You and I are part of a very large family. It has a lot a very interesting people in it, as well as some not-so-interesting people. It has many loving and lovable people as well as some unloving and unlovable people. But, it is a family just the same. It has in-laws, outlaws, lovers, haters, murderers, and healers. There are times when we love this family and rejoice that we are part of it. There are also times when we are ashamed of the family and try everything we can to distance ourselves from it. But the truth is that, as Christians, God has put us together in this family, and honestly we cant escape it. Yes, we are talking about the churchthe people of God. Perhaps this time on earth is a practice time to help us learn how to live together. After all, we will be together for all of eternity.
Today we will look at a short Psalm that describes what it means to be a part of this family and what can happen when we embrace the family and attempt to live Life Together.
Psalm 133 in The Message
How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!
Its like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
flowing down Aarons beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
Its like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, thats where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.
1) Life Together means we must admit that we are part of a large familyas a unit, a community of faith (v1).
Membership in the church is a basic spiritual fact for those who confess Christ as Lord.
The question is not, am I going to be a part of this community of faith? The question is, how am I going to live in this community of faith?
Community is essential God never works with individuals who isolate themselves, but always with people in community. A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment. (Pr 18:1, NKJV)
Unity causes a flow:
- A flow that ushers in the presence and glory of God.
- A flow that causes the power of God to be present among the people.
- A flow that is abundant enough to completely cover the priest of God from his head to the bottom edge of his robe.
2) Life Together means we are Each Others Priest (v2)
The writer uses the first of two metaphors to describe for us this family we are a part of and what happens when we live together in unity.
It covers every aspect of our life together.
It tells us that we are priests of God (1Pe 2:4-5, 9).
- The picture of the oil running down the beard and the clothing helps me see that my brother or my sister is my priest. What do priests do?
a) They are set apart for service to God.
- We are priests who speak Gods Word and share Christs sacrifice.
b) They are commissioned to minister to people on behalf of God.
- We are commissioned to minister to our brothers and sisters and to the stranger among us.
c) They are anointed by God.
- The Holy Spirit covers us and anoints us.
- When we see each other as Gods anointed, our relationships are profoundly affected.
- They offer up sacrifices to God for His people.
- We offer up a sacrifice of prayer for one another.
- Prayer for others is one of the most important ministries God gives us.
3) Life Together means we are Each Others Refreshing (v3)
Mt. Hermon, part of the Lebanon range near the border of Syria, is the tallest mountain in that part of the world
Just over 9,000 feet.
The dew of Mt. Hermon is a heavy due. In this Psalm it is being extended to the mountains of Zion.
- When we see others as bringing refreshing to us, we find unity, and deep affection and concern for each other.
- In this we extend our life, our care, our prayers, to others.
Question: Do I refresh, or do I defresh?
The Results of the Flow For there God commanded the blessing: Life Together becomes Life Forever.
What happens when we live together in unity?
1) The Glory of the Lord descends (2Ch 5:11-14).
2) God meets His people with great power and provision (Ac 4:32-35).
3) Those outside of the fellowship begin to notice (Ac 2:42-47).
Devotion to teaching, fellowship, eating together and praying.
Signs and wonders appear.
The church grows.
4) People meet God.
What do we do?
1) Get in get involved.
2) Be a priest to someone.
3) Let someone be a priest to us.
4) Pray for others.
5) Receive prayer from others.
1) Who are the people in my church family that are priests to me? List them.
2) Are there people in my church for whom I am a priest?
3) If I cant honestly list someone above, what will I do to change that?
4) Do I refresh or defresh?