Learning How to Care

 

Speaker(s): Pastor Renaldo Brown
Sermon  11758
11:00 AM on 9/29/2019

 #Fruitfulness

#Spiritual Life  

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P. Eugene Davis–

Has something ever happened in your life where it consumes your thinking? I think we all, whether
parents, school starts, kids not doing well in school or doing excellent and you are consumed.
When you are consumed, you are paralyzed. You can’t function. Normal everyday things you
just can’t do it because your mind is consumed.

Mark 5, we know the story of Mark 5. There is a man with 6,000 demons in him. He’s cutting himself and Jesus shows up and there is confrontation between the warfare. Think of the man being in bondage, being consumed all his life, not having a normal life because of what is going on. Jesus shows up and everything
changes. In Mk. 5:19-20, he said let me go with you. After Jesus healed him, he said go home to
your friends and tell them how great things the Lord has done for you and has had compassion
on you.

I was thinking about that. All the things that God has done in my life and it brought such
encouragement. Twenty-nine years ago, I found a local assembly. I came in as a teenager,
began to be built up and having my thinking corrected and value people’s lives. Because we are
consumed with details, we forget what God has done for us. Yesterday we were in the
Northeast Market and a gentlemen approached us.

I said I want to let you know how much God loves you. He said I needed that. I just had the biggest fight with my wife. His face was overwhelmed. Can we pray? He said, absolutely. I need prayer. He went up the street and 15
minutes later he came back and said I’m going home to apologize to my wife. What God can do
in a moment of time. It could have been another story. “That doesn’t happen to me.” Keep
coming to church.

This is why we love being here. We receive Sunday, Wednesday, and through the week words of encouragement to deal with situations we all face in life. If you know what has happened to my life, I can’t out give God. let’s give a great offering because of the great things God has done for us.

P. Renaldo Brown –

Good morning. Let’s all stand. You can pray with your neighbor for our pastor who is away and the message and our church. Acts 11:22-26, There is a tendency over the years in Christianity that improvement is a result of change, that we are getting better as a church, that we are getting better as Christians. Christianity is getting better because
Christianity is changing. We think change is good. And there can be change in the church.

There have been reformer movements that try to capture the passion and fire and even the results of
the first century church. These reformers try to revert back to the early form of the church – the way it worshiped, where it assembled, the words it spoke, the prayers that it used – to try and rekindle that substance of who we were 2,000 years ago to bring it back. Form does not feed substance. Substance feeds form. We can change our look and meeting place and the way we worship but is that the substance of the church? Is that the church.

The substance of the church is us. We gather by a tree or parking lot whether 2 or 2000, that’s the church. We are in
this together. We are the church. Maybe on a deeper level, who we are is defined by what is in
the church. We have a tendency to define the church by things that don’t matter. We tend to
look to the temporal things and say that’s the church. But God does not define us by the
temporal things; he defines us by the eternal things.

What is eternal about us is what matters. What is eternal about us is what lasts. What is eternal about us is what Christ came to give us. On a deeper level, what is in us more than the form of our worship is the substance of who we are, the substance of the church. There is something in us and among us planned by the Father,
promised by the Son, and lives in us, lives in the church that defines who we are. John. 14:3 Christ
said he would leave.

They walked with him for years. He said he would leave. He didn’t say we would train someone to take his place but promised to send him someone else. He would not leave them comfortless. He was worried about their comfort. He did not say I’ll leave you leaderless or loveless but comfortless. I’ll send someone in Jn 14:16 of the same quality as me He would dwell in the church in Mathew. 16:18 that I would build, so you would have comfort in the
building.

Not only give you comfort but in John. 16:13 that would guide you, that would teach you
in John 14:26 and Rom 8:14 lead you. Those early believers that gathered together in an upper
room waiting for the sent one, one that would be sent in the world to gather them, gather
them together in God in 1 Cor. 12:13. God the Spirit living and guiding and empowering us. God
the Spirit influencing the church as people would gather us eternally. Would empower us
corporately and individually.

God the Spirit that is in us the church of God. God himself is in us.
He’s in the building because he’s in us. He’s in us. I’m not looking for God. I brought God with
me. I might have forgot my Bible, but I brought God. God is with me. God is in me. God is
among us. Even when I don’t participate in his presence, I have it. I have it. God is in the church.
We are the holy of holies of God in 1 Cor. 6:19.

HE’s among us. Acts 2 those early believers they gathered together in a room like this one without the paint and light and screens. But they gathered in a room like this and the Spirit of God came in. We were gathered together with God as the church. Acts 1 We are gathered in the promise of the Spirit. In Acts 2, gathered in the
purpose of the Spirit. Acts 3 gathered in the power of the Spirit and Acts 4, gathered in the
provocation of the Spirit. Provoking.

The Holy Spirit in my life, the Holy Spirit in your life is provoking. He’s a spirit of provocation in my life. In his people, God is provoking. He’s empowering, influencing, stimulating, energizing, galvanizing, encouraging his people. God is
doing that. Acts 4 the Spirit of God was provoking in a usual way with unusual generosity. Land
was sold. Think of the process it takes to sell land. Even today it’s not an easy process. They
carried forth that process provoked by the Spirit.

Possessions were sold and given to the less fortunate in the church. Notice in Acts 4:34, they offered what was not asked. There was no offering in the first century church. No baskets passed out. People showed up ready to give.
They offered what was not asked. Only the Holy Spirit can provoke you like that. In verse 35
they offered more than can be used right away. I know there will be leftover but I’m giving it
anyway. vs. 35 they offered continually.

The Spirit in me has provoked me to continue. Among those provoked in Acts 4, nobody was named. That’s amazing. It didn’t matter who they were. You didn’t know their social status. There was no glory in the giving. The Bible does mention one person, Barnabas. He was not an apostle. He was a member of the Jerusalem church.
Barnabas, the Son of Consolation, Son of Encouragement. Provoked by the Spirit of God and
gathered unto God, Barnabas the member, the Cypriot Jew decided to care.

He decided to care. Nobody cares by accident. I made a mistake and I cared. I came to church and I was not ready
to care, and I stumbled and cared. I’m sorry. Nobody cares by accident. Caring is a planned decision. When you care in God, that is a Spirit-led planned decision. I plan to care today. Barnabas chose to care. To the glory of God he did. He was moved with compassion and generosity. He extended himself. Amazing folks come in the church and want the church to extend for them. Barnabas came into the Jerusalem church and extended himself for others. He
chose to care. Nobody is bringing that back. Revisionist aren’t bringing that back.

Let’s bring back the Acts 4 movement. Let’s sell land – we’re not doing that one. No, no. We want the
power of the Spirit. We don’t want the provocation of the Spirit. We don’t want the generosity
of the Spirit. We want to control people with the Spirit. You want him as a weapon in the house
of God, a tool in your hands. That’s not how it began. When we gather unto God spiritually, we
learn in the Spirit how to care for people that are gathered with us.

That’s not natural. How to care for those that are gathered with us. Barnabas was learning. We are learning. Spiritual
responsibility is not gifted, it’s taught. I come in the house of God and I learn that. The first
lesson in the house of God is spiritual identity. Who am I? But the second lesson is spiritual
responsibility. The capacity I have in my identity is used to build responsibility. I learn that. I
don’t know that.

In the house of God I learn how to appreciate the presence of God. I learn how
to respond to the person of God. IN the house of God I learn how to care for people in the
house of God. I learn that lesson here. I don’t just learn words to song and places…I learn that.
Barnabas was learning by the Spirit. We learn by the Spirit. Barnabas learned by the Spirit how
to care. It’s great I get advice how to fix my car in the church of God, but I need to learn how to
care.

How to live beyond myself. How to be spiritually sensitive and how to spiritually discern (1
Cor. 2:14). (1 Cor 11:29) How to discern the Body of Christ in my walk with God. All of us need a
little bit of help. In Christ, we were never designed to win alone. We are never designed to
suffer alone, overcome alone. Rom 12:15 we rejoice with others who rejoice and weep with
those who weep. Ezek. 3:14 we sit where they sit.

We are together. Spiritual encouragement. Everyone needs a little bit of help. Someone who cares enough to help. All ministry in the ministry begins right here. Whatever my ministry is, – I have an outreach to wounded fisherman
in the Philippines or to mechanics with one arm. Whatever it is, the ministry of caring begins
with me hearing from the Spirit and care. It’s not a popular message. Everyone wants someone
to care for them, but no one wants to care.

All ministry begins like this. We are motivated by the Spirit in love. Do we care enough to love and encourage someone else? We become gatherers in the house of God. Gatherers. Barnabas learned this lesson in the house of God. The Spirit gathered us together as a family and teaches us how to be gatherers in the house. We are
gathered to the house and taught how to be gatherers in the house of God. Gather. Gatherer.
First “to” and then “in.”

For Barnabas, it began financially. It may not begin financially for you.For him it did. We are all called to be gatherers in the house of God. Not just gathered to the house but in the house. We are learning this together.

Acts 4:36, Acts 9:27, gentlemen that nobody wanted in the church. He had a bad history. Don’t raise your hand but you’ve done that. You come to church and look at someone and say how did they get in here? You move
your purse a little closer. Maybe you lean in your seat the opposite direction. You see them in
the supermarket and cover yourself and walk the other way. You see them in the church and hope they don’t see you! Don’t see me. Don’t see me. Hey, I didn’t see you!

There was someone like that named Saul and Barnabas chose to care. A lot of people didn’t want Saul in
the church. Barnabas chose to care. No one else would gather Saul, Barnabas did. Coming to
Christ is an event in Jn 1:12 but walking with Christ is an experience. In this experience, God has
not called you to walk alone. Saul seems alone but he cares enough to gather him. He gave him
a spiritual push. We all need that.

We are gathered by God and gather others in God. Saul gathered him. Maybe you have been in the church and you get a little lost. Every feel like that? Every service feels like your first time. Someone said to me, I love this church, but I have no friends. But I love this church. They have been here for more than a year. Sometimes in the
house of God, you can get lost or wander in Jeremiah. 14:10. Luke 15:8, you get lost between the
cushions of the church. You get lost. Saul disappeared.

He ended up in his hometown of Baltimore! Hometown. Disappeared in Acts 9:30, He was gathered but gone. Gathered to the house of God but gone. In the house but lost. God is always gathering us. He keeps coming. He
keeps coming. When you ask him, he’s coming. When you forget to ask he’s coming. And
coming. And coming. He’s continually gathering us to his house and in his house. A gathered
Barnabas is gathering again the same person he gathered before in Acts 25. Ps 68:6 God has set
the solitary in families.

When God puts you in his family, he doesn’t abandon you. He doesn’t forget you. He doesn’t ignore you. He’s still trying to gather you. He keeps coming. He doesn’t forsake the people in his family. You may feel forsaken, but you are not forsaken. You didn’t choose this church God chose it for you. You didn’t choose this family; God chose it for you. That’s God’s decision. You may have cousins that didn’t like you, but your father didn’t give up
on you. You don’t carry their name; they carry their Father’s name.

You have his name. It’s an amazing thought, carry the name of God. Side story. When I was 11, I went to a Christian
school. My mother doesn’t remember this story. It was a school where I was a minority. Let’s
say it that way. This person kept calling me names, racial names I never heard before. I don’t
even know what it means. The way she said it, I knew it was wrong. Anger and hate in her
mouth at 11 was shocking to me, at a Christian school.

I asked my mother what such and such is. This is what she said. She kneeled down and said it’s this, but your name is that. It’s not what people call you that matters but what you answer to that defines you. It’s not what people in
the house of God call you. But it’s the name you answer to that defines your name in the house
of God. We are gatherers and we are gathered.

Acts 9 is the Barnabas that goes again in Acts 11 to gather the same person again. I’m back after you. Is it you again? It’s me. Hi, it’s Barnabas.You? Yes. Saul didn’t get lost because of sin. He wasn’t in Tarsus because of sin. Most folks are lost not because of sin. Perhaps it was carelessness (Luke 15:8). Sometimes we get careless. Vs.
25-26. Two words I want you to look at. That word “seek.” Martin Luther says this is the
greatest verse in the New Testament.

Barnabas went to seek Saul. To seek. It’s an aggressive word. It talks about the measure and the manner in which Barnabas went to gather Saul. It’s an aggressive word. It’s a word that means hunting for a criminal on a manhunt. This millennia application. You lost your cell phone. You can lose your house keys and not react. But you lose
your cell phone is like losing a child. You got like a poster, have you seen this cell phone. On the milk carton is your cell phone. Your life is there.

God can give me another kid but my whole life is my cell phone! Seek is a progressive pursuit. To beat the bushes and look high and low. Same word in Luke 2:44-45 when Christ’s parents frantically looking for Jesus. To search, hunt. To look for something that has high value to you. Gatherers look for things like that with high
value. To really beat the bushes. We have a passion for that. vs. 26. He brought him unto
Antioch. “Brought” is a gentle word.

Isaiah 40:11 when shepherd leads sheep. It’s a soft word. Word of compassion and wisdom. It gives idea of carrying someone. When you gather in the Spirit, the aggression is in the finding. When you find him, the bringing is gentle. Where are they? I’m looking for him. I can’t find him. When I find him, I’m easy with him. I’m so easy with
him. I’m easy. Most of Christianity the search is passive and when they find you they want to
aggressively grab you.

Come on. Be a Christian. Be a Christian. Barnabas, Barnabas. He was searching like crazy but when he found Saul, he said, hi. Hi. Welcome to church, Greater Grace of Antioch! Welcome. Did you get a packet? Did you meet Pastor Jason. Did you meet the entire outreach team. There’s a lot of them I know. Nice and easy. Nice and easy. Nice and easy. Gentle word. The aggression and the seeking is almost desperate. God is desperately looking
for you.

Gatherers have a desperation about them in their pursuit of people. Has God put
someone on your heart, and you can’t sleep at night. It interrupts your personal prayer. I don’t
know what is going on in their life but they’re on my heart and I’m gathering them. That’s my
family. When you find them, it’s amazing how gentle you can be. (He picked him up). I’m
carrying him in the house of God.

I can carry him. I can carry him. It’s so good. Hi, Saul. I’m Barnabas. Welcome to church. Go deeper. We can go deeper. I have to put you down to go deeper. I’ll carry you if I have to because I’m gathering you. Let me seat you at the rap session. I’ll put you at the rap session. Gentle. Let me ask you a question. How many have been in this
church five years? Raise your hands. Ten? 15 years? Why are you still here? Why did you stay?
You know what happened. Someone came. Somebody came.

Somebody came and you know what they did? They slow walked you with Jesus. They said I’ll pick you up and bring you to church. How many did that happen to? They brought you to church. They said I’ll bring you to
go deeper. Your first rap session someone brought you, sat with you, had coffee, sat right
beside you. That’s church. That’s how you gather someone. It’s not like welcome to Greater
Grace (he pushed him). No, No. You’re a new visitor. I’m not going to let them force feed you a
visitor packet. I’ll take you to the gazebo myself.

We came together. We’ll go together…. We’re gatherers. Watch Barnabas keep gathering Saul. Acts 11:26 he seeks him. He brings him. He assembles with him, serves with him, he journeys with him. It’s me and you. That’s how Saul
became a gatherer. He had a Barnabas in his life that wasn’t a bishop or pope but was a
member that said I’m with you. He was insistently gathering Saul and Saul began to gather
other people. How did you get here? Do we forget our history?

Someone slow walked you with Jesus and said I’m with you. We’re called to care. We gather to God to gather in God. That’s church. That’s how 120 became 5,000. It wasn’t just the gospel. It was gathering. That’s what
the heart of discipleship is, investment is. We learn how to gather, and when we do that as a
church, people start to grow. The Body is edified. Things start happening.

Philemon 1:21 Paul says you’ll do more than I say. The care in our church can’t be legislated from the pulpit. It has
to be motivated in the heart by the Holy Spirit. Then we do more than what is being asked.
were’ all in this together. Like it or not and nobody is left behind. If we don’t grow together,
were not going together. The Barnabas spirit. Gathered to the Lord by the H.S. of promise.
Gathering folks in the Holy Spirit.

In this room there may be a Saul. Could be. A Saul in this room
in the hometown of Baltimore, waiting to be gathered. You say, “there isn’t a P. in front of my
name.” You don’t need a “P” you need the Spirit. I can be a gatherer, an investor, a builder.
Instead of pointing out what we have in our church I can go with you and lead you. How did you
get here? Someone picked you up, did they not.

Look at you now. You’re a pillar when you used to be a pebble. What happened? Someone came and got you. You don’t have to carry them like I carry Bruce May, but you may have to. We are called to gather. God is seeking you. Father help us to be gatherers in the house of God. There’s a call on our life. Whatever my gifts are,
God has called me to care.

 

Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.