Live Like a Family
Series: How to Become a Better Church
Lesson 5: Live like a Family
Pastor Dave recently preached a sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to reread the entire three chapters. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out priorities for the disciples in their life together and in their relation to other people.
We will focus, for this lesson, on the family lifestyle that we as a church should foster among ourselves.
Matthew 5:23-24 (ESV)
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Priorities. Much in life is about priorities. What do these two verses say about priorities?
- We might be tempted to think that worship (an important part of our relationship with God) would be more important than our relationship with our fellow church members. How does this passage turn that thinking on its head? Does it surprise you?
- What is involved in reconciliation? Why is it so important?
- Do you have a church brother or sisters with whom you need to reconcile? What is blocking reconciliation?
- It’s easy to make excuses to put such things off. How can you get past the excuses and get it done?
Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
- It is easier to see “other people’s problems” than it is to see my own. It is also easier for them to see mine. This mismatch leads to a lot of misunderstandings. Who is going to take the first step to resolve and reconcile this relationship?
- This is one of those humorous pictures that really isn’t funny when you get to the heart of it. Can you see the sad side of it? If not, could that possibly mean that you have a log in your eye?
- Let’s extend the picture: we probably each have six or seven logs in our eyes. Where do we start?
- How can there be unity and love when we all have eyes filled with logs? Who is going to start to fix things? How are you going to start? How are you going to carry through?
- How do you like being called a hypocrite? I don’t like it, but I have to admit that I have committed plenty of hypocrisy, many times by complaining about others while ignoring my own sin or stupidity. “Hypocrite” is strong, strong language. And true. How can we go about improving our hypocrisy score? How does our hypocrisy affect others?
It is vitally important to the life of our church that we do better when it comes to our internal relationships. No one wants to hang around with folks who don’t trust one another, who don’t like one another, and who treat one another as inferior.
This is not an add-on to the Christian life. Sometimes we get the idea that mostly we are just to believe in Jesus and these other things are less important. These passages from Jesus’s sermon show how wrong that thinking is.
We are family. I got all my sisters with me. (Sing along.)
- Start repairing a relationship. If it needs a little repair, get it done. If it needs a big repair, get started. Be the person who will take the first step.
- Start the painful process of self-examination. Don’t beat yourself up, but look for ways you could do better as a brother or sister.
- Look for hypocrisy in yourself. Where are those areas where you might criticize others and let yourself off the hook?
- When something challenges you, maybe in a Sunday morning sermon, apply it to yourself rather than someone you know who needs it more than you.