Scriptures: Luke 6:31, Romans 12:9-16
Today we will study three aspects of what Jesus calls His church to be: a considerate church, a different church and an understanding church.
First we will look at what it means to be a considerate church: we are called to serve God as considerate Christians. What does considerate mean? Merriam-Webster defines it this way: marked or given to careful consideration, thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others." We are to consider how our actions affect others and the church. A considerate Christian has a vision of the greater good: they have a panoramic view of what is going on around them. They take into account how their actions effect others and do their best to help those around them succeed.
Second, the church is called to be a different church. One writer wrote: "there is virtually no difference between the average church member and person who is not a Christian. God meant for the Christian to be different, to live a different kind of life and to be on a different moral level from those who are not Christians." The church of Jesus Christ is in the world but not of the world. We must be motivated by a different force than what motivates the world: love for God and love for our neighbor. We must make sure our lives show our loyalties, our compassion, our faith, our emotions and our acts of love.
Finally the church of Jesus Christ is an understanding church: discouraged people need encouragement. They need to find a place of refuge. The only thing that overcomes guilt is God's grace. Our own hurts can be building blocks to levels of understanding which helps us to comprehend the grace of God. An understanding church is a place of mercy, truth and grace.
Are you considerate, different and understanding? Does the world know that you are a living example of the church of Jesus Christ?