We are a Burger King Nation – always wanting it our way. When I say “we” I mean “I” always want it my way. I pursue my preferences more than I seek after God’s will and it is the Death of Support in the Church.
This series on Praying for our Church has taken me in a direction I didn’t see coming… God’s funny that way!
God cares that we support each other!
Support in the English means – endure bravely, hold up, keep from yielding, losing courage, to keep (something) going.
How do we Hold To, Endure and Keep something going?
- We need strong Faith – which comes from regular time in the Bible.
- Daily time in Prayer.
- Are you praying specifically, powerfully, strategically – EVERY DAY?
- And if that prayer life is cold (like mine was) are you asking God to shine His light to reveal areas where you may have sin? That’s no fun… but man do things change when that sin is handled!
- We must Understand, Pray for and Embrace Biblical Support.
Let’s look at 50 Verses to Pray for Growing Support in the Church Biblically
In Exodus 17:12 we see that Moses’ was doing what God called him to do but grew physically tired. Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. This is a physical support but also an emotional support – he wasn’t alone as he obeyed God.
Hebrews 6:10 implies that we will be busy in ministering to the Saints – not always ministering to our own preferences. (Man that one stepped on my toes!)
God calls us to Love – to love like nothing else the world has seen. 1 Peter 4:8-10 shows us that that love is what compels us to Support each other.
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
There are so many points in this passage.
- We will do things that drive each other crazy – but Love can cover that
- There are special gifts that are needed as we serve – so we need to stick together and be good stewards!
- It will be tempting to complain – but love is hospitable instead
- When we complain we sow seeds of division and kill support in the Church.
- There is a time and a place to voice disagreements
- Most of the time I don’t do this right. That is called gossip and slander – just some sin God is showing me in my life.
Support through Words
We need to use our words to Support others – not tear them down.
I love the example in Acts 15:32 of preaching encouragement to the brethren! I need encouragement often. So does the rest of the Body… But Y’all, so do our leaders! Criticism far outweighs the encouragement they receive.
Here are some Ideas about how to encourage Pastors and Pastors Wives!
Ephesians 4:29 is a verse I strive to memorize… whew it is a serious sermon about how we should use our words!
Some more proof God wants godly words can be found :Proverbs 10:11, Proverbs 25:11, Proverbs 12:25
But How Do we keep our words supportive?
Y’all know I believe we need to eat, sleep and breath Philippians 4:8. I’ve done a detailed word study through all 8 Whatever’s- click the words to see how to apply it!
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
Support through gathering together
It is very easy to step back and out of the Church when things get hard. The harder things get the easier it is to justify leaving, finding a place “I fit in better”, “that’s more in line with my thoughts (preferences)” etc. Believe me, I’m not judging, just being painfully honest. I’ve been on that side of the fence several times in my life as Church life get’s hard (and it does because we are flawed humans).
Are there area’s where you’ve been hurt by the church? Have you fully forgiven those things? Forgiveness is hard, but when we ignore the thing it takes root and grows Bitterness and Resentment into our hearts.
I spent years living in that bitterness until God Showed me a Pathway to Forgiveness.
Can I share that story with you?
We leave churches the way we change hand bags. When we leave – for the wrong reasons – we hurt ourselves, the body and the lost world looking on.
When we stay – supportively pressing into God thorugh the hard – we grow, the body grows and the lost world sees something worth investigating.
It’s funny, every time we’ve struggled with a choice our church made we stopped tithing… But God’s word tells us to give.
Tithing is a gift to God – put in His hands to use as He pleases. Yet, I hold tight to that control… Yet another area of sin God is showing me. There are so many verses here I’m just going to list a few for thought.
I love these Old Testament examples of Providing for the Work of God! 2 kings 4:10; 2 Kings 4:8-10; Ezekiel 44:30
Support through serving
The last area I see clear Biblical precedent in is Service. The church is oven run by about 20% of the congregation the tell us. That means the same weary burned out servant hearted folks are doing everything there is to be done…
Matthew 9:35-38 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
8 out of 10 people do not serve anywhere in the church.
How is that possible?
Well, we don’t always know where or how to serve. Then there’s the issue of starting to serve somewhere and not being able to get out of it if it is a bad fit. But that wouldn’t be so bad if there were more workers.
The thing is, we are told to serve. God gave us gifts, talents and abilities that make the church function like a body. When part of the body doesn’t show up to do it’s job everything else struggles…
Which area do you struggle most with showing Support? Will you join me in praying that We the Body of Christ – the Living Church – would become more supportive? Click here to download the verses to pray!