Care and service…
Jules kicked off the message this morning with a negative question: “Does the church know the details of your life and do you think it really cares?”
He shared a story of a family member who was a member of a local church and suffered severe trauma with cancer. She did not receive any care, visits or service from her church and this caused an amount of bitterness and disappointment. Upon retrospection Jules realized that a person can be a member of an organization or church without anyone knowing anything about them.
We refrain from sharing our lives with our family in Christ and make the decision to walk the road of pain on our own. Thus we rob others of the opportunity to care for us, show Christ love and serve us. It is impossible for others to really learn to know us when we do not indulge in ‘family’ activities and become involved in specific areas in the church. We need to be active in serving others so that we, in turn, may receive care when needed.
We need to be honest and transparent with our lives and share facts without necessarily becoming a burden to others. We often, when asked how we are, put on our mask of wellbeing, while we are bleeding on the inside.
We make a choice of not being involved, but just attending church. Our cell groups, specifically, is a wonderful platform for us to share our lives with other Christians when we are members of a large assembly. This is the ideal area where we can involve a smaller group of people in our lives and make them a part of our spiritual journey. It is the place where we learn to really care for one another and to serve each other.
Mutual understanding of each other
Boldness and transparency
We often disregard the authority of the Bride of Christ. God can work as effectively through the lives and prayers of every Christian as of any leader in the church. There is power in the relationship we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ and which we all have with our Father.
John 10:14-15 – I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep.
To be served implies relationship. We do not only attend church to grow in our relationship with God, but also with our brothers and sisters. There is a sure element of God in each Christian we can miss out on if we do not stand in a relationship with one another.
A life close to God’s heart creates a love for other believers.
2 Peter 1:7-8 – and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our lives bring the good qualities of God through to others.
Are we willing to be transparent and bold enough with our lives?
Jules called three people up on stage to share their concept of caring.
Martin: People don’t always know how to help and some do not know how to ask for help. It may be expedient to ask two or three trustworthy people for assistance and share intimidate details with them. This way you will be able to afford others the opportunity to bless you and allow them to grow in grace and faith and you will not need to struggle along on your own.
Luan: We have the Life Centre where we have different areas of caring; soul care; food project; hospital visitation; prayer and intercession; councillors; encouragers and group facilitating. There are many areas in which you can become involved and serve others, so that you will grow and progress in your own spiritual life.
Belinda: We need to allow people to mourn without being judged. We need to give people the opportunity to deal with their grief without being crowded or overwhelmed. Listen to people and make them feel safe with you. Give them hope and share God’s beauty with them without Bible bashing. There is a place for the Word and for God’s wisdom, but we need to be sensitive to God’s leading and His timing. We need to allow people to bridge the raw emotions first…our deeds must speak louder than our words.
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Henry Drummond
The best way to do ourselves good is to be doing good to others; the best way to gather is to scatter. – Thomas Brooks
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller