Make a Decision to Ask for Help
So the question becomes, “Where does it start?” It starts with me making a decision to ask for help. I make a decision to be honest about my need. I make a decision to ask a brother for help or tell a sister where I’m weak. I can ask for help and input from the Jesus inside of my brothers and sisters.
At the same time, it also starts with my deciding to care about others. I can watch and notice when my brother is struggling or when my sister is weak. I can decide to take a risk and ask that person, “What is wrong? How can I help?” I start by being open with my life and by caring about other lives. And if we all do that, then Kingdom Life begins.
A few minutes ago we sang a song that asked a very important question. No question is more important than this one: “Do I love my Jesus, deep down in my heart?” According to the Bible, there’s a way we can know if we love Jesus deep in our hearts. What did He say? He said, “If you love Me you will obey My commandments. If you love Me, you will do the things that I say.”
The things we’ve been talking about are very practical. We can obey by starting with one another. One thing that Jesus said is something we’ve quoted before, “Encourage one another daily as long as it is called ‘today.’” Did He say, “Encourage one another sometimes?” No, He said, “Encourage one another daily.” So if we love Jesus, we will make the decisions in our hearts to encourage, to inspire, to help, and to love our brothers and sisters and children every day.
Sometimes we disobey God out of ignorance and that’s a very sad thing when it happens. Then we hear the truth and decide to love the truth and change. But what if we sin against truth that we already know? It’s worse to rebel against truth that we already know, isn’t it? This truth about daily Life is one that you all know. Since I’ve been here I have learned a little Chichewa just by listening to you talk. I may not say it right, but I think “daily” is something like “see-koo duh see-koo”?
Yes : )
How did I know that? Because I’ve heard the brothers say it probably a hundred times. So you all know about daily Life. You know that God wants us to love one another not just “sometimes,” but daily. That means that today, tomorrow and the next day I will have some decisions to make in my heart.
Am I going to be proud, or will I need my brothers? Am I willing to confess my sins to other brothers and sisters? Will I be selfish and concerned about my own things, or will my eyes be open and very concerned about others’ lives too? Will I be looking out for only my own children, or will my heart be open to other children too? Those are very important questions, and the answers to those questions will change the way I live.
Here is one very practical example. A number of godly women are a part of our church. And just like you, they must go to the market very often. How often do you think they go to the market by themselves? The answer to that is never. It has probably been ten years since one of them has gone to the market alone. Is it because there is a law or rule against going to the market alone? No! Does anyone tell them they “have to” go together? Of course not. It’s that they want to be with their sisters. They want to be with each other and with Jesus, together.
I was thinking a little while ago about our gathering this morning. Yesterday when we came, the chairs were in rows. This morning we came, and now we’re seated in a circle. This is much better isn’t it?
Maybe the next time we get together we can move the tables back and sit even closer together. A picture I have in my mind is of a fire. Right now it’s starting to get a little warm outside, but imagine it being very cold. If we were sitting outside on a very cold night, someone might build a fire. Would we then all sit in rows facing the fire? Would that make sense?
The people in the back rows would still be cold and in the dark. We would all want to get as close to the fire as possible and warm ourselves, right? So when we are together, who is the fire? Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is the Fire! As we were saying a few minutes ago, when Jesus was alive on this earth, people sat in a circle around Him. So it’s very appropriate that we try to sit in a circle around Him now.