Posts Tagged ‘friends’

A Little Help Please

September 4, 2014

Many of us celebrate our independence.  We like to be able to handle our problems by ourselves.   There are times however, when we need a little help from our friends.

I.  Sometimes We Know:  Exodus 17:8-13

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

In this battle there were many roles to be filled.  Moses had to hold up his staff.  Aaron and Hur supported the hands of Moses.  Joshua was the battle leader.  Some men were selected to go into combat.  Each one was important.  Moses realized very quickly that he could not hold up the rod of God by himself.  It became evident that as his hand lowered Amalek prevailed. So he sat on the rock and Aaron and Hur supported his hands.  The problem was solved with a little help, and the battle was won.

Sometimes we know that we need help.

II.  Sometimes Others Know:  Exodus 18:13-24

And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”

15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”

24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Sometimes we try to do more than we should do on our own.  We may not even be aware that what we are doing is not good for us, or for those whom we are serving.  There are times that we need help, but we do not recognize it.  May God give us wisdom to know when we need help, or may God bring along someone to speak truth into our lives.  May we be willing to listen to the godly council of others so that we may not bear the burden alone.

III.  All Together Now:  I Corinthians 12:12-18

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.

Together we can accomplish the work of God.  We each have a task to perform and each one is important.  We are not in competition with each other, we are working together to build the kingdom of God.

May we each do our part, and may we accept a little help from our brothers and sisters in Christ.

These are the sermon notes from 8/24/14.  Any advertisements that may appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

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Friendship

February 27, 2014

Sometimes people are lonely.  It is important to have friends and family to share the challenges and adventures of this life.

I.  Be Friendly:  Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

In order to have friends, we must be friendly ourselves. I have spoken with many people over the years who have been lonely.  I encourage them to reach out to others.  We are able to form friendships by recognizing things that we have in common.  As Christians, the first thing that we share is a love for Christ, and a focus on the Word.  That alone, can be the basis for friendship.  However, it is also good to find other shared interests as well.

When we do have friends it is necessary to cultivate those relationships.  They require time and attention.  Getting together for coffee, meals, and all kinds of activities are all part of developing our friendships.

In our relationships, we should share the experiences of life with our friends.  We should weep with those who weep.  We should rejoice with those who rejoice.  A happy experience, when shared, becomes even happier.  A sad experience becomes more bearable when it is shared.  Do not downplay the feelings of your friends.  Do not tell them that the thing that they are experiencing, whether by weeping or rejoicing, is no big deal.  Simply share in the experience with them.

II.  Choose Friends Carefully: Proverbs 12:26

The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

We can have many friends.  Our friendships can be on various levels.  Not everyone can be our best friend.  We should be careful to cultivate relationships in such a way that our closest friends are people who will have a godly influence.

We can be friends with unbelievers.  Actually, one of the most effective forms of evangelism is friendship evangelism.  We share the gospel with our friends.  It is important that in our friendships with unbelievers that we do not compromise our beliefs.

The idea of friendships with unbelievers does not extend to dating.  I strongly disapprove of “missionary dating” which is dating someone who is unsaved in order to share the gospel with them.  Far too often, it is the believer who is dragged down in this kind of situation.  Dating is the first step in looking for a spouse, and we should be looking for a spouse who shares our faith.

III.  Speaks Like a Sword:  Proverbs 12:18

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  This is a saying that our parents taught us as children to deal with the hurtful words of others.  Sadly, it isn’t true.  Words can hurt.  They can hurt a lot.  We should be careful in our relationships to speak words that promote health, that encourage and strengthen, rather than words that cut, and tear down.

IV.  Stop Striving:  Proverbs 20:3

It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

God can give us the wisdom to end an argument.  There are times when we must simply agree to disagree, but we do not have to be disagreeable.  We do not need to get angry when people do not agree with us.  Anyone can start a fight, it takes wisdom to know how to avoid them, or to work through them.

V.  Life is Better With Friends:  Proverbs 15:16-17

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord,
Than great treasure with trouble.
17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred.

Life is better when we have the love of family and friends.  If we had tremendous wealth, but did not have love in our lives, that would be tragic indeed.  The person who has love, has what is truly important.

These are the sermon notes from 2/23/14.  Any advertisement that accompanies this blog is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Be Careful Who You Follow

September 21, 2010

Yesterday as I was running out in the country a large dog came running up to me.  The dog appeared friendly, just an overgrown pup, much like our dog at home.  As I continued to run, I extended my hand down by my side so that the dog could get my smell.  The dog smelled my fingers, then licked them, then put her mouth on them.  So here I am, fingers all slobbered up, digits still inside the dog’s mouth, still running down the gravel road.   The dog decided that I was ok and went to running down the road ahead of me.  When I reached my turn-around point, he turned with me and ran back towards his house.  As I passed by the dog’s house I hoped that the dog would be tired of this adventure and return home.

Nope.

The dog continued to run with me for about two miles down the gravel road.  As I approached a highway that I was going to run down I became concerned for the dog, not that he couldn’t find his way back, but because of the heavier traffic on the road ahead.  I tried yelling at him to go home, but he just ran faster away from me in the direction of the highway.  He wandered off to check out a pond, but came after me as I passed.  Eventually, I stopped and walked back in the direction of the dog’s house.  The dog turned around and again ran past me, into the lead position in our new direction.  As we passed an implement dealer, I ducked into the parking area and got behind some equipment.  The dog did not notice at first, and did not come back.  I assume that he returned to his home.   I was able to continue after that without the dog running with me.

The dog might have been all right on the side of the highway, but I would have felt bad if it had been hit by a car.  It’s not my dog, but I felt a bit of responsibility because it was following me.  (Actually, he stayed ahead of me.)

We should be careful who we follow.  We might, unwittingly,  find ourselves in dangerous places.

A Long Goodbye

December 30, 2009

A member of my congregation passed away Monday night.  He was a great guy, and will be missed by his friends and family.  He had contracted cancer a few years ago and managed to beat it the first time around.  When it came back, it didn’t turn out so well. 

One thing about his illness and death is that you could see it coming.  Of course, in the beginning, there was hope that he would again succeed in returning to health, but as time went on and the treatments did not seem to help, it became obvious that unless God worked a miracle, that he would be passing on. 

During this time, many, many friends and family members came to see him, wish him well, express their love and appreciation….and to say goodbye.

He lived to share Christmas with his family, and some say that he held on long enough for the Bears to beat the Vikings.  He has gone to be with the Lord now, and he will be greatly missed.

Just Back

November 3, 2009

We just got back from a week of vacation visiting our family in Minnesota.  It was a wonderful time together.  During the week we helped our son get settled in at his new home in central Minnesota.  It is an exciting time of life for him, as he starts fresh in a new community; new job, new church, meeting new people, and making new friends.

He does not have internet, and so I did not post anything while we were gone.  I started to write this morning a blog on the community of believers, but it was much too complicated for my brain to deal with on the first day back.   There is a lot to do, and only limited time so that post will have to wait for another day. 

Choices, you know are very important.  So today, I will keep it simple.  After all, I am just getting back.