Temple Baptist Church - 3-21-2010
A. Today is Homecoming Day and marks 23 years that my family has been here at Temple. They have been good years. We have buried some, married some, seen some leave right, some leave mad, seen God save some, seen some come and join us, we have laughed and cried. It has been worth the trip! I love you as only a pastor can love and would not trade you for any other congregation in the world. God has given us a good church!
B. One of the greatest attacks made by Satan in our day is upon the unity and internal peace of the local church. He hates the church. In the Book of Acts, Satan “pulled out all of the stops” in his attack against the church. Over and over again in the Pauline Epistles, we find men such as Diotrephes and Alexander the Coppersmith attacking the man of God and the unity of the church. People like Euodias and Syntyche are mentioned. They could not get along and their fussing was a “thorn in the side” of their local church.
C. We too often equate physical numbers and financial blessings with having a great church. Having a great church is not measured by what you have but rather by what you are! What you are doing!
D. The Holy Spirit said that it is better to be poor financially than to be rich and have trouble therewith. I had rather be as “poor as a church mouse” than to have great revenue with division and strife sitting on the pews. People never look better leaving than they do coming but sometimes “back door revivals” are a necessity.
E. The Holy Spirit said that it was better to live on a vegetarian diet than to have a stalled ox with hatred. Now you know that hurts this preacher! I love to eat and I take after my mother. Dad could live on vegetables. Mom was different. It there was no meat on the table, she did not count it as a real meal. I am the same way. When I go to a buffet, I load my plate with almost every kind of meat available.
F. It is better to have no “jingle” in your pocket and turnip greens on your plate than money galore and meat aplenty coupled with strife. I want to give us some biblical pointers this morning that will help us to have peace and unity in our church.
G. Peace and unity depends upon each of us having a right purpose and attitude.
1. Be Slow To Anger - James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
2. Be Kind - Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
3. Be Forgiving - Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
4. Be Gentle - Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
5. Be Loving - 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
6. Be Tough – Psalms 119:168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.
7. Be Purposed - 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
8. Be Busy - 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (Idle hands are the devil’s workshop)