Pastor Shepard's most recent Sermon

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Consider one another

"To consider one another" is when we charitably observe our brothers/sisters tempers, circumstances, infirmities, and temptations that we may excite and encourage them to love and good works. To take time and to give attention to their needs, their weaknesses, their faults, as to encourage, not to discourage to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).
In my 25 years as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I can sadly confess that this has been, without doubt, a very rare jewel amongst the majority of professing believers. Myself included. And yet, this work of grace is so very vital, not only for the spiritual strength and happiness of the individual believer, but also for the advancement and proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The mutual care, love and responsibilty we as believers owe to one another, is a true work of grace and requires much self sacrifice and humility. Much of our spiritual strength, perseverance and comfort are greatly dependent upon the cultivation of this rare jewel amongst one another as believers. I am not speaking of that "outward show or appearance of fellowship" which is so evident when Christians gather together. But, that inward work of grace which alone can excite the heart of the believer to earnestly "consider" his brother or sister in hopes of encouraging and strengthening them if they fall, or are weak or even under a burden of guilt and sin. This compassionate spirit does not come natural, but is a true work of grace by the Spirit of God. We can, to some degree, copy or imitate this spirit at times, but the true quality and genuineness of this rare jewel is seen when we are willing to sacrifice our time, self and own interests to aid a failing or weak brother or sister.
The spiritual bond which exists between believers, because of our spiritual union with Christ, is greatly strengthened and made more intimate by our interceding on each others behalf. Physical fellowship is very important for our mutual faith and comfort, but there is an special intimacy created between the believers when we pour out our hearts before God for one another, unlike that of any physical fellowship. An intimacy and bond which strengthens our love, compassion and care for one another. Believers who intercede for one another only occasionally or superficially know nothing of this intimacy and will lack in the love, care and compassion which imitates that of Christ for us ("love one another as I have loved you."). This rare jewel preserves the unity and bond between believers through the most difficult and trying times. And, enables us to forgive and reconcile our differences quicker and with more grace and compassion. When we invest our time, effort, energy and heart in "considering one another", our desire for peace, fellowship and love amongst one another, as believers, is greatly enhanced. And "esteeming others better than ourselves" becomes a delight and our highest desire for our brethren.