust in Him and receive Him, we are followers of Christ. And of course, we implore you, that's our most important decision in all of life, is how we would respond to God's invitation to receive Christ.

And if you haven't done that, we of course implore you to do so, the followers of Christ. Verse 3 here, it lists the example of Christ. Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, the reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me. Paul here is applying Psalm 69 to the Lord. Psalm 69 and verse 9 says, For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

And that first part of that verse, zeal for your house has consumed me, you may recognize that quoted in the New Testament when Christ purged the temple, overturned the tables. And then this latter part here, the reproaches of those who have reproached you have fallen on me. People slander, malign God Himself, so of course Christ in pleasing the Father and living a perfect life.

He too takes on the reproaches, the slandering, maligning of the world. But look at Christ's response, of course we know His example of surrender. First of all, His commitment to the Father. And then also, here in verse 15, not to please ourselves, but to please His neighbor for His good. So we have the example of Christ as He surrenders and humbles Himself. Example in the work of Christ. Next, God gives us encouragement and endurance through His Word.

This is His primary means daily of encouraging and providing us with endurance. And look in verse 4, primarily, this important verse about God's Word. It says, Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. This morning we sang songs from the Old Testament. We started off with Blessed Be Your Name from Job.

The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Psalm 46, the Lord of hosts is with us.

He is our fortress. And then even in those verses, the different stories and narratives from the Old Testament. This is an important verse to us that it emphasizes the importance of the totality of Scripture. The whole counsel of God written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement we might have hope.

And I think a couple points worth noting significantly there was written for our instruction. I think that's perhaps to state the obvious, but always making sure that we're coming to God's Word with a teachable and a humble spirit, not just seeking information or knowledge, but knowledge that will change us. Peter Rodney in his prayer, he quoted those verses from James that we don't want to just be hearers of the Word, or one that looks, that example is given there, one that looks in the mirror and sees his reflection and just goes out and doesn't change. We want to look into God's Word and we want to change. God's Word is given not just to affirm us even though it does that, but to form us. So we come to God's Word for instruction. And for endurance, for encouragement, and look there at the end of verse 4, through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. We talk about that often, there's nothing worse than being or feeling hopeless, but we know that for the Christian we always have hope and God's Word stirs that up in us and reminds us of that reality, that we might be a people of hope. So we have the work, we have the example of Christ, we have the Word of God that gives us endurance and encouragement.

What else? Well we have of course the presence of God. God is not just far off giving us, sending us encouraging notes or words. His Word is alive and He is with us.

I love the passage in Matthew 11 that we know that Pastor Monroe will share from here soon. Verses 28 through 30 where Jesus says, Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. That beautiful picture of Christ being right with us, doing as it were the heavy lifting. His yoke is easy when we are aware of and we are looking at seeking the presence of the Lord and His burden is light. So we have the presence of the Lord.

We have His Spirit of course that is our comforter, that is our guide, that brings the Word alive in our hearts. Again we are provided with endurance and encouragement through the work, through the example of Christ, through dwelling in His Word, through the reminder that we have the blessed promise of His presence with us. And of course we have the blessing and the benefit of the body of Christ.

And that brings us to our next principle this morning. That in the Spirit of Christ we are to encourage one another and build one another up. In the Spirit of Christ we are to encourage one another and build one another up. Many of you may recognize those words are taken directly from a verse in 1 Thessalonians where we are told and we are commanded exactly that to encourage one another and to build one another up. God provides us with endurance and encouragement so that we might relay that, share that with each other. Before we talk about some of these principles on encouraging and building one another up, let me just pause for a moment and encourage those who might be new to Calvary in this unique season that we are in. I know we have had people join us on the live stream all over the world. People who are new to Charlotte joining on the live stream, haven't been able to be here yet. Some of you in the room this morning, you're new to Calvary and you don't know many people here yet.

In all of those situations, I would encourage you to take the step of getting connected with the body of Christ. We have so many opportunities. You've seen them on the Calvary Connection video. You can see them on the website. Whether that's the ALGs, the adult life groups that meet regularly on Zoom. Whether that's the electives that are coming up that will meet on Zoom. If you're new, Pastor Monroe begins the membership class in a couple weeks, which we would recommend to everyone. Just some of the opportunities here of taking the step to getting connected and to getting involved. These one anothers, this dynamic of building one another.

So some of you may not know really anyone at Calvary yet and I trust that you would find Calvary a welcoming church and that you would take that step to get involved. Encouraging and building one another up. A couple of principles from these verses again. First of all, throughout these verses, again, we have the mind and the example of Christ. We're told in verses 1-3, again, in the Spirit of Christ to put aside our own interests and look at the interests of others. I commend to you Philippians 2, verses 1-11, which beautifully shows that example of Christ. Philippians 2, verse 4 says, Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus. It goes on to talk about him laying aside to be a servant and to become obedient even to death on a cross. But we have that mind and that attitude of Christ that we should display running through and as a motivator for all of these principles. That we would prefer one another.

That we would put others' interests above our own. We see some specifics from these verses exactly on this. First of all, in verse 1, it says, We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak.

And the word there, bear. You see in Galatians, we know that we're to bear one another's burdens. And bearing, it involves weight. It involves lifting.

It involves helping and exerting. So our command there, and notice it says we have an obligation, not just a suggestion, but an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak. And so we have this responsibility here to bear each other's burdens, to bear each other's weaknesses. There is the distinction made here between the strong and the weak.

Generally between the spiritually mature and maybe the spiritually young who are growing. But we all have times in our life when weakness comes, whether that's through sin or whether that's through circumstances. And we need the strength of others. And so we're commanded. We need an obligation to bear each other's weaknesses, to bear each other's burdens. Again, not just kind of turning a blind eye and tolerating, but to take on the responsibility of bearing, which requires exertion, which reminds us again why we need endurance and why we need encouragement. The next principle there. Look in the next verse. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. To build him up.

And I love that word, build. We think of each other and we are to build one another. I mentioned already the context of these chapters in Romans 14. As it goes through it talks about the differences on secondary matters that the believers had.

Whether that was meat versus vegetables, thinking maybe meat that had been offered to idols. They didn't want to partake in that. Some didn't mind. It talks too about some observing days. Probably a reference to the Sabbath and that some were diligently adhering to the Sabbath. Others were not as much. These matters that are given to us here.

And it talks as it goes through there. And twice, at least twice, I think twice in Romans 14 it talks about destroying one another. So if we abuse these secondary matters we can actually destroy one another.

Very strong words. We're not to obviously to destroy one another, but rather to build each other up. How do we do that? How do we build one another? I think there's some principles given. Just think if you could list many ways of building one another.

Of course think first of all of the words that we say. I love Proverbs 25 11. It says a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. The beauty and the power of thoughtful and meaningful words. Encourage one another by, of course by, we build each other, of course by praying for each other and by encouraging one another. I received a phone call late Friday evening from one of our brothers here in the church.

He's in a seasonal life in a situation where he can't really get out right now as he would like to. But it reminded me. He said, Tim, I pray for you every day.

I love you. And praying for, we were involved in a funeral yesterday, praying for that, praying for your message on Sunday. And it's a great privilege at Calvary to have so many people that pray for each other. But for me that was enough. That one person, that's all I needed. Just the strength that comes from caring and thoughtful words.

Sometimes we need to bury each other as we've talked about here in building and pick one another up. I read this illustration this week from someone who was a boxer. And he spoke of when he was boxing in high school. He talked about his high school coach's advice. I don't know how old this is to have high school boxing. But he said his coach's greatest goal was to teach his boxers that they absolutely, positively, without question had to be get-up fighters.

He said, if you're in a ring just once in your life, completely on your own, and you get knocked down, but you get back up again, it's a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Your sense of achievement is distinct and unique. And sometimes the only thing that makes you get up is someone in your corner yelling. And I thought how true that that is. And I think thoughtful words are so meaningful. I think sometimes in church we might be better at sending cards and flowers and flowery words, which again is meaningful. But when it comes to these elements of getting ourselves dirty and helping pick someone up off the canvas, as it were, it takes exertion, doesn't it?

It takes a selflessness. Sometimes that's done without any acknowledgement. Boxing is an example of athletics, and so the opponent is another athlete. Of course, in many areas of life, the opponent is much greater or worse, as it were, than another athlete. Of course, we know our enemy stalks about.

He is our ultimate enemy. But this element, when our brothers and sisters are flat on their back, can we step in and build them up? Yesterday we had the funeral in the chapel for Toni Trueblood, known by many of you, faithful sister here at Calvary.

I think most of you would recognize her. She stood right there in the front row of the choir, a very expressive worshiper diagnosed with cancer last fall and passed away this past week, and we had a time of sharing there from those who had been ministered to from her or by her, and a couple of people mentioned just things that had been done in secret, in desperate times in their lives, to really rescue them, in a sense, and it's a great example of us building up one another. And I pray that each one of us would have someone in our corner, you know, just like the boxing illustrates, somebody in our corner yelling, you know, that wants us to get up, willing to do whatever it takes to help us, and I pray that we're that for other people as well. We're in the corner. Again, not just an athletic contest.

We don't need any motivation for that. We love to yell for our favorite teams, but for helping one another in life, helping one another to stay strong in the Lord, building one another. Next here in this passage, so significant I think, we have a couple of one-anothers listed. And we're going to look at the ones in this passage, and then we're going to look at a few others. We know that the Lord gave us a new commandment. He said, a new commandment I give to you, in John 13, that you love one another. By this will all men know you're my disciples, if you have love for one another.

And in the New Testament, we have dozens of one-anothers listed, a reminder to us of how much and how important our testimony and encouragement of one another would be. Here in this passage, we have in verse five, that God would grant us to live in such harmony with one another. So we have this command to live in harmony, to live in unity with one another. Verse seven says welcome one another, as Christ has welcomed you. Some translations say accept one another. So we have a couple of these commands that are given to us to encourage and to build one another of living together in unity with one another, of being welcoming to one another.

And of the dozens that are mentioned in the New Testament, we're going to put about ten of these on the screen. And I want you to reflect on these. And before we do, I want to encourage you to consider how we can even practice these during this unusual time.

You know, some are still isolated at home. We're not as together as we would like to be, even though increasingly we're able to gather. But I want you to think that even in this pandemic season, how can we practice, how can I practice these one anothers? Let's look at some of these. First of all, we already mentioned from John 13, verse 34, to love one another.

Kind of the umbrella over all of these. How do we love one another? Romans 16, just like other epistles, says to greet one another.

More than just a hello, but a caring and a loving greeting. Number three there, from 2 Corinthians 13, to comfort one another. We know 2 Corinthians 1 also talks about that God is a God of comfort. And as we experience His comfort, we're able to comfort others. The command to comfort one another.

All of us probably, most of us, know somebody in this church who's gone through or going through dire circumstances. We are to be a comfort to one another. Ephesians 4 says to be kind and forgiving to one another. Be kind to one another. Forgive one another.

Just like God in Christ has forgiven us. The command to us. Maybe we're harboring something in our hearts. Something that somebody has done to us or said to us.

They may not even acknowledge that it's wrong. That can eat us. Eat at our hearts.

Destroy us from the inside out. Be kind. Be forgiving to one another. Ephesians 5 says submit to one another. This aspect of, again, of preferring others before ourselves. Submit to one another.

We have a few more too. From Colossians 3, we're to teach and admonish one another. Interesting that verse also talks about music. Through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs of purpose that we're to teach and we're to admonish one another. We already quoted 1 Thessalonians 5 and 11 to encourage and build up one another. Hebrews 13 is similar to encouragement to exhort one another. There from Hebrews 10, stimulate love and good works in one another. And last and certainly not least, to pray for one another.

And I think it's back on number 9 there. Hebrews 10. That's the passage that says don't forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We're encouraged as best as we can to take the step of gathering together.

We know that some can't be here yet, but the purpose of gathering together, we worship God, but here's to encourage and build one another up to stimulate one another to love and good works. And I know that some of these, we feel inhibited right now because we can't interact closely as much. We can't talk to one another the same way that we would like to. But I think we put our minds to it and our hearts to it.

We can find ways to practice these one anothers just as if there were no restrictions and let me encourage you to do that. And lastly here, so we draw encouragement from God. We're to share encouragement. We're to build one another up. But there's a great purpose and a great product in that and that is that as we live, as we serve as one another in unity, God is glorified.

I read this quote this week in a commentary. It says, the goal of our relationships among Christians is a unified glorying of God. Our goal in our relationships is to glorify God. That may seem obvious, but I thought, how often do we think about, hey, when we're together as a body of Christ, what are we trying to accomplish?

And usually, rightfully, there's a task, whatever team or ministry that we're on, as a worship staff and as a Calvary staff, we're looking right now. We have a meeting tomorrow about our goals for this coming season, how we're going to accomplish ministry in this different season. But a reminder that the goal of our relationships is a unified glorying of God that is running through everything that no matter what we're doing, what task is at hand, we're to do it in unity to the glory of God. These verses here in v. 5-6 tell us to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ that together you may with one voice glorify the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So in our harmony and in our unity, we are to glorify God. We have these items here that talk about kind of musical references in a way. Today we had one voice, our student ensemble, sing for us.

And their name is taken from this verse here in v. 15-6. And these, harmony is not just a musical term even though we use it in music. And talking about with one voice is not just singing, it's speaking, expressing as well, but certainly applies to music.

We have these principles here. I don't know if some of you would recognize, if I can get this out of my pocket, what this is. This is a tuning fork. It's old school. I don't know if some of you would recognize this, but this is used for tuning instruments.

You have this, you hit it. It gives you a note. I think many of you know that.

Maybe some of you are younger who don't have experience with those. But it's a tuning fork, and it's used to tune instruments. When our team comes in this morning, a lot of the tuning that's done in instruments now, it's done electronically.

They plug in, it shows you on a meter, gets you right in tune. But back in the day, we had to use a tuning fork. When I was in college, one of our conducting professors required that we would get a tuning fork carried around in our pocket and hit it a hundred times each day so that hopefully we would get that A in our ear all the time. So I know today, you students, you carry around smartphones in your pocket. We carried around tuning forks back in the day.

What a bunch of nerds we were. But the principle is there that tuning to the same standard. We have a quote here. A.W. Tozer is one of my favorite authors, and he has this quote about tuning.

I think we're going to get it on the screen. Yep, about tuning. Has it ever occurred to you that 100 pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So 100 worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ are in heart nearer to each other than they possibly could be were they to become unity conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.

And the principle is obvious. If we all show up and we kind of just go around the room and we're kind of tuning to each other, we're going to get off track. But if we tune to the same standard of Christ, we're in tune. And in tuning to His standard, to His Word, we become more in tune with one another, of course. An example given to us, think of the hymn, Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing His grace. And that's what Romans 15, 5, and 6 is telling us to do here, is to tune our hearts to one another that we might sing or proclaim His grace.

It says in verse 5 that we're to live in such harmony. It's a like-mindedness. It's not just a musical term, even though if you hear great harmony in any instrument or in voices, or you're able to participate in that, you know it's a great experience. It's pleasing to our ear.

It's a pleasing experience. It's a like-mindedness that we're to have as the body of Christ. That together with one voice, we would glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So in our harmony of our love for Christ, our message becomes unified. And it talks about the inner and the expression of one accord with Christ.

It's translated other places as like-minded. Having the same heart, Christ rebuked the Pharisees because they had the right words on their lips, but their hearts were far away from Him. Having the right heart as the body of Christ, and then having the right expression, one voice that would glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I pray that we as a body of Christ would serve one another, would serve God in a way that brings great glory to His name.

As we serve together in unity, our great God is glorified. What would we do today in response to God's Word? First of all, the principle of abiding in Christ and abiding in His Word each day. How do we receive endurance and encouragement? To feast on God's Word every day. Feasting on God's Word every day. Also, we should abound in serving and encouraging one another. We've been given several practical steps this morning.

Several things, one another. And I encourage you to go home and electronically search. Just search one another in the New Testament.

Dozens will come up. Some that we've already mentioned, others that we haven't. Some that are warnings that says don't devour one another. Abounding and serving and encouraging one another. And I would encourage you to take that step this week of practicing some of these one anothers. Apply your heart and your mind to how you might encourage one another. I think sometimes, especially in a church that's as large as Calvary, we have the blessing of interacting with people in such similar circumstances. Whether we're in a season of life with small children, or whether we're single, whether the nest is empty.

All different kinds of ways where we can be with people with very similar circumstances in life. But the body of Christ is to be greater than that, isn't it? And it doesn't matter. I think the most beautiful, small expressions of the larger body are people from different seasons in life and how they can submit to one another so that our unity is not falsely based just on secondary things in life. Where we're from, all these other things, our age, all these other things are secondary compared to tuning our hearts and living by Christ and according to His word. Pastor Monroe gave us at the beginning of 2020 four themes that we were to focus on.

I was thinking of this this week. This first one here, study God's word. Next, surrender to God and then serve Christ. And the last one is share, which I know Pastor Cebu is going to focus on next week.

But I think we have these here. Study God's word. Surrender to God. Surrender to one another.

Submit to one another. And serve. Serve Christ wholeheartedly and serve one another. Be encouraged.

Endure. And so doing, glorify God. Let's build one another up. Let's pray together. Father, thank you again for these rich words of life that you've given to us. And I pray this would characterize us as individuals and Father as a church.

And we look around us and we see so much that is broken in our world and in our nation. And Father, we pray for healing. We pray for healing from the disease of sin.

For we know that's our greatest failing, our greatest disease, our greatest cure and rescue. We pray that many would be drawn to you, many would respond to the Gospel. And I pray for those here joining live stream in the room as well. Father, we know many, some are facing incredibly difficult circumstances. God encourage them, strengthen them. And for all of us, Father, help us to serve one another to Your glory. And we give You our thanks and our praise in the name of Christ. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 01:56:54 / 2024-03-21 02:10:48 / 14

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