Sunday, September 18, 2016

Compassion or Judgment?

 As I was entering the church I met Marvin and Annie who had attended the early service.  Annie told me I was going to hear a wonderful sermon.  She was right.

Today's lesson is based on Acts 2:42-47 in which we see the growth of the early Church, the new adherents living in joy and in accordance with Christ's purpose.  This was the fifth sermon I have heard preached from this passage in the past ten years.  I should be "getting it" by now.  *smile*

 The Church is Christ's gift to a world that is lost.

      Sadly, too many allow their religion to get in the way of their relationship with Christ.

The Church will be recognized by her message.
     "They devoted themselves to the Apostles' teachings."  (v. 42)  The message is one of hope, not of fear.

The Church will be recognized by her love.
     "The believers were together and had everything in common... they gave to anyone who had need."  (vv, 44,45)
We are to offer compassion, not judgment.  Cast mercy and grace; leave judgment to Christ.

The Church will be recognized by her reputation.
     "Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."  (v.47)
The Church is to be a place of authenticity rather than hypocrisy. 

Do you want to be a part of the movement that Jesus started?
 Praise with gladness and a sincere heart. 
 We must be
    1) joyful and 2) sincere.

We must be moved with compassion not judgment.

 When we encounter the hurting it is not sufficient to merely feel sympathy, we must be moved to do something.

We are good at talking love but not showing it.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

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