Mature Community

(Jesus said) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

 

A community of those who are a path to maturity has a few characteristics…

 

  1. It is inclusive

 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10

 

  1. It is real

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

 

  1. It is accepting

 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

 

  1. It is encouraging

 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14

The Lion King

  • Sorry the recording didn’t start at the beginning of the message, I was having trouble with my microphone – Mike

 

This is what the Lord says— “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

 

A couple of points about living in the past…

 

  1. People stuck in the past cannot move forward

 

Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!  I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.  I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Philippians 3:4-6 (NLT)

 

  1. People living in the past cannot reach their potential

 

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)

 

Leave the past behind through…

 

  1. Confession

 

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. Philippians 3:13

 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  James 5:16

 

  1. Forgiveness

 

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

 

 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14