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Community is more than just a BBQ

Oct 18, 2009

Passage:1 Peter 3:8-18

Preacher: Loren Miller

Category: Sunday Evening

Keywords: community, love

Summary:

We long for community, the need to love and be loved, it is innate. Why? How do we find it? How does it help us live as Christians today? These are some of the questions we ask in this sermon on community, more than just a BBQ.

Detail:

1 peter 3 community

 

What’s up every one, come on in lets get started here. Thanks for coming we are glad you are here, I am passing around a little sheet if you haven’t singed this before please do so, then you’ll get a weekly email from me and we can communicate more efficiently. A couple more announcements. Chili – right after this, stick around for some great food. Right across the hall. Second announcement is our ongoing Kingdom assignment, let me read you an email someone turned in:      **One family, who has long supported the Ronald McDonald House, had “A Celebration of Children” party with their KA funds, and had an “entry fee” for those who come of a new toy or stuffed animal for children at RMH.  They used it as an opportunity for the children at the party to learn about other children in need.  They invited a representative of RMH to come and talk about how their donated toys will be used.  They hope to multiply their KA to about $600 worth of toys, as well as sending cards to RMH children from the children at the party.  They will also get high school volunteers to help at the party, which touches the lives of even more people through KA.  They seek to use their “Time, Talent, and Treasury” values through their KA.  They say “we hope that A Celebration of Children will allow us to use our Time, Talents, and Treasury and to inspire both the children participating and the high school helpers to do more for others in their community after this event.  We feel blessed to have been given this opportunity and this creative spreading of God’s blessings is one of the reasons we love being members at Christ Church.”  How is your kingdom assignment coming? We have about one month left before it is over so get out there and listen to how God is telling you to love this world, it not going to be a loud voice in the clouds or writing on a wall but probably a little nudge, listen for it. Well we are continuing to ask our selves the question how do we live for Christ today, tomorrow when you find yourself at work or school or where ever? 1st Peter has given us some answers. Hope, who knows the definition of hope…a joyful and confident expectation, yeah we are to live, not wishing for God the long shot Jesus, but joyfully and confidently expecting God’s kingdom to find its way into my life and that I will find my way into His eternal Kingdom. We talked about aliens…yes got one funny look, no not the kind that fly in metallic saucers around Denver, but you and me, where is our home, we are foreigners here, we need to live for eternity not get stuck in yesterday. And tonight we are talking about community. Which if you grew up in the church you no doubt have heard the catch phrase thrown around quite a bit, maybe words like fellowship, and small groups, even if you didn’t grow up in the church you have had the idea of community thrown in your face, think of any advertisement selling just about anything, and you have a group of people having the time of their lives if you just use Johnsonville brats, put these magic bratwursts on your grill and buckle up it is gonna be one heckuva party. You might not have thought about it before but you want community you long for it, desire it, and the advertisers know that. But why, why do we long for it? How do we get it and how does community help me be a Christian. Those are the three questions I want to look at tonight, would you stand with us as we praise God together.

 

 

 

 

All right, kids you are dismissed, head on back with Michelle for some fun and games…5th grade and lower…all right will you pray with me, God speak to us tonight, open our stubborn minds and hearts to your truth, be with the children as they learn about your grace. Amen. Everyone have a 3x5 card…no…we have extras, raise your hand if you need one. So in the middle of the card I want you to write the words “getting in shape” we could all use a trip to the gym right not just for our waistlines, but our cardio-vascular health, our mental health, it has been proven to release endorphins that combat depression, gets you off the couch, they say it’s a great place to get a date, although I would have to disagree, what do you say…wow I really like your leotard? And everyone has headphones on what are you gonna do tap them on their shoulder and hey I’d like to engage you in small talk in hopes of asking you out. Anyways, all the singles out there, it’s tough but keep living in hope. So we all know we should get in shape, and even if you are in shape you can always get in better shape. Every way you look there are hundreds of people telling you how to do it, how to do it faster, how to get in shape a certain way, it is a billion dollar industry? So on the left hand side of your 3x5 card put down a few reasons why you don’t get into shape, or why is it hard to continue that habit if you are already there, take a second…alright what did you come up with, shout them out reasons it is hard to get and stay in shape?    Totally great now on the right hand side of your 3x5 card put down the benefits of being in shape, specifically to you…take a second and fill that in…great what did you come up with?  All right put that down for a second and open up your bibles with me to 1 peter chapter 3:8-12. 8

 

 Finally, I want all of you to live together in peace. Be understanding. Love one another like members of the same family. Be kind and tender. Don't be proud. 9 Don't pay back evil with evil. Don't pay back unkind words with unkind words. Instead, pay them back with kind words. That's what you have been chosen to do. You can receive a blessing by doing it.

 10 Scripture says,
   "Do you want to love life
      and see good days?
   Then keep your tongues from speaking evil.
      Keep your lips from telling lies.
 11 Turn away from evil, and do good.
      Look for peace, and go after it.
 12 The Lord's eyes look with favor on those who are godly.
      His ears are open to their prayers.
   But the Lord doesn't look with favor on those who do evil."

And skip one more chapter 4:

7 The end of all things is near. So keep a clear mind. Control yourselves. Then you can pray. 8 Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them. 9 Welcome others into your homes without complaining.

 10 God's gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. 11 If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God's very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ.

   Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 You see the thing is none of you should be surprised by what I just read. We know we should love one another, that’s not a eureka moment,  and he even baits us with question “ you want to love life and have a great day?” yeah yeah, what’s the secret how do I order the book, are you going to be on Oprah soon? If you want to love life then stop speaking evil and telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good, run to peace at full speed.  Yeah, I know all that but what’s the secret, I can solve complex equations with pathagreom theorems, create life in a test tube, map the human gene, but how do I love life? It is right under our nose.

 

Earlier in chapter 4 peter has another list for us, let me read it too you. 1-2Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. You have spent enough time in the past doing what ungodly people choose to do. You lived a wild life. You longed for evil things. You got drunk. You went to wild parties. You worshiped statues of gods. The Lord hates that.  4 Ungodly people think that it's strange when you no longer join them in what they do. They want you to rush into the same flood of wasteful living.

Get that note card out and turn it over lets make two lists on the left hand side lets put down what peter is telling us to do in order to live as God wants:  love one another, live together in harmony in peace, be kind and tender don’t be proud, don’t speak evil, don’t pay back evil with evil, welcome other in your lives, serve with pleasure and what ever else you see in those two passages. Now draw a line down the middle of the note card and on the other side let’s put down the things that those who live for themselves do: living in debauchery a wild life, lust no self control, drunkenness, orgies, partying and detestable idolatry, you worshipped everything but God. Just a quick side note, why is partying in this list, what’s wrong with going out and having a good time, nothing but the way it is used here is more like rioting, you have seen it on TV a group of people with only bad intentions. It is quite different from going to a BBQ. Alright so we have these two lists on either side. Look at them for a second, think about them. Now tell me what are the main differences in these lists? One is outward the other is inward, one is selfless the other is selfish. And I love that line when peter says your friends are going to think it is really weird when you don’t want to go out with them, being selfish together, they won’t get it.  And if you flip over your card to the front side, we know we should get into shape but, it is tough it takes time and effort and it is not easy or instant, but I really want to get into shape. Cross out the word shape in the middle of your card and write in the word community. We know we should get in community, love others live in peace, speak life giving words, welcome other into our live, but it is hard, it takes time and effort and it is not instant.

 

We are created in the image of God, called to be in relationship with him, to know god to love him, like he loves us and gave his son to die for us, you look at the relationship between Christ and God and you see this list on the back, this love and serving and not speaking evil, look at the beginning of chapter 3 where peter is talking about marriage and as I am figuring out, marriage will show you just how selfish you are, you need to love, be king not proud, tender not speaking evil. Look at your relationship with Christ, your life as a Christian and you have heard us talk about it time and time again and we will continue to do so, about laying down your life, Your selfishness living for yourself, and when you do you will find so much more. Do you see this concept of community is everywhere, when we all give you get so much more than you could ever take for yourself. But we know that already. I want to bring up Pam Dixon, Pam tell us about your children?  These are children of God, we are all children of God, you see in true community we don’t say oh that baby is too loud, or If that person in front of me would just quit fidgeting…no we give, compassion and understanding, loving everyone like our own family, our flesh and blood, and when you see the smile on Chris’s face that pure joy you get back so much more than you ever gave.

 

The addict knows they should quit, but they can’t. It has a hold of them, they can’t white knuckle their way out of their addiction. You know you should get in shape, you know you want community, but we can’t you see we are all addicts, addicted to a drug more powerful than heroin or cocaine, we are addicted to ourselves. And the need for community is so strong that you have already found it, though it might be a bottle or a couch and your television, all cheap imitations of true community that when you put it down, when you turn off the television it vanishes, gone for ever. But if we ask God, to take our selfish hearts I can’t do this the way I am, and replace them with caring lives that seek goodness not evil we will find those good days we will find ourselves loving life. AMEN