Shawn Dean – 2020-08-12 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Love Your Brother
Romans 14:13-19
June 10, 2020

The title of the message this evening is, love your brother. I want to talk about the fabric of our nation is being torn apart right now, and I want to see what scripture has to see about that for believers. Lastly, ask God’s blessing and then look to his word tonight, Father, thank you so much for your word that you send with power and you use it in our lives. God, oh, what a day in which we are living and the urgency of the hour is upon us. I pray that right now, God, that we will just open our heart to the Holy Spirit. We will open our heart to your word and that you would use it in our lives, in Jesus’ name, and everyone say it, Amen and Amen.

I’ve been on vacation for a little bit, and while I’ve been gone, there has been a lot that’s happened in the world. A lot of changes in the world. It seems like the world’ s on fire. Not only do we have this COVID-19 pandemic still impacting the world, but now we’ve witnessed a tragedy. I think all of us have witnessed the tragedy of seeing an unarmed black man killed by four white police officers, and the nation is now grieving. The nation is facing a day of reckoning, but I tell you what, this is the time now for Christians to lead.

See this nation is being torn apart. The fabric of our nation is being torn and the nation needs healing. I’m convinced that that healing should come from those two know peace and know where peace comes from. In other words, we need revival. The answer is God. The answer is Jesus Christ. We need revival. See, here’s what I’m convinced of, changed people change the world. Change must come through peace. I’d tell you anger begets anger. Scripture says anger begets anger. Therefore, violence begets violence.

Now, before I go further, I do want to address this phrase that no doubt you have seen in the news, oftentimes, read it on social media and various places. The phrase, black lives matter. Now, oftentimes, when people hear that phrase, black lives matter, oftentimes, I’ve seen it or heard people respond by saying, “Whoa, Hey, all lives matter.” I want to explain why that phrase is defensive. It’s not the right response when you hear that phrase, black lives matter. First of all, I think it’s important to distinguish between the phrase, black lives matter, and the organization, because the phrase, the concept that black lives matter is right, it’s correct.

Black lives absolutely matter, but there’s also an organization by that name that believes in militancy and violence to accomplish their goals, which I do not believe in. Violence is not the answer. Martin Luther King, I think in many of his features, made a very abundantly clear, it’s not the way to change the world. Violence is not the answer. Therefore, I think it’s important that we distinguish between the phrase black lives matter, which they absolutely do, and the organization.

Now, the reason that the phrase all lives matter is not a good response when people say black lives matter, that’s not a good response because it misses the point. Actually, it’s a logical fallacy. I don’t know if you’re into logical fallacies or not. I think it’s very important actually that we think logically, reasonably, God says, “Come let us reason together.” I used to teach a class some years ago in the church called Logic in The Christian Faith. I think that God is straightforwardly reasonable, and therefore, when we defend the faith, when we speak of Christian ideas, they should be reasonable. They should be filled with good reason and logic.

And so, this idea of answering black lives matter with the phrase all lives matter is the logical fallacy. Here, let me explain it. The error, the fallacy is in the hearer, is in the listener. Let me give you an example. If I say the phrase, “Oh, you look nice today.” Then you respond by saying, “What? You don’t think I looked nice yesterday?” That is a perfect example of a fallacy of hearing. You did not hear what I said. You missed the point of what I said. The same is true when people use the phrase, all lives matter as a response to black lives matter, it misses the point.

Let me say this. If we change the phrase black lives matter by adding one word, I’m convinced, if we just simply added one word, that everyone would agree with it. If we heard the phrase black lives also matter, absolutely, I think everyone, with a heart of reason would agree. See, to that phrase, black lives also matter, you would not respond to that by saying, “Whoa, hey, all lives matter.” No. What you would say was, “You’re correct. Black lives also matter. They should be given the same value, and respect, and honor as everyone else.” To which every Christian should say Amen and Amen to that.

See, racism is an issue. Racism is an issue in our nation and I tell you, Christians should lead in the solution. The answer is found in revival. The answer is found in the transformation that comes from Christians who follow the example of Christ’s love to the world. See, when you offer your life as a living sacrifice, when you come to God, God transforms you, but how does God do that? I’m convinced that God transforms believers by changing the way that they think by the renewing of their mind.

See, here’s my point, when you come to Christ, you come to Christ out of the world. Well, the thing is, when you come out of the world, a lot of people bring a lot of the world with them, they bring a lot of the world with them, and that’s what God wants to transform. The way that you’ve used to think, the way that you’re used to process, the way the world processes things, that’s what God can transform, and God transforms it by making new the mind after the heart of God.

See, the best way to have good Godly sound judgment is to have a plumb line by which you can compare the way you think to that, which is true to plumb, you might say. The plumb line, in case you’re not familiar with that phrase, it’s actually commonly used in construction even today, but it was commonly used, even in biblical times. If they were going to build a wall, you want to build that wall straight. What they would do is they would take a line and tie something heavy to the bottom of that, and then fix it to some high point, and then that line is straight and true.

When you build your wall, you build your wall right next to that line that is straight and true, the plumb line, and then your wall is straight because it’s built right next to the straight plumb line. Now here’s the illustration, God’s word is that plumb line. It’s that truth that God gives. You build your life next to that. You align your thinking, your mind, the way you process through it, and you do it right next to the plumb line of God, and it will keep your life straight and true.

Now, this is a very important thing. Christ himself is that plumb line of God, and we need to build our faith so that we compare our thoughts and our hearts to the ways of Christ. How would Christ have us to think today? How would he have us to be an example to the world today? See, when God says he transforms us by the renewing of mind, it suggests change, it suggests something’s got to change. See, it suggests that our minds need to be made new, old thoughts, old ways, got to go. There’s the rub. There’s the rub.

Many people are set in their ways. They don’t like to change, they don’t want to let go of their old way of thinking. They don’t want to let go of their old methods, you might say. You know what’s amazing to me? Let me just be very open with you. What’s amazing to me is when believers in Jesus tries to believe in the word, will not take the principles of the word and apply those into their thinking, their lives, their communications. Then when I see things on social media, for example, where Christians are becoming part of the problem through the statements that they make that are quite offensive.

God does not want believers being part of the problem by being so divisive. We must be people of peace. God’s word is that plumb line. He gives us the standard by which we must live. See, when God says he transforms our mind, it suggests that our minds need to be transformed. It suggests that our mind needs to be made new. We must let go of the old ways of thinking that are in the world, very much in the world.

Paul likens that, he says, to looking in a mirror. When you look in a mirror, it shows you yourself. God’s word is like that. God’s word is a mirror. Look into that word of God and see if there’s something in you. As I must look at the word and see if there’s anything in me. That’s why James 1:23-24. He writes it this way, “If anyone is a hearer of the word but not a doer, he’s like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, but then once he’s looked at his face and then he just simply goes away.” In other words, he looks in the mirror and he sees that there is something a mess with his face, his life, whatever, but he just immediately leaves and he immediately has forgotten what kind of person he was.

The scripture is that word of God that should show us ourselves. If there’s something that needs to change, then it needs to change. The Holy Spirit will go after those things. I’ll tell you what, in the times in which we’re living, that’s what we need to do right now. Look in the mirror. We need to look in the mirror and make sure that we are part of the solution. We need to be part of the peace. We need to be part of respect and honor to one another. See, what’s happening in the world right now is tearing the fabric of our nation. We need to be leading with peace.

I. Walk According to Love

The two greatest commandments that God has ever given, first highest foremost of all that God has ever said, “Love the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, with all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” If you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the second commandment which is like it will be fulfilled in your life, which is to love your neighbor as yourself. See, it starts with that. When your relationship to God is right, when there’s peace with your relationship to God, then you can have peace with your brother. Then you can look this way. Love your brother.

This chapter in Romans 14, it’s about how to honor God with how you live your life in your everyday living. “Whatever you do,” he says in this chapter, “Whatever you do, do it by faith. Whatever you do, do it to honor God. Do it,” however he says, “also by loving your brother.” Each of us has to give an account of how we lived our lives. Each of us has to give an account of whether we took our faith and lived it. Make sure that you’re not just a hearer of the word and not also a doer of the word. If you’re a hearer of the word, then take the word and then start to do it. Live by it. It should change how we are interacting on social media, for example.

See, how can we not respect our brother if you have love after God in your heart? See, we need more grace. We need more grace. We need to respect and honor one another. Make sure, he says, never hold a brother with contempt because you’re going to have to give an account of yourself to God. That person must give an account of himself, but as for you and me, we got to give an account of ourselves. You have convictions. He says you have convictions by faith. Great. Don’t look at others with contempt who don’t have the identical conviction. Make sure you love your brother.

All right. That’s what I want to say. That’s all the introduction, by the way. That’s probably the longest introduction I’ve ever given, but Romans 14, I want to begin in verse 13 and just read a few of these verses, and see how they apply to our lives, because this was what was happening in Paul’s day. There was division and strife, and enmity, and all kinds of things, and so he’s trying to bring to them a word of God to them. Here we are, Romans 14, we’ll begin in verse 13. “Therefore, let us not judge one another, but rather, determine this, do not put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and I’m convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean to itself.”

He speaks about an issue that was a problem then, “But to him he thinks anything to be unclean, to him, it’s unclean. For if because of food,” as he just uses this as an example, he’s going to talk about how to love your brother, how to respect your brother. “If because of food your brother is offended or hurt, then you are not walking according to love. Do not destroy with your freedom him for whom Christ died. Therefore, do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but it’s righteous, is peace, and is joy in the Holy Spirit,” that we want to drive into.

The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Verse 18, “For he who in this way serves Christ.” Okay. What a great word. “For he who in this way—” You are serving Christ. Do it for the name of the Lord. “Is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then,” verse 19, “let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up.” The building up, the edifying, the building up of one another. All right. Let’s go through these verses. I want us to begin with this, this principle of God’s word, let’s build on these principles starting with this, walk according to love.

A. Don’t offend your brother

How you live your life, make sure that you are walking according to love. It’s a guiding principle. It’s a principle of God’s word. He uses food as an example. It was relevant at that time, but it’s important to recognize. He said, “Make sure that you walk according to love. Do not offend your brother.” In other words, be thoughtful. Be thinking about your brother. How does your brother feel? How does your brother see this thing? That’s the key. When you go to Israel today, there’s a lot of sensitivity about food. A lot of people get offended in Israel today. They don’t eat meat with milk. Okay. There’s a scriptural reason.

When you also do the same, you’re doing it out of respect. They don’t eat pork. Then you should do the same out of respect. We don’t do those things while we’re there because we don’t want to offend. We want to respect. We want to feel that respect because of what they are experiencing. This is the key, that empathy. See, John 13:35, “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Let me repeat that. John 13:35, “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples.” “That’s how they know you are my disciples,” Jesus said, “If you have love for one another.” Love means seeing it the way your brother sees it. Trying to see it through his eyes.

Now, let me give you an example because I think we’re living in a day where we need to speak very clearly about racism. It’s very important that we understand. See, when a black person dies at the hands of white police, there is a hurt that the black community feels. There’s a sense of grief that they share. That could be me. Now, here’s the thing, a lot of people, a lot of white people don’t have that fear and so they don’t have the empathy. To which I say, then we need to listen. We need to have empathy. We need to see that there’s the hurt that it goes across. Many feel that hurt.
“I don’t feel,” then you need to feel. That’s what empathy is, that’s what understanding, that’s what listening is. See, many, and I’m being very open and very bold here, I think most people that I know, most white people that I know, they’re respectful, they’re honoring and they find their black brother worthy. That’s wonderful, wonderful, but I think that there’s an element in our society that is clearly and definitely racist.

Therefore, because most, our brothers, are respectful, they don’t see that element. They go about their lives with respect and honor. They don’t see that element, but all it takes is for a black person to experience it, just a little, and they will have experienced something that you have not experienced if you’re white. That is where we need to see it. We need to see it with compassion. I’m going to give you an illustration, there was a young man in our church who was at a job working in the parking lot of a, I won’t mention where, in the parking lot of a store and a car drives by with some young white men yelling racial epithets, racial slurs.

This young man, young black man comes home crying, “What did I do to deserve this?” Now, here’s the thing, white people don’t experience that. We go about our lives, we don’t experience that. There should be in us a collective anger. When you hear of such a thing like this, there needs to be a collective anger over things like that. That’s offensive and that’s where love your brother comes down to a very practical application, because this is happening in our community right here.

I’m the head of the Ministry of Association in this community, and I have had it on my heart for many years that Christians need to be leading in this area of racial reconciliation and peace. I organized some lunches where some pastors from our area could gather together with some pastors from the black community, and have lunch together, and hear one another’s stories. To me, that’s the key, let’s listen, let’s hear each other’s stories, let’s hear each other’s lives and let’s serve one another. See, that’s to me is the example of Christ.

There’s another occasion where some of the men here, we took some of our guys, we went to a black church in Portland, and we brought the things, and we cooked breakfast, we served breakfast, we wanted to serve them and just talk with them, meet with them, have relationship. Then, okay, this was the cool thing, and then a few weeks later, some of their guys came out here, cooked breakfast for us and we served one another. Their worship team came, led us in worship, we heard their stories. This is coming to hear, to listen to each other.

Back to my story, I had organized some of these lunches with some of the black pastors from Portland and during the lunch, we had the opportunity for each person to stand up and say what was on their heart, and it was very moving, very moving for me. It was so good to hear their stories. I needed to hear their stories. For example, one man, one pastor stood up, and he stood up and he started his little talk by saying this, “I’m from Atlanta,” and then he just let that ring. “I’m from Atlanta,” and he said, “Never in my life did I think I would be at a lunch like this sitting here with these white pastors having this conversation.”

He said, “This is beautiful.” It’s like I want to start crying. Another the pastor stood up and he said, “This is good. This is good.” He said, “I will tell you something. This is good because it helps me to know you.” He said, “Honestly, I didn’t want to come to your community. I didn’t want to drive to your community because I didn’t feel safe, but getting to know you, it’s healing to my heart,” and I’m telling you what, I’m just sitting there thinking, “God is moving now. This is the Holy Spirit kneading our hearts. This is good.” This is what we need. Love your brother.

See, John 13:35, “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Then, we’re still in Romans 14, then he gives us this principle, “Don’t offend your brother.” See, we need more grace. We need more grace. Don’t look at others with any kind of judgment in your heart. Extend grace, don’t put a stumbling block in your brother’s way. See, when you have empathy, when you see from your brother’s view, see, it’s important, see, because he’s speaking of you edify your brother.

Here’s an example, different application to it, but some years ago, my wife was teaching a class, it was a class to women, and she was addressing as part of this class, she was speaking to the importance of Christian women dressing modestly in their appearance. One of the women in the class did not appreciate this and said, “Hey, if a man has trouble with his eyes, that’s his problem.” Well, that may be true, but the question is not whether you have the liberty in Christ to dress as you wish. The question is, whether it edifies your brother, that’s the question.

Whatever you do, here’s a principle to guide you in your processing of it, does it edify your brother? See, because that’s what he tells us. See, verse 19, “Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Or how about 1st Corinthians 8:9, “Take care, take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” See, always be thoughtful about your brother. Then Paul brings up food because that was an issue.

See, if by faith, you have freedom doing all things, but don’t flaunt your Christian liberty, respect. This is the point, you can apply it, respect others who by faith, maybe they have more restrictions. In Paul’s day, now, this was an issue in Paul’s day, we have to apply the principles to every day, every age. In Paul’s day, you could get a great discount on meat by buying meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul knew that idols were nothing and they meant nothing, but this became a big issue amongst Christian believers and it became divisive.

1 Corinthians 10:25 and 28 says, “Eat anything that’s sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience sake, but if anyone says to you, “Hey, this meat was sacrificed to idols,” don’t eat it for the sake of the conscience of the one who informed you.” What is he saying? Be thoughtful about your brother. Think through your brother’s perspective. Then I think we can add this also, principle, don’t be easily offended. Paul says in our Christian maturity, “Do not offend your brother, but in the same way, do not easily take offense. Judging and holding others in contempt goes both ways.”

B. Don’t be easily offended

See, it’s easy to have contempt for those who have more restrictions in their lives and to judge those who don’t. God wants you, me, to have maturity of faith so that we are thoughtful, don’t offend your brother. See, our maturity of faith should cause us to not be easily offended also. Don’t be offended. That’s small things. That’s where hurt comes from. People will take so many things personally and they become divisive over it. I remember, a number of years ago when we were remodeling and adding on to the building, and we were in the process of painting here in the sanctuary. Many of you know we had painted the whole ceiling area black.

One day as we’re getting ready for service, someone was standing in the back, a lady, and so I stood next to her. She’s looking at the paint and the paint colors and I said, “Oh, what do you think? Oh, you’re going to love it. What do you think?” She said, “You really want to know?” Well, at that point, no, I actually didn’t want to know, but now I’m already into it, so I got to, “Okay. Yes, sure, yes.” She says, “Black? Black? You painted the ceiling black, the color of evil?” I said, “Really?” What had happened was what, she took offense, she took offense, really? Over the color of the ceiling?

Forgive me if I gave the wrong response but I said, “Do you know any churches that have the colors that really bless you?” She says, “I can name a few, yes.” I said, “Well, you might want to check them churches out.” [chuckles] Mic drop. Now, don’t be easily offended. See, the reason that taking offense is displeasing to God is that it’s destructive to relationships. Families, friendships, churches have been divided by people taking offense when no offense was needed to be taken. Proverbs 17:9, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats the matter separates friends.” Or Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

Overlook the weaknesses. Overlook the things that you see in others that are imperfections. It’s important to see. I mentioned some time ago, I’ve mentioned before that I don’t drink alcohol. No, I don’t see a particular restriction in scripture against the alcohol, although the scriptures says do not be drunk with wine. I do not drink as a way of honoring those who are struggling in that area. I’ve also come to realize that I do it for personal reasons. Alcohol has hurt people that I love, and therefore, I have little regard for it. It’s made for some interesting examples.
Many years ago when I was a youth leader, a couple from church had us over for dinner, and without asking me, put alcohol in my drink, in my soda. As soon as I sipped it, I knew right away that wasn’t coke. Well, it was coke, but there was other stuff in it. What did I do? Discretion said, “Overlook the offense. Overlook the offense.” I casually without making any scene of it, chatted my way into the kitchen, where I poured it out and moved about my day. Don’t take offense. Some people become a offended as a way of getting others to do what they want.

II. Pursue the Things which Make for Peace

I remember many years ago, a fellow in the church who made much to do about his maturity in Christ, but then wrote me a letter about how many things offended him in the church. Me think if you protested too much, was my answer. He says this principle in Romans 14, “Pursue the things which make for peace.” We need to be people of peace. The key word here is pursue the thing. Pursue it. It means, make effort. It’s important. Pursue with all diligence the things that make for peace. This is about loving your brother. It comes out of that relationship.

God values people. He wants us to respect one another. Romans 12:17-18, “Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible,” see, here’s a great principle, “if possible, so far as it depends on you, you be at peace with all men.” Respect what is right. Be respectful. It’s about loving your brother. It comes out of our relationship to God. God values people. See, that’s why he says in Romans 14, “This is acceptable to God and it is approved by men. This is acceptable by God, and it is approved by men. The kingdom of God,” he says, “is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

A. This is acceptable to God and approved by men

God is pleased when you pursue those things. Be careful that you pursue the things which make for peace. Pursue these things, righteousness, because we are not made acceptable to God by the keeping of law, we are made righteous by God himself who gave to us the righteousness of Christ as a gift. Therefore, you live by that gift. God gave you his righteousness as a gift. Now, live by that righteousness that he gave to you. It should guide you in how you interact, how you move, how you write on social media, for example.

He says, “It’s peace.” This is acceptable to God, pursue them things which make for peace. “My peace I give to you,” Jesus said. There is a calm confidence in Christ that’s unflappable, undisturbed by the irritations of the world. There’s the peace that resides that comes from God himself. It comes from faith. Then he says, and then what comes out of it is joy because joy comes from a delight that finds purpose and meaning in life. Joy comes not because of the circumstances, but because of who we are in Christ. Don’t lose your joy over the conflicts of life.

Things that are happening in the world are very disturbing, and they should draw us, drive us to our knees, and they should drive us into the presence of the living God, where we find peace and joy. There we can lead Christians God to lead now. Paul says that he serves Christ in this way. “He who serves Christ in this way is approved by men.” What he means by that is that you are respected by men. Christians, arise now. Now is the day to arise. Be an example. Be an example of respect. Be an example of treating a brother worthy. He says, “People will recognize the worth of the one who stands rightly. It’s approved by men,” he says.

There is something desirable in people that are peacemakers. There’s something respectable in people that are peacemakers. When you speak about what’s happening in the world now, be a peacemaker, be a respect giver. It’s very important to see. That’s why he then adds, “Pursue the things that build up. Pursue building up one another. Edify.” That’s what it means. Build up. Don’t tear down. I’ll tell you what, there is so much tearing down right now in the world. I’ve never seen the world like it is now.There’s so much divisiveness and tearing down, attacking. It seems like if somebody doesn’t hold the exact same opinion as another person, that they begin to attack and tear down. That’s not God’s heart.

B. Pursue building up one another

Pursue the building up. Seek for ways to edify. When you build your life next to the plumb line of God, that’s my point. See, when you build your life next to the plumb line of God, that’s the life that he desires you to build. Build up, edify, bless, speak words of peace, speak words that edify. Ephesians 4:29, one of my favorite verses, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.” That’s just a big phrase right there. Isn’t it? Isn’t that a challenging phrase?

Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth or out of your fingers. I’m talking about when you type. No. The key to that word there, the key to that phrase is the word no, none, nada, nichevo. “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word that is good for edification. That’s the building up, according to the need of the moment,” I’m still quoting Ephesians 4:29, “so that it will give grace to those two hear.”

Some people, when they hear that, they think of this as a radical, “This is a radical concept.” Then they say, “Look, this is just the way I am. Okay?” As if that’s supposed to explain in a way, as if that’s supposed to make it okay. “Look, this is just the way I am. Okay?” Well, that’s the way you used to be. Perhaps that’s the way you still are. The question is this, is that who God wants you to be? See, some people are under the false impression that who they are is somehow locked into their genetic code, and they have no choice, but to live out that disposition that was given to them.
Well, that’s true of alligators and hyenas, but I’ll tell you something else, there’s a much higher work of Christ. There’s something much higher at work in those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Here’s my question. Can a man be changed? Is it possible that a person can be changed? Yes, it is. I’ll tell you what, Christians need to be living in the change that needs to happen in this world right now. Christians arise. Be an example of respect. Be an example of treating people worthy, who are made in the image of God.

You love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and your strength. You’ll love your neighbor as yourself. God is love. When you build your life next to the plumb line of God, then you also love, even when it’s difficult. Then that’s why he says, and I just want to finish with this, live by faith. Live from faith. Paul summarizes the entire chapter in verse 23, which we didn’t read, but in verse 23, he says, “Whatever is not from faith is a sin”. See, this is a guiding principle. Whatever is not from faith, that’s a sin. Sometimes people will ask, “How do I know if such and such is the sin?” Well, is it from faith?

C. Live from faith

See the idea is from faith or out of faith, do all things out of your faith. Bring that to an application, not just be a hearer of the word, be a doer of the word. Be part of the solution, how you speak, how you interact, be part of the solution by faith, do it by faith. See, you become aware of God’s presence in everything you do and then you will live to honor Him and you will give him glory.

Colossians 1:10, “Walk in a manner that is worthy of the Lord to please him in all respects, bearing fruit. Then you’ll bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.” It’s a powerful principle when you see that it is applied to every area of your life.

See, it brings God into every equation. How you see the world. Now, see it from God’s perspective. That’s what it means to have faith. The way you live your life, the way your marriage, your business, whatever it may be, do it by faith because Galatians 2:20-21 are very true. “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live.” I tell you this is powerful, “but it is Christ who lives in me and the life, which I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.”

Let’s pray, father. Thank you. Thank you for your word that gives us the principles by which we can build our lives. It’s the plumb line of God. I pray, God, that we would take a good look at our own hearts and our own lives. God, we know this nation is torn apart and there’s great need of healing, but God, I pray that it would come out of those who follow you. God, I pray that Christians would arise now and be part of the solution that they speak, with words that build and edify, and respect, and honor.

Church, would you, as the Holy spirit is moving through this message and through his word, and into our lives, would you say tonight, “God, I see this broken world and how I want to be part of the solution. Use me, God. Here I am. Give me words to speak. Show me how to love. Show me how to honor. Show me how to treat people worthy of being made in the image of God. Show me.” Would you say that to the Lord? Do you want God to show you? You want God to teach? Want God to transform you? Be open, open your heart, say, “God, I opened my heart to you tonight and I’m asking, I want to be part of the solution. I need you to transform me.”

Father, thank you for everyone, wherever they may be, who says yes and amen to that prayer. Pour your Holy spirit out upon the church. Bring revival now. I pray, God, that everyone who hears this message, will just arise in the spirit and be part of a solution that respect and honor would come from every one of us. We thank you, O, God, for all that you’re doing in our lives. Move Holy spirit, move. Move, Holy spirit, move and bring revival to you-