Ministry & Motherhood

Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8

Main Point: Motherhood is good ministry and good for ministry

Sometimes we learn great things from unlikely sources. I was surprised to learn that football greats like Lynn Swann, Herschel Walker, and Barry Sanders took ballet in order to become better NFL running backs. We can learn from unlikely sources. Jesus tells us that we can learn to trust God by studying a flower or watching a bird gather food (Matthew 6:25-34). So, it may surprise you that you can learn how to be more faithful in your work by studying motherhood. If you’re one of those guys who thinks children are women’s work and mothering is equal to weakness, then you need to repent; there is much to learn from the glory of motherhood.

In Isaiah 66:13, when God describes the way he will treat us, he uses the picture of a mother, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” Our Father is compassionate like a mother. When Jesus was heading into Jerusalem he said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 22:37). Jesus longs to gather his people like a hen gathers her chicks. When the apostle Paul was shocked to hear of the Galatian church abandoning the gospel he wrote, “my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” (Galatians 4:19). Salvation, the new birth, is like physical birth. There is a glory and strength in womanhood that is worthy of imitation by all.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, Paul describes the ministry of the apostles using the example of a mother. So, we’re going to follow his lead and learn about ministry by studying motherhood. Lord willing, we will pick up 1 Thessalonians 9:9-12 on Father’s Day. Today, let’s learn from mothers. Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.

For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

Let’s start with the big picture of ministry in verses 5-6. These verses call us to be faithful in the work God gives. You must

I. Be faithful in your ministry (5-6)

How do we do that? Where does faithfulness come from? Faithfulness and fruitfulness come from God. God gives us the ability to do the work.

  • Work hard because of grace (1 Cor 15:10)

1 Corinthians 15:3-11 is another one of those apostle-sections of the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 Paul writes, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

The apostle Paul did a great work because God gave him great grace. The strength to work, and ultimately the results of the work, were all the product of God’s power working through the apostle Paul. Paul depended on God for the ability to do the work.

Here comes a simple and profound call to prayer. James 4:2 tells us we do not have because we do not ask. Paul was constantly asking the church to pray for him so he could accomplish the work (Rom 15:30; 2 Cor 1:11; Phi 1:19). When is the last time you asked someone to pray for you? You’re bringing up a child. Who is praying for you? You’re trying to win your neighbor. Who is praying for you? You’re trying to evangelize your Sunday school class. Who is praying for you? You’re discipling a new believer. Who is praying for you? If we are proud and self-sufficient then we won’t ask for prayer and we will accomplish little. If we are humble and God-dependent then we will ask for help accomplishing God’s will. In ministry, we pray and we get to work. Also be sure to

  • Preach don’t flatter

Looking into 1 Thessalonians 2, we see that Paul took a beating in Philippi and when he made it to Thessalonica, he had a rough go. By God’s grace he preached the gospel. Let’s note how he did that ministry, verse 5, “For we never came with words of flattery.”

There is a big difference between saying something to build a person up and saying something to get a person to like you. Flattery is not necessarily lying. Flattery can use lies, but flattery can also be telling someone true things to get them to like you or give you something.

You can win people to yourself with flattery, but you can’t win people to Jesus with flattery. The only way to win people to Jesus is to preach the gospel; tell people the truth about their sin and God’s love. In your ministry, in your work, are you preaching the gospel or are you manipulating people? Preach the gospel and

  • Be on guard against greed

Let’s finish 1 Thessalonians 2:5, “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness.”

Listen, if we say nice things and do nice things there is a good chance people will give us nice things. If we don’t watch our hearts, we will end up working simply to get stuff from people. Regularly ask, “Why do I do what I do? Do I work because God gives grace or because people give stuff? Do I work because I love people or because I love money?”

Falling into greed is as easy as falling off a log. Watch yourself and your ministry. Invite brothers and sisters around you to watch your ministry. Instead of seeking money

  • Seek the glory that comes from God

Put your good eye on 1 Thessalonians 5:6. Paul says, “Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others.” Seeking praise and affirmation from people is often the unconscious motivation of ministry. It is easy to do ministry in order to be seen and celebrated by people. But seeking glory from God and not from people is essential to Christianity. Jesus told a crowd he knew they didn’t love God or love what God loves because they seek glory from one another and don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God (John 5:41). A person can’t be a Christian if he’s so worried about what people think about him that there is no room to hear what God says about him.

So again, faithful ministry is not spent trying to win people to ourselves. We’re not looking for likes; God already loves us perfectly and powerfully. Faithful ministry is loving people and preaching the gospel so that God is seen as glorious. Jesus gives life; we cannot. We must decrease, but Jesus must increase. Seek the glory that comes from God. Though no person may say it of us, may we hear Jesus say, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Here is one way to do faithful ministry

  • Use your authority carefully

Some people view all authority or power as evil. But this cannot be true because Jesus has all authority and power and he is not evil. Other people view authority or power as their excuse to take from others or to abuse others. This also is wrong because Jesus has all authority and power and he came to serve others. The all-powerful Jesus is a giver, not a taker.

Look again at 1 Thessalonians 2:6, “Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.”

Jesus could have played the God-card. Paul could have played the apostle-card. If you have authority you could use that power take from people what you think you deserve. But this is worldliness and faithlessness. If God has granted you some measure of strength, influence, or authority please recognize that you have that gift in order to do good to others. Don’t reject strength, influence, or authority as evil. Don’t use strength, influence, or authority to get money or glory for yourself. Use the strength, influence, or authority you have to do good; protect others, serve others, and lead others to life with Christ. Let me put it this way

II. Be like a faithful mother in your ministry (7-8)

Look at verse 7, “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.”

  • Take care of others with gentleness

What does a faithful mother do? She takes care of her children with gentleness. What is faithful ministry? Taking care of your spiritual children with gentleness. It can be tempting to use power and authority to beat people up. Resist the urge! Gentleness is the virtue of being tender and considerate, concerned for the wellbeing of the other, instead of being severe, gruff, or hard (Green, PNTC, 127).

We become rightfully angry when a mom shakes or slaps a baby because we understand a faithful mother takes care of her child with gentleness. A faithful mother teaches, corrects, and disciplines with gentleness. We all have a choice when it comes to speaking the truth. We can speak the truth with love, or we can speak the truth with a flamethrower. Love is the better way!

It is true, ministry, evangelism, and discipleship will require us to do and say hard things as we correct error and teach obedience. We must care for our disciples the way a mother cares for her children.

We provide and protect. We teach and correct, and we do all of it putting their needs in front of our own. What they need is the gospel. What they need is the life of God through faith in Jesus Christ. In verse 8 we see the apostle Paul sharing the gospel and sharing his self. So next,

  • Share the gospel

Paul shared the gospel with them because Paul loved those people the way a mother loves her child. A mother who says she loves her child but does not care for her child is a mother living a lie. A ministry that claims to be Christian but does not consistently celebrate the gospel is not a Christian ministry. The gospel is the good news that we are reconciled to God and live life with God because of the righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gift of the Spirit is for all who will believe!

We give good to those we love. The best and greatest that we can give is reconciliation with God. The best we can give is right now life with God. The best we can give is access to abundant grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The best we can give is teaching others to be led by the Spirit. Like a faithful mother who gives her good things to her children, so we must faithfully give the gospel to one another.

But like Paul, we’re not about cold content. We must

  • Love and enjoy people

Look at these phrases in verse 8, “being affectionately desirous of you, we shared ourselves with you, because you had become dear to us.”

Is this how you view the church? Is this how I view the church? Is the church simply a place for you to hear preaching? Or, is the church a people that you love and want to be with? God is loving and self-giving. A growing Christian is loving and self-giving because he knows God.

Let us ask God for more grace so we can get to know one another. Let us ask God for more grace so we can love one another. Let us ask God for more grace so we can enjoy one another. To love and enjoy people we need quality time and we need quantity time. Come early, stay late, get together, and talk to others in such a way that you build them up. Move beyond the shallow stuff to talking about God’s stuff. The way the people of God enjoy one another is by enjoying God together. You have to be here, and you have to be Godward.

Alright, we have seen that motherhood is good for ministry. Let’s look now at how motherhood is good ministry.

III. Be a faithful mother

I’m talking to moms who have physical children and I’m talking to moms who have spiritual children. How are you ladies going to raise children and make disciples? Start here

  • Abide in Christ

Apart from Jesus and his grace you can’t be a faithful mom. Apart from Jesus and his grace you can’t make disciples. I have seen the agony of labor. I have seen the sleep deprived mother. I have seen the wear and tear of constant teaching and correction. It blows my mind that women generally live longer than men. Being a woman looks like terribly difficult work. I think if the male body had to do the female thing it would shorten our life spans by 10 years. So yes, take a nap if you can, and cry out for constant help because you must. When you are walking down the hall for the fifteenth time, ask Jesus for grace. When you get the text message you dread, ask Jesus for grace. Jesus has promised to give you what you need. Trust him.

Spend time in the word and prayer every morning not because it’s the right thing to do but because you need to plug into the source of grace for the day. A faithful minister asks for help and a faithful mother asks for help because the job is too much for us! Moms, this you must do

  • Speak the truth in love

The easiest thing for me to do is to be harsh with my children. Using kind words to correct over and over, again and again, is like pulling a volkswagon beetle around the house; it’s hard work! Thankfully my family has pretty much grown out of the spanking phase, but I remember how being gentle and tender when spanking was so incredibly difficult. Mom listen, your child needs you to stop being a jerk. Mom, your child needs you to stop being a wimp. Speak the truth in love. Let’s combine B&D. Letter D is “Be mom with gentleness.”

Raising children means you will have to do and say hard things. Stop seeking glory from your children. You are going to ruin yourself and your child because you and your child make terrible gods. Because of God’s grace, be mom. Give yourself away. Do hard things over and over. Say hard things over and over. Do all of it with strength, love, and gentleness. This means we must

  • Seek God not money

Moms, what do you want to give your child? Jesus said it is tragic for a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul. It is equally tragic for a mom to give her child the whole world and then he lose his soul.

Think about it moms, what do you worry about? Money is necessary, I get that, we have to buy food. But, what do you worry about? Do you worry because there is no money in the bank or do you worry because there is no Jesus in your child? What do you work hard to give your children? Do you work hard to give them the stuff they want, or do you work hard to give them the Jesus that will satisfy their souls? Mothers, I plead with you,

  • Share the gospel

The gospel is the good news that sinners can be reconciled to God through the righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the good news that sinners can enjoy the fullness of life with God through the work of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the content of the gospel must be there. And moms, with the content of the gospel, share your joy in Christ with your children. Show them why you love and trust Jesus by bringing them into your prayers and your singing and your ministry. Tell them why you pray and why you sing and why you give. Share the gospel with your children and share your joy in Christ with your children.

Like Paul with the Thessalonians, I want you to

  • Love and enjoy your children

I just encouraged you to share your joy in Jesus with your children, when is the last time you shared in your child’s joy? When is the last time you enjoyed something with your son? When is the last time you enjoyed something with your daughter? Yes, that easy to please little cuddle puppy of a child has grown up into a teenager, but she still enjoys things. He still enjoys things. You love him. You love her. Maybe it’s time for Barry Sanders to learn ballet.

It’s time to get back into the game of parenting. Ask for grace and strength because you need it and Christ gives it. Share your joy in Jesus with your child. Teach and correct with gentleness. Love and enjoy your child. Motherhood is a great model for ministry. Motherhood is a great good. May we as a church strengthen and honor godly women who are making disciples and raising children. Let’s pray for and give thanks for moms.

Keep Building One Another Up

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Main Point: Build others up because Jesus is coming.

We are a people who love God, love others, and listen to the Word. God’s Word is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the story of God’s people looking forward to Jesus. The New Testament is the story of Jesus and what it means to live as his people waiting for his return. Today we are in the New Testament; we’re in 1 Thessalonians 5. The Thessalonians were a people who had been celebrating the Lord’s Supper and declaring Jesus’ death until he comes. They were looking for Jesus’ return, but it wasn’t coming quickly, they were being persecuted, and church members were dying. They had questions about what it means to be the church waiting for Jesus to return. The end of it is this admonition: build others up because Jesus is coming. Let’s read it. Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.

When it comes to living the Christian life,

I. Remember what you have been taught (1-5)

Acts 17 records the story of Paul and Silas planting the church in Thessalonica. Acts 20 records the account of Paul returning to the area and people from Thessalonica joined him in his missionary work. So, when Paul writes, in 1 Thessalonians 5:1, “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night,” Paul is here referring to the fact that he has thoroughly taught them concerning the return of Jesus. From the very beginning of their Christian lives, they had instructions about the 2nd coming of Christ. What follows in chapter 5 is a reminder of what they already know as well as some application on how these truths should shape their lives. Here’s what they know

  • Jesus’ return will surprise the world (2-3)

Look back at verse 2 and pay attention to what they are fully aware of, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

We really need to define that phrase “the day of the Lord.” What is the day of the Lord? The day of the Lord is the day when Jesus returns to judge the world and save his church. For one group, for the world, the day of the Lord is a terrible terrifying day. Isaiah 13:6 says, “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!” (ca Joel 1:15; 2:30-32; Amos 5:18). For the unbelieving world, the day of the Lord is a horrible transition to judgment. For the believing church, the day of the Lord is glorious. The day of the Lord is, verse 9, when we receive the fullness of salvation. The day of the Lord is that 1 John 3:2 time when Jesus appears, and we are made like him because we will see him as he is. For the church, the day of the Lord is good and glorious; its everything we are hoping and striving for. For the world, the day of the Lord is awful and terrifying; it’s the loss of every good grace and it is the fullness of God’s wrath.

Look back at 1 Thessalonians 5:2. What is the coming of the day of the Lord like? The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. Here’s the problem with burglars: they don’t tell you when they are coming. Jesus’ return is certain, but he will return at a time when it is unexpected by the world.

I want you to notice why the return of Jesus will be unexpected. The world won’t expect Jesus’ return because things will appear to be good. 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them.” The picture we have of life just before Jesus’ return is one of a sinful world enjoying their sin in relative peace and security. Sodom and Gomorrah enjoyed their rebellion in relative ease until the very day of destruction. So it was in the days of Noah, “They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Lk 17:20-37).

People who are longing for Jesus’ return, people who are putting sin to death, and people who are enduring persecution for the advance of the gospel will not be surprised by Jesus’ return. On the other hand, people who are sleeping morally and are drunk on pleasure will be surprised.

But let’s not judge them; they already have a judge. Let’s fear for them and love them and share the gospel with them. We fear for them because of what is coming. Look at the end of verse 3, “then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” People who are currently enjoying the ease of sinful pleasure will soon suffer the fullness of God’s wrath because of their sin. An eternal hell is coming for those who are not looking for Jesus’ return. Like a pregnant woman who cannot escape the coming pain of her labor, so the sleeping world cannot escape the coming pain of judgment on the day of the Lord.

The return of Christ will surprise the world but not the church.

  • We will not be surprised by Jesus’ return (4-5)

Look at verse 4, “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”

When you are in the dark you cannot see what is going on; you can’t see what’s coming. But when you are in the light you see what’s going on; you see what’s coming. We have the Word of God, a lamp for our feet, so that we can see the reality of Jesus’ return.

The first reason we are not surprised is we are not in the darkness. Verse 5 gives the next reason we are not surprised. Look at verse 5, “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”

This is more than you have a Bible, verse 5 points to the very nature of what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to be a son of light or a son of the day. This is a Jewish way of saying light and day characterize your person. In Acts 4:36 we meet a man named Barnabas. Barnabas’s name means son of encouragement. Barnabas was an encourager. He comforted the church and built up the members. Just as Barnabas was characterized by encouragement so also Christians are characterized by light and day. We are not in moral darkness because we have been given the light of Christ. Jesus said, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” So, in 1 Thessalonians 5, being a child of the light means you are believing and looking for Jesus’ return. You aren’t making excuses for your sin. You are hoping for Jesus’ return.

John Stott puts it well, “Imagine you and your family are enjoying your summer holiday. One evening the sun goes down, you draw the curtains, and everybody goes to bed. You sleep well too, because the following day you are expecting a visit from the family’s favorite Uncle Bill. But because you are tired, you oversleep. In the morning, the sun rises as usual, but you know nothing about it because you are still fast asleep and the curtains are still drawn. Only one member of the family wakes early, your eldest daughter. She gets up and flings back the curtains of her room, so that the sun streams in. Suddenly, there is a loud knock on the front door, and Uncle Bill stands outside. Your daughter is ready to welcome him. She is not taken by surprise, for she is awake, alert and in the light. But the rest of you are covered with confusion because you are still asleep and still in the darkness. So, the question which Paul’s teaching presses upon us is this: to which age do you belong, the [light or the dark]? Do we belong to the night or to the day? Are we asleep or awake? Are our curtains still drawn, or has the light of Jesus Christ shone in upon us? (John Stott, The Message of 1&2 Thessalonians, 111).

If the return of Christ never factors into your decisions, you are probably not a Christian. Are you sleeping in the dark of this world or are you awake to the reality of the return of Jesus? If you are a Christian,

II. Be watchful and sober (6-8)

Paul has established the difference between the world that will be surprised by judgment at Jesus’ return and the church that is aware and waiting for salvation at Jesus’ return. What Paul does now is establish an ethic as we wait. We need to see how we are supposed to live. Here is our first order

  • Keep awake and be sober (6-7)

Look with me at verse 6, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.”

This same message is loud and clear in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”

The picture here is one of Christians slowly drifting back into the world’s ways of thinking and living. Don’t be deceived. The people you hang out with, the music you listen to, and the shows you watch all influence you. If we are not alert and sober, then the people and stuff around us will corrupt us. Wake up! Turn away from sin. Get ready for Jesus’ return. Get your neighbors and coworkers ready for Jesus’ return. They are sleeping in the dark. Take the knowledge of God to them and plead with them to wake up.

It appears that there is a direct connection between being awake and being an evangelist. The more you think soberly about Jesus’ return for salvation and judgment the more you will labor to wake souls.

So, the woke Christian is the Christian who is alert and sober minded concerning the day of the Lord. The woke Christian isn’t trying to make sleeping sinners comfortable. The woke Christian is armed for battle and is fighting to turn sinners from the idols of sexuality and skin color to serve the living God. The woke Christian is waiting for God’s Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:9-10).

1 Thessalonians 5:7 continues the comparisons between asleep and awake, drunk and sober. When you are asleep you don’t know what’s going on. When you are drunk you don’t care about what’s going on. When you are awake you know what’s going on. When you are sober you care about what’s going on.

Parents, are you aware of what’s going on inside your child’s heart and mind? Do you care? Sober up. The darkness is coming after your child. The Pied Piper is playing his tune.

  • Be sober and gear up (8)

Look at verse 8, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” Since you are a Christian, thinking clearly about the church, work, family, sexuality, gender, money, justice, and the like; be sober.

A soldier who knows he’s about to plunge into life-and-death hand-to-hand-combat puts on his armor. A soldier who thinks he’s going to a party picks up a bottle. Christian, do you have a bottle in your hand or a helmet on your head?

Now that I have your attention, Jesus is coming soon in judgment, we are to fight for souls, put on the breastplate of righteousness and love. Put on Christ. Repent of your sins. Believe in Jesus for his righteousness. Pursue holiness in your mind, at your work, and in your home. Put on the righteousness of Christ so that you can live a righteous life. And put on the breastplate of love. Know who you are. You are chosen, you are holy, you are loved (Col 2:12). Knowing the fullness of the love of God we go and love our teammates, coworkers, neighbors, and our church.

If we suddenly had emblems on our chests that reflected the focus of our hearts what would be on your breastplate? Sober up, believe in Jesus, and put on righteousness and love.

For your head, put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. The world is trying to get into your head. The world has its drunken ideas about meaning, money, sexuality, race, and family. You put on the helmet of the hope of salvation.

In Philippians 3:14 the helmet of the hope of salvation looks like this, “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I’m awake to the reality of Jesus’ return for my salvation. I’m sober as to those temptations that will tempt my fellow members to sleep. I’m striving, I’m straining, I’m putting on the helmet of the hope of salvation. Be watchful. Be sober.

III. Rest in the work of the Lord (9-10)

Listen, living with a sober mind in the light is difficult. The Thessalonians knew how hard it can be to put on righteousness and love while the world mocks you and gets drunk without you. Verse 9 tells us why we stay armed and alert

  • God has destined us for salvation

Look at verse 9, “For God has not destined (or appointed) us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some of you are nervous because you know what getting ready for the day of the Lord will cost you. You are worried you won’t have what it takes to endure. You are afraid the day of the Lord will be a day of judgment for you. Rest in this, “God has chosen you. God has destined you. God has appointed you. God is holding you in his sovereign strong hand. Despite the battle, your end is salvation.”

But man, it is hard today. There are so many days when you really just want to get drunk and go to sleep, but you can’t. Why is that? God has not destined you for wrath but for salvation through Jesus Christ. The Jesus who is returning for you is the Jesus who is sustaining you. Your salvation is through Christ.

  • We are united to Christ

Rest in the truth of verse 10, “Our Lord Jesus Christ died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” Your union with Christ will see you through. More precisely, because of your union with Christ, he will see you through. If you die, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, you will be raised. If you are alive at the day of the Lord, you will be transformed. Rest in this: the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to give you life. That life will be yours at Jesus’ return. Stop trusting yourself. Rest in Christ and the reality that his death and resurrection are the only sure reason why you will be saved. Rest in Jesus and

IV. Get to work (11)

Verse 11 starts with a “therefore.” God has destined you for salvation and you are united with Christ for life therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. Church,

  • Keep encouraging one another

I had this verse put on a big piece of canvas to remind us why we gather each week. Why should you wake up and gather with the church each week? You need encouragement. Why should you wake up and gather with the church each week? We need you to encourage us. If you aren’t here, then we miss out on encouragement. If you aren’t here, then you miss out on encouragement. It’s a battle out there, we need to focus on encouraging one another in here.

Each Sunday when you see this verse on the wall, I want you to pray a simple prayer: God show me one person to encourage today. Maybe you need to give an encouraging word of thanks to a brother or sister. Maybe you need to give some financial help to a struggling brother or sister. Maybe you need to help that discouraged member put on the helmet of salvation. Maybe you need to help that beat down guilt wounded member put on the breastplate of righteousness and love. Let’s keep it simple, if we are going to keep encouraging one another we must come early, stay late, and meet up during the week. Come early, stay late, and meet up during the week.

Hebrews 3 is our New Testament reading for today. Listen to verse 13, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you maybe hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

The day of the Lord is coming quickly. Make room in your life so you can encourage your brothers and sisters every day. Keep encouraging and

  • Keep building one another up

For months now we have been building a building. We’ve torn stuff down, leveled stuff out, laid a foundation, and built walls. We are building a building. I want to remind you that the reason we are building that building is so that we can build one another up. Particularly, our goal is to build up the next generation with the truth of Jesus. I’m going to again state the obvious: we need money. Maybe you can write a big check. 23,000 dollars would pay for the septic system we need. Maybe you can give a few dollars. An electric outlet costs about a dollar and we need those too. My point is we need every member to do what they can to finish this building. Thankfully, this work of building a building is temporary. We’ll soon be done hauling lumber and swinging hammers.

But Mambrino Baptist Church will never be done investing in and helping one another follow Jesus. There are only two ways to get out of making disciples in this church. The first way out is the grave and the second way out is the return of Christ. Seeing that you’re not dead and Jesus has not returned, we have work to do. We must proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

In the Lord’s Supper we remember that Jesus died for us so that we can live with him. The Lord’s Supper is for believers. The Lord’s Supper is for those who have been baptized. The Lord’s Supper is for those wounded warriors who need the reminder of God’s promise of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Think for a moment about how you can encourage us through the Lord’s Supper. Maybe you need to get up and go pray with a brother or sister. Maybe the simple act of you eating and drinking will encourage us because we see that we do not fight alone.

Think for a moment about how you can build up the church. Maybe you need to write a note to a member this afternoon or set up a meeting this week.

In preparation for the Lord’s Supper we are going to stand together to pray for, encourage, and build one another up. Karol and Janie are going to play one verse and while they play, do what you need to do. Pastor Jay and I will stand down front. Pastor Aaron will be in the back. We would love to pray with you. Let’s stand and let’s pray.