When a church is what a church ought to be, it is a church where the people encourage one another.
They encourage one another to remember what God has done for them. They remember how God sent Jesus to die for them that they might live with him. When we are under pressure, it is astounding how quickly we forget. Hence, much of our worship rituals are really pneumonic devices. We encourage each other to remember what God has done for us.
They encourage one another to embrace the distinctive life to which they have been called. Followers of Jesus are different from the rest of the world. They have a different hope. They behave differently. It can be difficult to be different from the wider culture. We want to fit in. But we don’t. That’s okay. We encourage one another to embrace our distinctive life.
They encourage one another to stay awake. We live in an age of overwhelming distractions. We are not ready for Jesus to return anytime soon. Hence we live in get-by mode, vaguely hoping to get better someday, when we would really like to live disciplined lives, have healthy relationships, and make a contribution to our community. How do we have the lives we really want? We encourage one another to stay awake.
In our sermon this Sunday we will talk about how, when the church is what it ought to be, we encourage each other.