Living the Gospel: Teaching and Admonishing with Love

Colossians 3
  /  February 25, 2024
Speaker: John Parker

I’m inviting you to Paul’s letter to the church at Colossi. Colossians and we’re looking at chapter 3. Pastor has outlined these Sundays and assigned me even the passage that we’re looking at today and it’s been good for me. It’s been a challenge to kind of dig back into some of this and and the Lord’s helping me with it. We’ve been talking about loving one another, being kind to one another.

And in these days being kind can mean you just, you ignore, you tolerate, you enable all kinds of people’s dysfunction in their lives that’s being kind. The fact is we cannot if we love one another as Christ loved us, we cannot ignore one another in our struggles. And by the way, admit it or not every single one of us have those times of struggles in our life. I don’t know if any of you remember the restaurant a few years ago here in Easley, that was named struggles. One of my favorite places to eat.

And I asked the guy one day, I said, where did you come up with that name? He said, man all my life it’s been a struggle. And he opened it in one of the roughest former beer joints in town and it was not a beer joint. It was a good place to eat and I miss it. But all of us have had struggles in our life.

Right? And the fact is some of us are sitting here right now this morning deep in the struggles of life and their failures and then dangers. And as I’ve said, our current culture would have us enable people who are living dangerously, recklessly. But if you love someone you cannot enable their dangerous living. Right?

So we’re called by God’s word to come alongside of one another not only in our struggles, but in the areas of our life where we need some help. And that’s where we’re focused today. Loving and being kind to one another is not being an enabler. It involves some teaching and admonishing and that’s what Paul is instructing us to do here in Colossians chapter 3. We’ll begin our reading at verse 1.

If then you are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ is. Sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection or mind on things above and not on things on the earth for you have you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ and God. He’s speaking of dead to the old life and alive to Christ. When Christ who is our life appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.

So therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth. Fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, covetousness which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience in which you yourselves once walked. So he’s speaking to people who’ve been there and done that, unfortunately. Have a past life of sin and brokenness.

But he said, the, the wrath of God that is that comes on those things and you yourselves experience them. And he goes on to give that that list. Now you yourselves are to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Don’t lie one to another. Since you have put off the old man or the old way of life with his deeds and have put on the new man who’s renewed in knowledge according to the image of Christ who created him where there is neither Greek nor Jew circumcised nor uncircumcised barbarian, Scythian, slave or free but Christ is all and in all.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on you don’t just put off, but you put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering, bearing with one another. It’s not all easy. It requires some bearing with one another. Every relationship does. Forgiving one another If anyone has a complaint against another even as Christ forgave you so you also must do.

But above all these things put on love which is the bond of perfection and let the peace of God rule in your hearts. That word rule is the word, referee. Let him call the balls and strikes in your in your life. To the which you are also called in one body and be thankful. And here’s the verse we’re gonna focus on tonight today.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual Psalms singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or do deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands as as is fitting to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives. Do not do not be bitter toward them.

Children, obey your parents and all things for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, don’t provoke your children lest they become discouraged. Bond servants or employees obey in all things your masters, your employer according to the flesh not with eye services men pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance for you serve the lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he’s done and there is no partiality.

So Paul just kinda covers the whole gamut of the Christian life and why it’s important that we live lives of spiritual integrity in order that we might be a help, a blessing, teaching, admonishing others. Now two words that we’re focused on today that are the actual subject we’re dealing with. Number 1 teaching and the second word admonishing. We find them here in our text verse. The word teaching is essentially the word that we’re most familiar with and that is it is an educational informational instructional process through which you help somebody learn.

And, it’s also it’s very much part of this this concept of of learning and teaching, but it is also a vital function of what the church does in discipleship. That is bringing people into a relationship with Christ and enable the enabling them to grow in that relationship. But there’s a second word that we’re focused on as well, teaching and admonishing. Now our context or concept of admonishing is more warning, of setting straight someone. The word here has more of a reference and it is a unique Greek word in in the new testament text.

It’s more reference to a larger process of influencing people of reminding them through life example rather than wagging our finger under their nose. So we’re focused on teaching and living it out. Now if you look at the context, it becomes very clear to us where Paul is focused as he writes this letter to the Christians at Colossi. Verse 12, as elect of God put on tender mercies, kindness that list bearing with one another, forgiving one another. In our text verse, let the word of Christ dwell in you.

He’s not saying, stand in front of your class, point your finger and teach. This is living it out. So it’s clear to me from the context of what Paul is saying and I believe what the Lord would have us to get from this today is God is calling his church more to living it out than wagging our finger or teaching it as an teacher and student classroom setting. In other words, folks, let me just put this in good South Carolina English. This is a lot more about living it.

As someone said, what you what you are speaks so loud I can’t hear what you say. You get that? It’s hard to hear what somebody’s saying when they’re living something contrary, right? And some have put it like this, it’s walking the walk not just talking the talk. Right?

It’s easy for us to talk the talk. I need to be careful how I say this, but I bumped into a person that I thought was very vaguely familiar. And the more I looked at the person, the more I realized that I was looking at a guy I knew from about 30, 35 years ago when I was a bivocational pastor and spent a lot of time on on job sites. And, found out this guy and I had some common common interest. He’s quite a singer and a guitar player and very, very, very popular on the, the in the local churches, around the area, especially in revivals to come sing and play guitar and extremely popular on local radio station, which no longer exist here in the county.

Because back in those days, 30, 35 years ago, most of the broadcast were live. So you just took your guitar and your buddies and you went to the radio station and some of them just hung out all day, you know. They just played on this program and that program and next program and next program and and, he was one of them. And man, you never heard such hooping and hollering and carrying on in your life as they could do and, I understood from some that had had been there and that, he could really whoop up a crowd. But I also worked with him on the job and he could cuss louder than he could sing.

He could throw fits that were absolutely mind blowing. And his reputation was fairly tarnished as a business man, as a man who who worked in that industry in that day. And you know, just seeing him reminded me of the distasteful that was expressed on numbers of occasions back there 30, 35 years ago. People said things like, if that’s religion, I don’t want any of it. But I’ve also heard some people who lived around the saints of God in the workaday world, in the real world, who have said, if I ever get religion, that’s the kind I want.

Now, folks, let’s just put it in a nutshell this morning. That’s what Paul is trying to say to this church. That’s what Paul is trying to say to us the tender mercies, the kindness, the humility, the meekness. Bear with one another, forgiving one another. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly and let it come out in in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, making melody in your heart to the Lord and whatever you do, whether it’s working on a construction job or in the business world, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through it’s living it.

Amen? And it’s in that context that Paul calls us to teach and admonish. You know, people who live and work around and know folks who live that out. What Paul is instructing us here, they they’re hungry for what that person has. They want it.

You know, it’s not about being an authority, a master, a teacher in that sense of the word with students in your classroom and underlings and disciples. It’s so much more about being the good example. Jesus said pretty harsh words for the masters of the law in his day that like to be called rabbi or father, you know. He said call no man master, rabbi, father And I’m afraid sometime we get an overly we get a little overly pretentious. Folks, it’s not our pedigree.

It’s not our our position. God is calling his people to be examples of his grace. James said in James chapter 3 verse 1, my brethren, be not many masters. Be not many teachers for we shall receive the greater condemnation. I love the ESV of that verse.

Not many of you should become teachers. You’re not talking about school teachers teaching children and and that. He’s talking about people that assume that position, that authority. You know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. So the word of God is not calling us to a position of authority.

The challenge today, our biblical challenge to one another is not to climb up on a soapbox or a podium as I’m standing on this morning with our professor hat on and our rabbinical robes wrapped tightly around us and our fingers wagging at our students in a teacher kind of way, but rather to live out the gospel in the everyday laboratory of life so that people who are struggling can look at us and say, I need whatever she has. Because I’ve watched her struggle. I’ve watched her go through difficult things. I need what he’s got because he’s facing this and he’s been through that and grace has been evident in his life. Paul doesn’t just leave us to figure out what that looks like.

If you have your bible handy, turn back to chapter 2 of Colossians. He paints a very clear picture here. Verse 6, as you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him rooted and build up in him and established in the faith as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of men, according to basic principles of the world and not according to Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power.

And then he carries right over into chapter 3 in the beginning verses. We did not read. If you’re raised with Christ seek those things which are above where Christ is. Set your affection. We did read that then.

We have on things above and not own things on the earth. For you have died. You have been buried with Christ. Your life is hidden with Christ in God. And And then he gives those very specific instructions which we’ve been referring to in verse 12 and following.

Very clear, no doubt left about what that looks like. When the word of Christ dwells in you richly in all wisdom and it can your life becomes a prime example for new believers. For people who are not yet believers. Brother Faye would call them pre believers and less mature believers, even non believers. And Paul goes on to give some ways this teaching and admonishing is expressed.

This is interesting to me. He doesn’t say anything here about sermons. He didn’t say anything here about Sunday school classes. He didn’t say anything here about small group studies. What does he say in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs?

But preacher, I can’t sing. Well, you can have a song in your heart. Amen? I’m not real sure what all that looks like. There’s some folks I don’t know how inspiring or helpful it would be if they went around singing all the time.

Kind of sound like the hound dog howling at the moon. But the Bible does say make a joyful noise under the Lord. And I’ve heard people sing that couldn’t sing that bless my heart because they had a song in their heart. There’s something about, being able to express the emotions of your heart and the feelings of your heart, the sentiments of your heart. Your music tells an awful lot about you folks.

Amen? And this is the way Paul says it’s to be expressed. Though it’s obvious here we’re not talking about a school master with a yardstick banging on the chalkboard his finger pointed at his students barking authoritatively his wisdom or giving pop quizzes, you know, just to harass his poor students. But it’s a fellow that’s saying follow me as Paul did. Follow me as I follow Christ.

Folks, can you say that? And the joy of the Lord flowing out of your life in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, It’s seeing a fellow Christian struggling, overtaken in a weakness or a fault in their life. And with tenderness in your heart as Paul instruct us, you go to come alongside of that person in their struggles and remind them that you’ve been there, that you failed, that you struggle. Galatians chapter 6, if you want to know the context of what I’m talking about. Brethren and it includes cistern too.

If a man or if a woman is overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual criticize. No. Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something and truth is he’s nothing.

He deceives himself but let each one examine his own work and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another for each one of us shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught in the word share in all good things with him who teaches. What is God calling us to in his word? He’s calling us to be sensitive to the struggling soul to come alongside that soul, to let them know I’ve been there too. I understand.

The apostle Peter who had experienced that powerfully in his own life in first Peter chapter 2 tells us more of what that looks like. Therefore, to you who believe he’s precious, but to some those who are disobedient. The stone which the builders reject has become the chief cornerstone. A stone of stumbling, a rock of offense. They stumble being disobedient to the word to which they are appointed.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people. Why? That you may proclaim. How do you proclaim? Not just verbally finger pointed but living it in the laboratory of life.

You may proclaim the praises of him who have called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Who once were not a people but now are the people of God who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust which war against your soul. Having your conduct honorable among all among the gentiles that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. These are people living it out folks.

For this is the will of God that by doing good, you may put to silence ignorance of foolish men. There we go. That’s it. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.

Honor the king. Peter gives us clear instructions on what this looks like. And is never to be condescending. That’s a great place for a good amen. Never to be condescending.

Always to be gentle, to be kind, to be considerate, to be edifying. I will never forget as a college student in a Bible college, in the middle of ministry, finding myself in a spiritual desert, I didn’t feel like I felt like I dropped off of God’s radar screen. That God didn’t know who I was. He didn’t hear when I prayed. There was just he was gone in my life and it gone on for days weeks.

And I couldn’t figure it out. And I thought I’m gonna talk to the godliest person I know. And the godliest person I knew was doctor Jay Wesley Adcock, one of my professors. So I went to him prior to a chapel services and said doctor adcock can I talk to you a minute? I have I’m struggling.

He said just meet me here after chapel. And he stayed in his seat. So I went over after chapel. Everybody had left and I started pouring out my sorry, sad story about how horrible my life was and how sad this situation was. And as I was telling him this sad story, I got pretty deep into it and doctor Adcox suddenly said, oh, thank God.

Thank God. And I thought the poor old man doesn’t have a clue what I just told him. He missed the point, but he didn’t. And this is what he said. He looked at me and he said, John, I’m so glad I’m not the only one that goes through situations like this.

I’m not the only one that’s had the struggles when it felt like God was silent. I can just say to your son, hang in there. Don’t give up. Just keep obeying God and the the victory will come back and the grace will come back. It’s just a tough time.

Hang in there. I’ve been there. Done that. That’s all he needed to say to me. If the godliest man I knew on planet earth had been through that kind of an experience in his life and survived it, I knew I could.

And I’m talking to people in Eastly Bible Methodist Church this morning that could look at some struggling soul and be impatient and short-tempered with them and think, come on, you know, get get it together. Or you can be like doctor Adcock. You can slip around an arm around their shoulder and say, honey, I know exactly where you are. I’ve been there. I struggled.

Just hang in there. Keep obeying God. Keep doing the right thing. Victory will come. Amen?

That’s what God’s word is calling us to. Some time ago, I saw one of our Lord’s most powerful illustrations and teaching in an entirely different light. It follows immediately on the hills of the most quoted verse in the bible. Anybody know what that verse is? It ain’t John 3 16 anymore.

No. It’s Matthew chapter 7 verse 1. Most quoted verse in the bible. But you got to go on and read the context. No.

It’s Matthew chapter 7 verse 1. Most quoted verse in the bible. And it says, judge not that you be not judged. People love that verse. But you gotta go on and read the context of that verse.

Jesus is not saying it’s wrong to judge. He’s saying it’s wrong to judge with the wrong attitude. It’s wrong to judge with a critical spirit. And he gives this crazy little story about a fellow who is just transfixed, obsessed with a moat, a speck in his brother’s eye. He just can’t let it go.

You got a speck in your eye. Let me get it out. And all the while, he’s got a 4 by 4 beam sticking out of his eye. A beam in his own eye. And Jesus doesn’t say, forget it.

Let the poor fellow struggle with his speck in his eye. You ever had a speck in your eye? My dad’s a bricklayer and I used to be his his mud maker and brick toter. I’ve decided somewhere along the line there. I’m too smart for this.

There’s gotta be an easier way to make a living. Though daddy made a good living doing it. But often, the wind would blow or something would happen and the face off the brick, the sand, or the something would fly off of the scaffolding and into your eye. And I’m telling you, it doesn’t have to be very big to be absolutely debilitating to you. You can’t function when you get something in your eye.

You know, you can’t see. Your other eye starts watering. You can’t function. And my dad never said to me, just get over it. Deal with it.

You know? He didn’t ignore the mote in my eye. He would stop what he’s doing. He’d get down off of the scaffolding and with tenderness, very because he’d had a lot of motes in his specs in his eye across the year. They dig out his handkerchief and find a clean corner on it.

And he’d hold that eye very tenderly and he’d take that little corner of that handkerchief and he’d pick that little speck out of your eye very, very tenderly and gentle. And I’m just telling you what glorious relief there was when the speck is out. Really? Is Really? Is that what Jesus is saying here?

Leave people struggle with their modes. It’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s saying there’s a wrong way to do it and there’s a right way to do it. And the right way is you get the beam out of your own eye first. 1st.

Roy Hession in his little book, which inspired my thoughts on this, the Calvary Road, he said the the beam is resentment towards the speck. So somebody has a fault in their life. It’s irritating to you. It may even affect you somehow and you get resentful and angry and bitter and you get your big old 2 by 4 or your big old crowbar and you say I’m gonna get that out of your eye. And they’re saying please leave me alone.

You’ve got a problem. But when you come at that person as my dad did on those jobs with tenderness, with gentleness, with kindness, with love. What a wonderful experience it is when that speck is gone. What is God calling us to do? He’s calling us to care enough about one another that we do some soul searching and say, Lord, how is my attitude?

What is my motive? Is it love? Is it tenderness? Is it restoration? Unfortunately, we have some folks around that are moat collectors They like to go around and pick moats out of people’s eyes and put them in their moat collection.

And when you get near them they’re going to say, hey, you ever seen my moat collection? I got this out of brother Tom’s eye. I got this one out of brother Austin’s eye. I got this Rita Rita Stanley, you know what? You should see this when I got out of her eye.

They dig around and find the little niggling troubling difficulties in people’s lives and then they spread it. You can’t trust those people, right? There are some saints among us. You can trust them. You can talk to them about the thing you’re struggling with.

You can pour out your heart. You can tell it in its worst case scenario and they’re not gonna go show it to somebody else. They’re gonna come alongside you to help you and get that thing out of your eye. That’s what God’s calling us to. I hear somebody say this morning, but preacher, I’m I’m just not a teacher.

It’s not my personality. I’m shy, timid. But can I remind you intentionally or unintentionally, you are teaching? You don’t have to be up in front of a class. You don’t have to be standing in this pulpit.

You don’t have to assume the position of a teacher. You are living it out And there are those who are following you. We are called to do it with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love. Folks, it’s gonna take that kind of love. Unfortunately, there are too many of us.

The Hebrew writer talks about we we should be mature spiritually but we’re still infants. God wants to enable us as he says in that passage in Hebrews chapter 5. By reason of the use of their senses, they learn to discern between good and evil and to do it carefully. I’m asking brother David to come to prepare to close the service. I have felt such a compelling call of God in preparation of this message this morning.

Our church desperately needs some mature grown up Christians who are good examples of grace and spiritual maturity, who are not afraid, who are willing to come alongside of struggling souls, not just to come and go and smile at one another and worship together and live our own lives. God is calling us to care enough about one another that we’re willing to be vulnerable enough to say to them, I know where you are. I’ve been where you are. Number of years ago, I was in South Alabama hunting with my old college roommate, and he invited me to go to church with him. I was there on a Sunday, and so we went to the church he was attending at the time.

It was different than anything I’d ever been to. Kinda weird, truthfully. They didn’t have instrumental music. A lot of different things they did different did things differently, but it was a huge church and packed full of young families. And I was just dumbfounded.

How do you get this many people in a strange kind of a church? And then the preacher got up and he preached a good solid gospel message on God and his power to break the spiritual strongholds in people’s lives. Which somebody joined them from that church family. They didn’t walk the aisle alone. They walked it with somebody from the church family.

Rows and began talking with them. And I thought, what’s going on here? Conversation went on and the invitation extended. And finally, the pastor said, okay. We’re gonna pray for these who have come forward this morning.

Do you have the cards ready? And those that had joined them as they came down the aisle got up and walked up to the pastor and handed him a little index card. Pastor picked up one of those cards and he said as he looked at that card, he said, Joe has come this morning He’s struggling with the stronghold of pornography in his life. We have a whole bunch of guys in this church. Would some of you guys be willing to come and pray with him right now?

And I mean, before the words ever got out of the pastor’s mouth, guys were getting up out of their seats all over that place. They streamed down the aisle with tears running down their faces. Joe came and nailed at the altar with the person that was with him and those guys gathered around. Tears flowed as they prayed. And then the pastor picked up a second card.

And he said, Jane says she’s struggling with an addiction to prescription pills and alcohol. We have a bunch of ladies in this place. This is a tough one, ladies. But you know where Jane is. Would you be willing to come pray with her?

And I could not believe There was a whole group of women that got out of their seats and walked down the aisle. A lady who admitted that she was in a severe sexual addiction struggle from one relationship to another to another. And the pastor said, some of you dear women know where she is. And I’m telling you, folks, they got out of their seats and went down and knelt around her publicly saying, I’ve been there. And it dawned on me, no wonder this church is packed.

No wonder there’s so many young families in this place today. Strobe. This is a place of refuge. This is a place of refuge. This is a place of healing.

This is a place of healing. This is a place of healing. Folks, I believe with all my heart. That’s what God wants to make easily. Bible Methodist Church.

I believe that’s exactly where our pastor’s heart is. I think that’s why he’s pushed this one another series. I know it’s where the heart of numbers of you in this place are today. Lorraine and I were just talking before the service. You should say, Brother Parker, it’s the love that just keeps drawing me back.

Love that’s willing to walk, of divorce. Would you stand with me this morning with your heads bowed and your eyes closed? I cannot help but believe there is somebody here this morning. That’s in a struggle, a life struggle. You’ve come to church this Sunday morning not knowing how it’s going to end, how it’s going to turn out.

Could I invite some people, if you’re struggling, if there’s a stronghold in your life this morning and you just like to pray about it before we leave this place today, could I invite you to come? And I believe there will be people that will join you quickly as you come to pray with you. Is there anybody here today that that would just like to say, Lord, I’m struggling. I need some fresh grace in my life. This altar is open.

The Godly people of this church would be more than delighted to pray with with you. This is a loving place. This is a safe place. This is a place where you can find grace. Anybody with the desire to seek his help this morning?

While our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and some are coming, maybe you would just say, well, no one’s looking at you. Thank you for just giving some privacy to those is there anybody here this morning who would say, pretty much, is there anybody here this morning? It would say right now, but would you please pray for me? Thank you. I see your hand.

Thank you. I see your hand. I see your hand. Any others. To be those who come alongside of people who are strobe Now, we’re going to have some prayer here at the end.

If you need to go, you’re more than welcome to go. I’m going to lead in prayer. But I would I’d like to invite there’s several here at the altar. I’d like to invite some to just come near close to them and pray along with them this morning. If you need to go, God bless you.

You’re you’re more than welcome to go. You’re welcome to sit. Stay. You’re welcome to come and join us as we gather around this alter father. We thank you this morning that you are a God who cares about the struggling.

Lord, if you were not, we would not be standing in this Lord. You’ve been so good to us, Lord. In the midst of our failures, Lord, you didn’t cut us off. You didn’t cast us out. You have loved us.

You have cared for us. And Lord, as we’ve I’ve shared this morning, you sent people alongside of us, not only to give us comfort, but to give us help and strength and encouragement in life. We rejoice in that today. Most of all, we thank you for the Lord Jesus who came to this world, Took upon himself our sin, our struggles, our failures. Went to an old rugged cross and bled and died there.

That he might pay the penalty of our sins and set us free. And today, Lord, we claim the blood of Jesus. We claim his death. We claim his power in our lives. We claim the resurrection power and victory over sin.

I pray you would help everyone whose hand was lifted and those who in their hearts know this is this is me. I’m struggling. Lord, I pray today would be a day when they turn to the Lord even before they leave here today and find your grace fresh and new in their lives. Thank you for these who have come and those who are praying with them. I pray, Lord Jesus, right now, give that strength.

Give that help. Give that grace that they are seeking. Lord, pour yourself fresh and new into their lives enable them to overcome and lord I pray for the people of this good church, the church family, the believers of this Eastly Bible Methodist Church. Lord, let us not just be good folks. Let us not just love on the surface, but all God made the love of God compel us to care enough about one another that we will come alongside of one another in our struggles that we will be safe, that we will be a Lord, tender and merciful and kind in our responses to the struggles of others Enable us as a church to be able to teach and admonish one another through our love, through our lives, through our care.

Have your way, Lord Jesus, in our church, in our church family. These that have come to visit with us today that are here, Lord, may what they sense in this place of the love of God, the presence of God cause them to want to come again and, Lord, to experience it afresh and anew in their lives. And then, Lord, I pray you’d help each and every one of us to fully yield and fully surrender ourselves completely to you. Thank you for your presence today. Thank you for meeting with us.

Thank you for helping us, Lord. We give you praise Thank you so much for being with us today.

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