BE EASILY ENCOURAGED

 

Poverty is the beginning of all true fellowship.

 

Neediness.

 

Nothingness.

 

Empty handedness.

 

By poverty, I don’t mean poverty of the pocket; I mean poverty of the heart. I’m talking about the poverty that Jesus was referencing when he said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” All true experiences of fellowship begin with that sort of poverty; the sort of poverty that says: “I have nothing, I need what you have!”

 

Our fellowship with God demands poverty of heart. Philippians 1:7 describes our fellowship with the phrase “partners of grace.” We participate in fellowship with God not because of anything we bring to him, but because of what he brings to us: “nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” Want true fellowship with God? Start with a crummy, lowly, little confession: God, I have nothing to bring you. I just want you!

 

But this is also true of fellowship with one another.  Do you know what it’s called when we believe that our fellowship depends on what we bring to the table? A messiah-complex. And people with a messiah-complex are really hard to encourage. And people who are hard to encourage are really hard to be around.

 

Don’t want a messiah-complex? Test your relationships by asking yourself: “am I sharing in the Spirit?” (Phil. 2:1). Sharing in the Spirit is the communal event of giving and receiving what the Spirit teaches. Giving and receiving. If you want true fellowship, be willing to receive the encouragement of others. Don’t roll your eyes when elementary truths about Jesus are voiced. Refrain from the defensive “I know” when people offer you encouragement you’ve already heard. Poverty of the heart receives the lowly pennies, nickels, and dimes others might have to chip in.

 

But do you want radical fellowship in the Spirit with others? Be easily encouraged. People who are easily encouraged are people who can hear the same gospel truths (“Jesus loves you” and “Jesus died for you”) a million times and never grow tired of hearing it. After all, the Bible says these gospel truths a million times. The Bible actually seems to assume that you are easily encouraged.

 

Or at least that you should be easily encouraged. After all, you are poor in spirit.

 

 

FOR SUNDAY

 

CALL TO WORSHIP: PSALM 73:25-28

 

REJOICE: PHIL 1:3-8

 

The good work of Jesus accomplished in the life of the saints,

Will lead us to the end, we have no need to faint!

Help us to rejoice in You!

He will not abandon, so may our hearts take heed,

In the Son of God, who on our behalf does intercede.

Help us to rejoice in You!

On that beautiful day our faith will be made sight,

In faith may we run, in faith may we fight.

Help us to rejoice in You!

 

REJOICE: AMAZING GRACE

 

Our hearts are drawn out in thankfulness to Thee,

Your amazing grace is sweet to the taste and it sets captives free

Help us to rejoice in You!

Your are eternally wise is your judgments, you have no error

The workings of your will are pure, there is no comfort better

Help us to rejoice in You!

Our souls yearn for You, the God of all grace,

Sweeter is one day in Your presence then a million outside that glorious place.

Help us to rejoice in You!

 

 

THE NICENE CREED

 

Let us hold fast to our confession of hope,

We believe in one God the Father almighty

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

 

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

begotten from the Father before all ages,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made;

of the same essence as the Father.

 

Let us draw near in full assurance,

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit

and was made human.

He was crucified for us;

he suffered and was buried.

The third day he rose again.

 

Let us draw near with true faith,

He ascended to heaven

and is seated at

the right hand of the Father.

He will come again with glory

to judge the living and the dead.

His kingdom will never end!

 

Let us hold fast without wavering,

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life.

He proceeds from the Father and the Son,

and with the Father and the Son

is worshiped and glorified

 

BENEDICTION:

 

Our father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

 

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