We Need One Another – Message Notes – 5.28.06

Redwood_3 Today I preached a message on how we all need one another.  We are starting a summer book study on Philippians, and I felt compelled to really call us to recognize that we belong to one another as the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5) as we start the summer. With such a young church, it is easy to get in the mindset that, summer is here, it is time to just take a break, go our separate ways, and not be connected to others the way we normally are.  But, as I was thinking, I realized that we have that attitude for at least 5 months of the year (Nov-Dec because of Christmas, and May-July because of summer).  Wow.  It is really hard to keep growing in the Lord and in relationships if we are constantly on a college schedule. Maybe it’s time to continue on with our close relationships even when the weather gets warm!

When we lived in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, we lived just a couple of miles from Muir Woods,  where they have the giant redwoods.  The really interesting thing about redwoods, among many other things, is that they grow to about 35 stories tall, but they have really shallow root systems. So, if you took one of these giant trees and stuck it out by itself in a field, it would topple over with the first strong wind!  But, in a redwood forest, the roots of the trees interconnect and they help each other stand up. Fascinating, eh?

So, the implications for the body of Christ are obvious.  We were not meant to stand alone. God doesn’t just want to grow you tall and strong, He wants you to be a part of a tall and strong FOREST that is full of giant trees that are mutually dependent upon one another.  But, to do this, we have to recognize that we need one another and that others need us.  If we do not participate in sharing life with the body, we do not grow, and the body also suffers!  Others have what I need and I have what they need.  God designed us this way so that we could learn to get our needs met by Him through the church, and also so that He could connect us with others who would cause us to grow and be transformed into His likeness.

There are so many "One Anothers" in the New Testament.  How can we possibly obey them if we are not closely connected in living in Biblical relationship with other believers? How can we truly obey God if we are going it alone? Many say that they are alright, they are strong spiritually, and that they have all they need. But, if you are not closely connected with other believers, you deceive yourself, because the spiritual life is only lived out in community with others.

Incredibly, God has called us to be priests unto Him.  We are the called out ones who are to declare His praises (1 Peter 2).  We are priests unto God in worship to Him, we represent God to other people, and we represent other people to God through prayer. Of course, Jesus, our Great High Priest has gone before us to make all of this possible and to bring us together into one body.

So, as you think about how to spend your time this summer, make sure that you connect with other believers and enter into the process of giving and receiving in your life.  Then, reflect Christ to others who do not know Him and stand in the gap for them, representing Christ to a broken world.   My actual sermon notes with all of the scripture passages can be found HERE.

2 Responses to We Need One Another – Message Notes – 5.28.06

  1. This has been on my mind for a while but maybe in a more specific context. I am surrounded by people who not only need community but intense, sustained, prolonged community. My sister who is half-way through Bible college and taking the summer off to minister to friends and family. My grandmother who is failing and scared. My dear friend who is six months into mourning the loss of her six-year old daughter. Another friend who has allowed wounds and lies to undermine the beauty she was meant to share. I am not good at long-term relationships–one reason why I like being a military spouse! But all of these require digging in and staying in, not tactical aerial assaults.
    My grieving friend emailed me this morning, reminding me that her pain is not only still fresh, it’s increasing. She and her husband and her daughter are Christians but the day to day, as well as each new season, bring into light more and more what they’ve lost. I’m coming to realize that exhorting a friend through healing, whether from a wound or a sin, takes no less continued attention than that required by my son to remember to put his shoes away, brush his teeth, don’t pull the dog’s lips. I don’t know why it takes so much time and effort and intent to change and the thought of it overwhelms me. But we are called not to tire of doing good works.
    Pbbt! That goes double for myself! After my dad died, my sister mentioned to a family friend that no one comforted her. She replied, “That’s because no one knows how you feel. You don’t show it.” To have the perseverance to go the distance with the humilty to continually call for help…and accept it whether it comes from others or God, Himself…I’ve been fortunate enough to be witness to a family who managed to do just that and come out shining.

  2. Beth,
    I think the key is for us to be at peace with God ourselves. When we know we are loved by Him, then we can be free and open with others. He seems to be the key to everything. This is why true community is not possible without Him. He invites us into community with the Trinity, and then we have true relationship with one another. If people you love are not willing to open up and be in relationship with others, pray that they would open their hearts to God. Minister Christ to them. He bore all of our rejection and we are accepted in the Beloved. This is incredibly freeing and enables us to receive love from others – but more than that, it enables us to give to others, even when we are going through storms, because we have confidence that all our needs will be and are being met in the unconditional love of God through His Son and applied by the Spirit. Pretty cool, eh?
    By the way, check out the church’s website Monday evening. Robby is preaching on Sunday and we just got the capability to get our sermons online. It will be up by Monday afternoon (if everything works right – this is the first week).