Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Countdown to Rekindle 2012

4 days until Rekindle!!!

Rekindle 2011: Session 3 - Stand Together by Mickey Connolly

We must stand together or our lives will fall apart.
  • The Passages
    • Hebrews 3:1-19
      • vs 1-6 - Jesus and Moses contrasted
      • vs 7-11 - an example from the wilderness generation
      • vs 12 - a sobering warning
      • vs 13 - practical help
Exhort = to strongly encourage or urge someone to do something. (To charge, entreat, implore, beg) The deceitfulness of sin is fast acting. We need other Christians in our lives that will exhort us in our Christian walk every day. We cannot afford not to have people come along side us. The potential for deception multiplies in isolation.
    • Hebrews 10:24-25
Donald Guthrie (Hebrews, 216) - "The New Testament lends no support to the idea of lone Christians. Close and regular fellowship with other believers is not just a nice idea, but an absolute necessity for the encouragement of Christian values."
  • Application
    • Fellowship with many and Accountability with a few
      • Fellowship
        • C.J. Mahaney defines fellowship as "The communication of our current relationship with and experience of God Himself."
        • The purpose of this communication is to better know the Lord, to protect us against sin, to inspire us to human service.
        • These people should speak the truth who have the right to examine your life and confront you.
        • Don't hide in a crowd (don't be Waldo)
        • Close friendships are important
      • Accountability
        • Be accountable to others because one day we will have to give an account to God.
        • Accountability does no good if you aren't honest and open.
Chuck Swindoll - "Accountability includes opening one's life to a few carefully selected, trusted, individual confidants who speak the truth, who have the right to examine, to question, to approve, and to give counsel."
    • Together with the Church
John Stott - "The value of the small group is that, it can become a community of related persons and in it the benefit of relatedness cannot be missed nor its challenge evaded. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say, therefore, that small groups...are indispensable for our growth into spiritual maturity."
Jim Durkin - "Neither individual Christians nor the church corporately can come to full maturity without enduring committed relationships among Christians and the atmosphere of care, support and encouragement that these relationships produce."
    • Together with a Few Close Friends
      • The importance of personal devotion - 1 John 1:1-3
J.I. Packer - "Fellowship with God is the source from which fellowship among Christians springs; and fellowship with God is the end to which Christian fellowship is a means. We should not, therefore, think of our fellowship with other Christians as a spiritual luxury, an optional addition to the exercises of private devotion. We should recognize rather that such fellowship is a spiritual necessity; for God has made us in such a way that our fellowship with himself is fed by our fellowship with fellow Christians, and requires to be fed constantly for its own deepening and enrichment."
C.S. Lewis - "Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers."
      • The importance of friends - Proverbs 18:24, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:17
Jack Hayford - "One of the chief scalpels that God has chosen for shaping us into His image is the dynamic of personal friendships."
J.C. Ryle (Thoughts for young Men, p. 59) - "Good friends are among our greatest blessings - they may keep us back from much evil, quicken us in our course, speak a word in season, draw us upward and draw us on."
J.C.Ryle - "Never be satisfied with the friendship of anyone who will not be useful to your soul. Believe me the importance of this advice cannot be overrated...I dwell more upon this point, because it has more to do with your well-being in life than at first sight appears...Do you ask me what kind of friends you shall choose? Choose friends who will benefit your soul, friends whom you can really respect, friends whom you would like to have near you on your death bed; friends who love the Bible and are not afraid to speak to you about it, friends that you will not be ashamed of acknowledging at the coming of Christ and the day of judgment."
        • Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
          • Good reward for toil
          • Lift up after a fall
          • Can't be overpowered
        • A Word to Men in Particular
          • Men tend to not have friends when they are self absorbed, self-sufficient or self defensive
Kent Hughes - "[Men suffer from the] delusion that real men do not need other people. Tragically, those who think this way rob themselves, their wives, their children, and the Church because they will never be all God wants them to be."
Jack Hayford - "Please believe this: The Bible shows that a man who would become the maximum person God can cause him to become is a man who discovers the power and blessing of partnership with other men!"
    • The Importance of Purposefulness with Friends
      • Honesty - A simple commitment that makes this work...
Bill Hybels - "The basic requirement of authentic relationships: honesty. Learning how to tell others the truth is the basis of genuine relationships."
        • Open ourselves up to others to reveal who we really are so that others can truly know us and to resist any impulses to hide or pretend to be something or someone we are not.
        • Express and hear correction and constructive criticism so we can help one another grow.
        • Bless others through praise, encouragement, thanks, and other expressions of love and regard.
        • Live free of hypocrisy, being on the outside what we are on the inside and being in public what we are in private.
      • Some simple questions to get things going...
        • What are you learning about the Lord?
        • What are you struggling with?
          • Sins?
          • Temptations?
          • Situations
Terry Virgo - "Confrontation can be very difficult, and many avoid it. But what wasted time could be redeemed in our lives if faithful friends started telling us some truths about ourselves."
          • What are you excited about, looking forward to in the Lord?
          • A good way to end - Taking some time to pray together.
  • Application questions
    • If I was completely honest with myself, I would rate my experience of biblical fellowship as _____________. Why is this the case?
    • Who are my biblical friends? How could I improve my level of fellowship with them?
    • With whom should I pursue an accountable relationship?

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