God’s People Moving Forward Together.

God’s People Moving Forward Together.

May 19, 2024

HANDOUT FOR SERMON:  MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER,                                                                                                                        Manchester, TN, May 19th, 2024

INTRODUCTION:                                                                                                                                                                                              Our lesson today will be building further on the concepts we have recently studied concerning the unity and harmony Jesus prayed for and desired for His people.  The only way to have and maintain “unity in the bond of the peace” is to learn to follow Jesus and learn to interact with each other the way He instructs within the pages of the New Testament. The lesson today is specifically for the Manchester Church of Christ, our wonderful Church family! There is a danger among God’s people that we become sedimentary and lose focus on what the main mission of the local church is.  The mission of the Church is to “seek and save the lost” which was the main mission of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

In our recent lessons we have noticed that Jesus calls individuals but then Jesus puts these saved individuals into a collective body or group such as: a kingdom, a flock, a priesthood, a body, a family and a Church or congregation.  We are part of a group that is to function and work together as Jesus instructs. There are always challenges in such collective groups to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We studied in detail Ephesians 3:21-4:7. We learned that having the proper heart or attitude is necessary for unity. The heart that God expects is a heart full of humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, love, unity, and peace. Nothing good happens if these items are missing.

LESSON: (Review last week’s lesson: points 1, 2, and 3.) Today’s lesson points 4 & 5.

1.LET US CELEBRATE & FOCUS ON WHAT UNIFIES US. 4:1-6                                                                                                                         Seven things that unite us.

  • One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One Father

2.LET US GET TO WORK TOGETHER. 4:11-16                                                                                                                                            How are your skills at working with others? In what ways do you use your skills to serve others? You can encourage others, giving others hope, grow in unity v.13, grow in knowledge v.14, speak the truth in love, v.16.  God says “each part” causes growth of the body.  The need for each one of us to own the fact: “I am a part of this!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3.HAVING ESCAPED WORLDLY MINDS. 4:17-24 The need to grow past worldliness and worldly thinking. We all have serious struggles and expect both God and others to be patient, understanding and forgiving with us! So why don’t we think and act in this manner? You must let go of worldly ways and thoughts!

  • Consider how YOU hope God will deal with you!
  • Consider how others have treated you!

4.COMMITTED TO LOVING ONE ANOTHER. 4:25-5;2                                                                                                                             Unfortunately, sometimes Christians can be guilty of doing things with anger, doing things with falsehood. Some are takers and not sharers.

How do we talk to each other? Is it with wholesome words, is it for the purpose of building up? Is it what is needed in the moment, giving grace to the one who hears what we say? Do we speak with restorative language or is it destructive language?

We must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit.  Is our speech kind, forgiving and positive? Are we truly imitators of God?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           5.LEARNING FOR NEHEMIAH: “The Power of One.” This story is one of the most uplifting and positive stories in the Old Testament. It is a story that God has recorded for our learning. Nehemiah was not a “stand around” nor waited for others to get busy! We can learn so much from this story that has great application to God’s people today.

Background information:  Israel has been in captivity for 70 years. Nehemiah was not born when Israel left to return to the promise land. In fact, Israel had been in the land for 90 years when Nehemiah decided return. He was concerned about how things were going in the promised land. He got a report and his spirits were crushed, after 90 years the wall around the city was still in ruins. The other nations weren’t a weak, inactive and vulnerable Israel.

  • Identify a Need, Nehemiah 1:3-4
  • Pray for Guidance, Nehemiah 1:7
  • Commit Yourself to Sacrifice, Nehemiah 2:4-5
  • Share Your Passion, Nehemiah 2:11-20
  • Start Working Together, Nehemiah 3
  • Work Through the Problems, Nehemiah 4 & 5
  • Go Beyond and Above Expectations. (completed the wall in 52 days!)

Conclusion: May we, the Manchester Church, strive to be busy about our “Father’s business” as Jesus our Lord showed us the way.  Let us be a group of believers who are focused on “moving forward together” doing the good the Lord has asks us to do.  Be a light and salt in this world!