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We recently got our boiler and our home’s heating system replaced. It’s been a revelation because the house is suddenly so much warmer. In fact, it often feels nearly Californian. The added insulation has also contributed to the warmth. It’s amazing what clearing out the heating system and adding insulation can do for an existing system. One of our radiators used to be cold at the bottom, but now it’s totally radiating heat perfectly!

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul encourages the believers at the church in Thessalonica: “Care for those working among you, warn the idle, help the weak, encourage the disheartened, be patient, strive to do good to one another.” It’s almost as if he’s helping the church understand how to keep each other ‘running’ properly by caring for one another. For the person who’s cold at the bottom, encourage them. Help them flush out the sludge in their heart. Pray for one another. And pretty soon the heating system is up again. And a church whose heart once felt barren and cold is now working properly again, with the love of God warming one another.

Now that the radiators in my house are all working properly, I’ve discovered a side-effect to a warm house. I completely forget how cold it is outside. And so when I leave the house, I discover that I’m significantly underdressed. I need to run back in and get a sweater, a scarf, and gloves. Actually, it’s getting the point where I don’t even want to leave the house. I’d much rather stay indoors where it’s nice and warm and safe.

And that is what happens to us as a church as well. Once we get the heating system of our lives in place with God and our love is encouraging one another and building each other up, we lose sight of our calling. We forget that the church, the body of Christ, is a gift. It is a unity put together by faith in Him.

But our calling, the reason we are here, is to be Christ’s disciples. His ambassadors. There needs to be the reality of Mark 6:6-13 in our lives. We, as Christ’s disciples, have been given power and authority to manifest his love in people’s lives. It is the natural expression of the church.

I often just want to stay where it’s nice and safe and warm. But am I becoming fat and lazy?

God, let our hearts be full of the calling you’ve placed in us.
That we live lives full of the your Spirit in us. Brothers and sisters building one another up in the church. Brothers and sisters loving this world as we love ourselves.
Let this our lives, your church, be a beautiful love song to you.

These were some thoughts from the first in our series Church The message is available here.
We also were treated to a fantastic and personal sharing from Cher Hui.
There is also an accompanying Bible Study available on 1 Thessalonians.

Other messages and studies are available on theSunday messages page.

Posted in 2011 Love Beyond, Sunday Service and tagged .