November 30, 2012
*Taken from a message given by Adrian Rogers.
There is a story that is told of Salvation Army founder William Booth. In his later years and in frail health, he was invited to say a word of encouragement to a convocation. Unable to attend, he sent a telegram with a simple yet powerful message. It had one word on it: “Others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
Here are eight things that I hope, by God’s grace, you will start to do for others.
The last command that Jesus gave His disciples before He was crucified was: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Jesus gave this command right after He washed His disciples’ feet. He wanted to illustrate that this kind of love serves one another and not because we deserve it.
Romans 15:7 says “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” It’s so important that churches receive all who enter their doors especially those who are weak in their faith: “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things” (Romans 14:1). Paul exhorts us not to argue with a person about things that are doubtful such as the way a person looks or how refined his manners are.
A greeting is an outward acknowledgment of an inner shared life. Romans 16:16 says, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.” We need to greet each other personally, impartially, thoughtfully, and wisely. How important is a friendly greeting? One study showed that a visitor decides whether or not he likes a church within the first twelve minutes.
“But our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-25). God wants us to minister to each other and what better way to do that than through the church?
Ephesians 5:18-21 says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Submission is one equal willingly and lovingly placing himself under another equal that Jesus Christ may be glorified.
Forbearance is to graciously endure and put up with sinful attitudes in others. Ephesians 4:1-3 says, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The failure to do this holds back forgiveness, healing, and revival more than anything else.
Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” God has so willingly and freely forgiven us, we should forgive others. To forgive you must taste a little of Calvary. But it is worth the price. Forgive quickly, genuinely, and completely.
Now, your list is complete with eight things that will help build the sweetest fellowship this side of heaven! Pray over each and every one: “Lord, let me live for others that I may live for Thee.” When you and others begin to do that, you will become a colony of Heaven.