Sometimes when I preach, people respond in the following week with…
-requests for prayer…
-times of confession.
Also, many times after a sermon, I find myself tested by what I preached…
“practice what we preach.”
So, often I ask to myself,
“Can I, really, follow this?”
This week was different…
-This message has been tested and confirmed for the past several weeks.
Let me tell you about one of these events:
I was looking online for a photo to use as an illustration.
It was about SMS messages that had gone wrong due to autocorrect.
SMSs are useful but autocorrect is sometimes a nightmare.
So I knew that there would be examples online.
But as I looked, I found many that I could not show, because they were inappropriate…
in fact, some were so bad that I felt violated to read them, and so I stopped.
One that I found was funny to me, so I posted it on Facebook.
I posted this on my Facebook page,
Soon, after posting, someone wrote me and asked, “Did you see what is at the bottom of your post?”
I didn’t realize what was there…an abbreviation of a bad phrase
I thanked the friend and took off the post
Then I looked at the other one I wanted to show, today, and it, too, had actually a bad phrase at the bottom.
If my friend had not told me, then I would have offended people without realizing it
It reminds me of a time when I was in another country, and a innocent looking young lady who was working in a grocery store was wearing a new tee shirt.
The tee shirt had a very bad and provocative statement in English on it.
I assumed that the young lady did not know English, so I gently informed her.
Later that day, I went back to the grocery store and saw that the young lady was wearing an apron to cover the writing.
Look at this SMS
Notice that the person writes that he wants to kill her…but he meant to write “kiss”
The recipient could have done the following:
- Be offended…do nothing and let the offense build up and stress herself
- Be offended…and write something offensive back
- Be offended…talk to others about what this person wrote, maligning the person’s character
- Be offended…but show the person their mistake
- Not be offended…show the mistake…laugh it off and move on
- Not be offended…not show the mistake…laugh it off and move on
- Kırılmak…bu konuda hiç bir şey yapmayıp, kırgınlığın artmasına izin vermek ve kendini strese sokmak
- Kırılmak…ve karşılığında kırıcı şeyler yazarak cevap vermek
- Kırılmak…diğer insanlarla bu kişinin yazdıklarını konuşmak, bu kişinin karakterini kötülemek
- Kırılmak…ama kıran kişiye hatasını göstermek
- Kırılmamak…bu kişiye hatasını göstermek…gülüp geçmek ve hayata devam etmek
- Kırılmamak…hatasını göstermemek… gülüp geçmek ve hayata devam etmek
As a pastor, I am a magnet for information:
-people share with me their triumphs and their tragedies,
-their struggles and their stellar moments.
-sometimes they share with me their worries about someone else
-sometimes they tell me of how someone offended them
This happens in ministry… it is an occupational hazard. J
But today is not a time for complaints,
but to see how important it is for each of us to be in a real with each other and in right relationship with each other.
Here is a verse I want to share in my introduction:
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Ephesians 4:11, 12
11 Kendisi kimini elçi, kimini peygamber, kimini müjdeci, kimini önder[b] ve öğretmen atadı. 12 Öyle ki, kutsallar hizmet görevini yapmak ve Mesih’in bedenini geliştirmek üzere donatılsın.
As a pastor, I understand my biblical mandate to equip others to minister.
We are a genuine church in that we are not a group of people acting like we are part of church, but we are called by Jesus out of the world to come together to serve and worship.
As well, we are Nations Church, with over 30 different passports represented in our church!
We cannot assume that we are always understood.
And we must not think that everyone is like us.
I’ve mentioned before that we should not speak about politics, as politics can be too complicated to speak about.
Politics can divide churches…we see this in the US and in other countries as well.
National and personal history affects how politics are viewed by people.
Different cultures have differing expectations, but if we can work together, we will bring glory and honor to Our Lord Jesus the Messiah.
Farklı kültürlerin farklı beklentileri vardır, ama birlikte çalışabiliriz, görkemi ve zenginliği Rabbimiz Mesih’e taşıyabiliriz.
The largest group of people in our church is Americans, but they’re not the majority.
On Easter we had 113 people, but only 28 were American adults.
That is 25%.
Among the Americans, we have people from the South, North, Midwest and Southwest.
Our views are different on many things.
In church, while serving together, we sometimes find ourselves observing things that are wrong:
-We see someone is living with someone outside of marriage, or
-someone is gambling, or
-someone is getting drunk or
-someone is flirting with a married person, etc.
No matter what we see, we feel something isn’t right in our spirit.
What should we do?
-We should pray.
-We should be ready to go to the person who is ether sinning or on their way to sinning and tell them (either as a warning or as a rebuke)
-And we should not be like a judge, but as an encouraging brother/sister.
-Günah işleyen veya işlemek üzere olan kişiye gitmeye hazırlıklı olmayız (bu kişiyi uyarmak ya da azarlamak için)
-Ve bir hakim gibi davranmamalıyız, o kişiyi teşvik edici kız / erkek kardeş gibi davranmalıyız.
The Bible was written to and for ordinary people.
-not for a super race of people, -nor was it written only for pastors and church leaders to read,
-but it was written for all, whom God so deeply loves.
When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, sin became the new norm for man, and separation from God and from each other occurred.
When God reached out to man through Noah and then through Abraham and through Moses it was for reconciliation and for judgment.
As I consider Nations Church to be a Genuine Church, I believe that we need to love each other, deeply.
To love each other deeply means we desire the best for each other.
The Scriptures teach this about reconciliation:
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:1, 2
1 Kardeşler, eğer biri suç işlerken yakalanırsa, ruhsal olan sizler, böyle birini yumuşak ruhla yola getirin. Siz de ayartılmamak için kendinizi kollayın. 2 Birbirinizin ağır yükünü taşıyın, böylece Mesih’in Yasası’nı yerine getirirsiniz.
- Who Lives by the Spirit?
- Ruhsal Olan Kimlerdir?
- Who Lives by the Spirit?
- Ruhsal Olan Kimlerdir?
- Those Exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit:
a.Ruhun Meyvelerini Sergileyen Kişiler
When a person receives Jesus and becomes a new creation, the Holy Spirit is alive in them, as well the Holy Spirit wants to empower them and give gifts…
this often can be a separate experience and we observe in such people the gift of speaking in other spiritual languages.
I do believe in the gifts of tongues, as we call it, but I’ve known people with the gift whom I would not equate as “living by the spirit.”
What I mean is that they may emphasize a gift without
drawing from the fruit the same Spirit of God brings forth.
If we live by the spirit, then the Spirit’s fruit will be evident in our lives, too.
- Who Lives by the Spirit?
- Ruhsal Olan Kimlerdir?
- Those who follow the Scriptures:
b.Kutsal Yazılar’ı Takip Edenler
Living by God’s Spirit means that our lives follow the Scripture.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16, 17
16 Kutsal Yazılar’ın tümü Tanrı esinlemesidir ve öğretmek, azarlamak, yola getirmek, doğruluk konusunda eğitmek için yararlıdır. 17 Bunlar sayesinde Tanrı adamı her iyi iş için donatılmış olarak yetkin olur.
- Timoteos 3:16, 17
I’ve heard some people claim many things by God’s Spirit, that were against the Scriptures that were inspired by the Same Spirit.
And when corrected or rebuked, they’ve even discounted (diminished) the Scriptures as not being as important as having God’s prophetic gifts.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
1 John 4:1-3
1 Sevgili kardeşlerim, her ruha inanmayın. Tanrı’dan olup olmadıklarını anlamak için ruhları sınayın. Çünkü birçok sahte peygamber dünyanın her yanına yayılmış bulunuyor. 2 İsa Mesih’in beden alıp geldiğini kabul eden her ruh Tanrı’dandır. Tanrı’nın Ruhu’nu bununla tanıyacaksınız. 3 İsa’yı kabul etmeyen hiçbir ruh Tanrı’dan değildir. Böylesi, Mesih Karşıtı’nın ruhudur. Onun geleceğini duydunuz. Zaten o şimdiden dünyadadır.
- Yuhanna 4:1-3
Whatever we claim is from God, prophetically in our lives MUST measure up with the Scriptures, as they themselves tell us:
- Who Lives by the Spirit?
- Ruhsal Olan Kimlerdir?
- Those Who Have Been Crucified with Jesus
c.İsa ile Birlikte Çarmıha Gerilenler
Our sinful flesh must die in order to live by the Spirit, otherwise we are living by the flesh.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Mesih’le birlikte çarmıha gerildim. Artık ben yaşamıyorum, Mesih bende yaşıyor. Şimdi bedende sürdürdüğüm yaşamı, beni seven ve benim için kendini feda eden Tanrı Oğlu’na imanla sürdürüyorum.
It is not enough to live like an unbeliever all week, and then live like a believer when we get to church.
As well, if we are tolerating a little sin, and thinking it won’t hurt us, we need to remember that it takes only a small amount of sin to destroy us….just a little extra time lingering on a sinful thought is enough to lead us toward sin.
If we say we’ve been crucified with Jesus, then let’s live it…24/7.
İsa ile birlikte çarmıha gerildiğimizi söylüyorsak, bunu yaşamlarımızda gösterilim…24/7.
Part of crucifying the flesh is to fast and pray….part of it is to starve what needs to die rather than continuing to feed it.
In the criminal justice system, there are short and long sentences and even life sentences. There is the death sentence, too.
While these are political issues in the justice system, when it comes to sin, we need to give sin a death sentence, and not a life sentence.
When we recognize sin in our own lives, let’s give it a death sentence rather than a life sentence.
Hayatlarımızda bir günahın farkına vardığımızda, bu günaha ömür boyu hapis cezası vermek yerine, idam cezası verelim
To the youth here today, I say, get rid of sin in your life while you are young, otherwise you will have many wasted years and decades of sin hindering you…don’t give sin a life sentence or it will give us a death sentence.
- Restore One Another
2.Birbirimizi Yola Getirmek
- The Neglected Commandment
a.İhmal Edilmiş Buyruk
This is not only for pastors, but for all in the Body of Christ.
If Christians were more active in the work of restoration, the world would be a much better place. Instead, we watch people crash and do nothing about it.
This is not an option in God’s eyes, but many of us have considered it to be an option…too many of us.
Restoration is double process.
If we restore others, then we, ourselves, are restored.
If we neglect the restoration of others, then we are neglecting ourselves, too.
If we reach out to people in restoration, then they may reach out to us and restore us when we need it.
How do we do this?
This is how we would want to be restored, but it often is where restoration falls short.
Perhaps because we have judgmental thoughts about the person we wish to restore, maybe that is why we are not gentle.
We say things like…
“you always are like this”
“there you go, again.”
“are you crazy?”
Another hindrance to gentleness is that we are so
shy, or insecure that we can be used of God to restore…
This takes practice and God’s grace.
Remember, if we needed restoration, we would want to be restored gently.
Gentleness is the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives
The Scriptures teach:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
1 Yumuşak yanıt gazabı yatıştırır,
Oysa yaralayıcı söz öfkeyi alevlendirir.
Süleyman’ın Özdeyişler 15:1
Gentleness is the way to approach many things in life
Thus, note, that men are often called “gentlemen” even if they are not acting as such.
When we act gently, we can be frustrated if people don’t follow through with the restoration,
and we may be tempted to take matters into our own hands.
Gentleness is the attitude, but what are the actions we must take in order to restore
- Go, Show and Restore
c.Git, Göster ve Yola Getir
If you or I offend someone by accident, we want to know this.
If we don’t know that we have offended someone, then wewould like to know this.
Because, we don’t want to have a bad relationship with someone.
If you offend me and I tell you this, then we have the opportunity to build up our relationship and build up each other.
What to do when offended:
Kırıldığımızda ne yapmalıyız:
- Go to the offender
3.Bizi Kıran Kişiye Gitmeliyiz
- Pray (especially if we are easily offended, the problem may not be the other person, but we may be the problem)
- Decide: is this a problem that I can ignore (our skin needs to become thicker, especially in this world of Social Media where it is very easy to criticize without thinking about it….but, if we are going to live with it, then we must be committed to live with it…otherwise, it will eat us alive. To ignore the problem means to forgive the offense and forget it.
- Go to the person who has offended us, and speak our peace. Be prepared, they may be clueless that they have offended us. People have different tolerations and some of us seem as though we are deaf and blind. It is very frustrating to show someone how they have offended, if they don’t grasp it. I think this is what goes into the chemistry of successful friendship. Some people just don’t mix well, and that’s OK.
Galatians was one of the first New Testament books to be written (possibly as early as 48 AD).
As such, this letter briefly shows us the need to bring correction at times.
Matthew’s gospel would have been written 10-20 years later, and by this time, the Church had been dealing with discipline according to what they knew.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of Galatians inspired the writing of Matthew.
Matthew included a teaching that Jesus gave the disciples about discipline, and it is in Matthew 18:
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
15 “Eğer kardeşin sana karşı günah işlerse, ona git, suçunu kendisine göster. Her şey yalnız ikinizin arasında kalsın. Kardeşin seni dinlerse, onu kazanmış olursun. 16 Ama dinlemezse, yanına bir ya da iki kişi daha al ki, söylenen her şey iki ya da üç tanığın sözüyle doğrulansın. 17 Onları da dinlemezse, durumu inanlılar topluluğuna bildir. Topluluğu da dinlemezse, onu putperest ya da vergi görevlisi say.
This is self-explanatory.
I will give you a recent example:
I was concerned about someone in the church. I felt that I needed to speak to this person…I don’t know the person very well, so I wasn’t certain that the person would receive a word of concern from me, even though I’m a pastor.
So, I prayed….and I asked God, “help me to have a chance to speak with this person.”
This week, something wonderful happened: this person whom I was praying for asked me, “pastor, what do you think about….”
My response was not even as a pastor, but more as a father….others were also present, and I was so touched that they were not judgmental in my opinion, but motivated by love. We had so great a time of sharing. I told them that I would mention it this Sunday, but without mentioning names.
Step One: Go, show, and hopefully there is restoration; if not, then….
Step Two: Take someone with you, again, go, show and hopefully restore; if not, then….
Step Three: tell I t to the church, if he still refuses to listen, then set him out of the church…no communion, no ministry, no influence in people’s lives
Step 1a: go
If that’s not possible, then call…Skype or FaceTime
Email…this can get us into more trouble, though…but, it can still be rewarding…it may lead to necessary phone calls and personal meetings
Step 1b: Show
You cannot show unless you go
We are not smart enough
We are not spiritual enough
To read minds and know what we have done…or if we gave offended
Step 1c: restore…win your brother
Step 2a: go with someone
Step 2b: show with someone
Step 2c: restore with someone
Step 3: tell it to the church
Meaning, tell the leaders so we can get involved, assist and protect the church from the sins of the unrepentant sinner
I had to tell an American man in Kazakhstan to stop dating women in the church because he was inappropriate with many women
We cannot restore…we cannot win our brother if we are not willing to go and show…
What a tragedy that we who are so educated and led by the Spirit if the Living God, yet refuse to go, show and restore…
Why do I share this, today? Because as a church we need to be involved in this. Sometimes in churches, people know of a sin, but maybe the pastor doesn’t know.
Let’s be people who pray, go and show, and are willing to received those who pray, go and show to us.