Father, Your Word says that our times are in Your hand. Lord, there’s not a happening, there’s not a conversation, there’s not a sickness, there’s not a trial that isn’t in Your hands, Lord. Lord, all our days, as they unfold, Lord, are in Your hands. But Lord, we know that we are also in Christ. So we can know that our times, whatever they unfold, whatever happens, Lord, it’s all working to show us how good and beautiful You are. And to bring us to that place. A place where we are just like Your Son, Jesus.

Lord, let us look unto Christ. And there see our life, our hope, our strength, our peace. Our very existence in Jesus.

And we pray it in Christ’s name. Amen. Amen.

We can be seated. Good evening. I’m going to be in Psalm chapter 133. If you could turn there with me. Psalm 133. Psalm 133. And I do want to say, I’ve preached this text before to you, but I’m not, I’m not re-preaching the same sermon to you to keep my preaching integrity intact. No one can think, wait a second, I’ve heard this text preached before. What’s he doing? Is this recycling? This is not recycling. I had a sneaking feeling I did preach it, and sure enough, about four years ago. But I wanted just to sit in the text. The text just, I don’t know, it’s just been on my heart. The last week. And I think it’s really a wonderful psalm, and it’s one of those things worth considering and reconsidering. So the title of that sermon was Life Together. The title today, Life Together Revisited. Life Together Revisited. Verse 1, the psalmist says, Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity or dwell together or have life together. It is like the precious oil on the head running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life, forevermore.

It’s also the timing of it’s funny because the introductory story I told four years ago was about my guitar. And the problem with my guitar was the top string was out of intonation, which you don’t know what that means. It means structurally it was built a few degrees off so that the low E string wasn’t in tune with the rest of the guitar. And it drove me crazy, especially given how much I paid for that thing. And I took it to a guy and the guy said, I fixed it. And my opening sermon illustration was on how things in unity and harmony are beautiful together, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, he didn’t fix it. And I’ve endured it for the last four years. But I just went up to Nashville and I said, I don’t care what it costs. I’m going to go find like a real Nashville, Asheville repairman. I mean, a real one. And I’m going to get this thing fixed. I can’t take that out of tune sound any more. And so I drove out to rural Tennessee to this guy’s shop. And boy, he knew exactly what he was doing. He had custom tools that he made for his shop. Knew exactly what he was doing. And he had to do some invasive surgery. But I waited two, two and a half weeks and I got it back. And boy, it is fixed. It feels perfect in my hands. He did more than I even asked him to do. And now it is unified and the sounds go together and it’s beautiful and there’s nothing like it. And I think the illustration kind of explains itself, doesn’t it? There’s something about God’s people living life in harmony together, unified together, that is beautiful. And it’s not just beautiful, it’s life-giving. And it’s not just life-giving, it’s necessary for life. That phrase life together comes from this chapter, but it’s also a very popular book by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who famously was executed under the Third Reich during World War II. And that book’s a wonderful book and I want to read just a little thing he says in that book. He says, The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community. But the person who loves those around them will create community. I want to read it again. The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community. But the person who loves those around them will create community. What’s he saying? He’s saying this. If you have some fixed idea about what Christianity is, what Christian community should be in your life, no one can ever live up to your ideas. No one can be all that you want them to be. And if you demand that from others, you will always find Christian community less than what it’s supposed to be for you. You will always be, in fact, destructive to Christian community because instead of just loving those as Christ has called you to love, you’re expecting the world from people and they can’t do that. The idea of perfect community will kill community.

So this psalm, it employs similes, and I’m going to go through the similes again. Similes is a literary device, so it’s like something. In Revelation, there’s a lot of things that are, this is like that. So we’re going to look at a couple of those. And here’s what I want to say before we even jump into it, how important getting unity and community right, how important it is. I think we miss this. I think you really miss everything to the point where I want to say doctrine is not greater than love. I would rather have an imperfect doctrine, which we all do. No one’s got the Bible figured out completely. I would rather not have true love in my heart than to live under the illusion that I have perfect doctrine and no love. Because if you can accept reality, no one has their theology perfect, and everyone is less than lovable, you can discover in Christ community.

And it’s not something other than what the scriptures plainly teach, even in the New Testament. When you, you know, go to a wedding, maybe this was read at your wedding, and you probably know the one I’m thinking of here in 1 Corinthians 13, 1 through 3. If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but I have not love, I’m a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have prophetic powers, understand all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I’m nothing. If I give away all I have, and I deliver up my body to be burned, but I have not love, I gain nothing. And I do think it’s a shame almost everyone, you associate that text with weddings. You say, was it not true that that’s how a husband and wife should love one another? Well, Paul talks about that other places, but in context, before and after, what is Paul talking about this verse? He’s strictly talking about the way we love one another, in the context of the body of Christ, the local church. That’s what he’s talking about, strictly. And that’s lost on us. 1 John, chapter 3. For this is the message that you’ve heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. Hating is what the world hates. The world does. We know that we’ve passed out of death into life. Why? Because we love the brothers. Because we love the brothers. Me loving you and you loving me with the love of Christ, that is how God teases out sanctification. That’s how God grows us up in so many ways. We’ve got to fight for this biblical reality of Christ-centered community. So let’s start with the first simile. He says, Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. It is like the precious oil on the head running down on the beard on the beard of Aaron running down on the collar of his robe. So what’s he mean by that? That unity is like Aaron being anointed. Well, who is Aaron? Aaron was the first priest. He was the first high priest in the Old Testament. And so he was anointed with anointing oil. So I’m going to read Exodus chapter 30, verse 22. The Lord said to Moses, Take the finest spices of liquid myrrh, 500 shekels of sweet-smelling cinnamon, half as much, that’s 250 and 250 of aromatic cane, 500 of casea, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hen of olive oil. And you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer, and it shall be holy anointing oil. With it, you shall anoint the tent of meeting, ark of the testimony, the table, all the utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin and its stand. You shall consecrate them that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them will become holy. You shall anoint them and anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them that they may serve me as priests. And you shall say to the people of Israel, this shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on the body of an ordinary person, and you shall make no other like it in composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever compounds any like it, whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people. So God’s taking this business of anointing really serious. And he’s saying you’re going to anoint the tabernacle. And that makes it what? It makes it holy. What does holy mean? It means it’s set apart to God. It’s devoted to God. So the tabernacle’s what? It’s God’s house. It’s separate. The utensils, the tools that the priest would use, those aren’t ordinary. Those are only for devotion to God. These things, these things will be sacred. The priests themselves will be set apart, consecrated, devoted to God. That’s what it meant to be anointed with oil. So you see, in the same way, he’s saying unity, togetherness among God’s people, it’s a special, sacred thing to God. We are in our unity together as God’s people, consecrated, set apart, devoted to God. Just as these holy things in the ministry of the priests is set apart, our community is profoundly sacred. It’s a return to what was. Think about the difference between Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. Adam and Eve, perfect fellowship and unity. Cain and Abel, all bled the ground red.

Under the old code of the law, under these ordinances, there’s always a reality set forth, right? And all these different things you learn about, the tabernacle, the utensils, they’re all pointing to a greater reality. They’re pointing to Jesus, right? So Jesus and him and him alone are we set apart. It’s only because of Jesus, but here’s the thing I want us to see in this. And I think we do this because we’re 21st century Westerners. We think about being Christians in Christ an incredibly individualistic setting. Like me, God, he took away my sin, and now I know God through Jesus. It’s not inaccurate. It’s just, it’s not fully biblical because what’s fully biblical is there’s more in a way that’s not biblical. There’s more in terms of our community. It’s not I have been restored to fellowship. God has called me into a harmony and a oneness with all of God’s people and to a truly heavenly community that’s supposed to look like and feel like it’s different than anything else that we’ve been a part of before.

So I want to say some things and you see if this feels like it’s biblical. Like it’s truly spiritual. Like it’s eternal. Every notion of community that a government entity could attempt to manufacture in society. Any religious type of fellowship someone could have in a multiplicity of religions or spiritualities. Even I think the natural urges we have as people for friendship, they all have to be at their best superficial and short-lived. If you and I believe that sacred holy communion between humans is only possible in Christ.

If that’s true that there’s only true and lasting fellowship and the bond that two people could experience or many people could experience in Jesus it means there’s not a real lasting community anywhere else on earth or in the universe. In other words I think our conception friends as Christians is deeply flawed and I think in a lot of ways invalid if it excludes meaningful Christian community. You need to be able to say and I need to be able to say what God is like I am like. Not in like a prideful arrogant way but strictly on the basis of believing that if I have the Holy Spirit God is making me into the image of Christ. So we dip into I think here the doctrine of the Trinity and when we go to the Trinity yes there’s mystery but we are told that there is this community at work. There’s a fellowship between the Father and the Son and the Spirit. And what happens when I come to Christ? I am put in Christ who is in that fellowship and it’s through Christ I enter into an already existing perfect community of the Father and the Son and the Spirit yet it’s not only I but it is a we thing as Christ’s body we get to experience the fellowship of the Trinity but then because we know true community holy and pure amongst the Trinity it shoots backwards into me and out to other people so that my community is not just with God but our community is with one another in Christ elevated to God to the way it is in heaven.

Think about just the word man. Man is uniquely what in God’s image. And think about this. What was the first thing that God said is not good? It wasn’t sin. Sin was not in the world yet. What was the first thing that God said is not good? He said it’s not good for man to be alone. It’s not good for people to live in isolation. It’s not good.

Man’s loneliness. Man needs a companion. And in Christ those two blessed realities meet where we are both image bearers

of Christ and we know the fellowship of the Trinity in Christ. So we are image brothers. I don’t know if anyone’s ever said that. But I’m not just an image bearer. I’m an image brother or sister. When I’m with God’s people I’m supposed to see in them the same image that I have on me. And that’s our only bond. Is that we both bear the image of the resurrected Christ who has restored the broken image of God that was on us. So we’re image brothers. We’re image sisters if you will. And that image is of Christ.

So I think we have to we have to believe those things. We have to fight to remind ourselves of those things. That it’s a non-Christianity if I can kind of manufacture in my mind this life where it’s me and it’s just Jesus and I’m against the world all on my own. That’s not it. That can’t be it. Can it? Where sin has wrecked my community with sin. Sin wrecks my community with others. What does Jesus do? Jesus deals with the sin problem so that community with God is made right. But see this is beautiful if you don’t. Jesus makes my community with one another right. And I need that community. You need that community. Otherwise you have hell.

C.S. Lewis I think always his description of hell in his book The Great Divorce is all these people who show up but one by one they all get mad for their own reasons and eventually hell is just everyone on their own walking into just an infinite desert all alone isolated forever. Just alone. Sin breaks down community. It breaks down true fellowship. I think about the Beatles. What did the Beatles have to do with this sermon? Think about the Beatles man. They were like the greatest thing going. Like record after record. I mean the world loved the Beatles. You would think man these guys are going to stay together forever. Nothing. I mean anything that was like a conflict for them surely they could get over it because why would they want to break up the biggest band of all time and you’re making all that money and you’re the greatest thing ever. Nope. Gone. And that’s true in so many wonderful music. We got in a fight about that one night and we’re done. We are incredibly petty selfish creatures and we do not have the capacity to remain in fellowship. It’s true in a rock band as much as it’s true in a marriage sometimes. Sin breaks down everything. Sin breaks down especially meaningful, lasting community. So Jesus becomes the only thing that’s worth rallying. Jesus is the only thing for you and I to rally around together if we’re going to have a community in which we find life. In which we enjoy God. And you must have it. And you must desire it.

Charles Spurgeon has said it might seem as if it were better not to smear his garments with oil but the sacred oil cannot not be restrained. It flowed over his holy robes. Even thus does brotherly love not only flow over the heart upon which it was first poured out and it sends to those who are inferior parts of the mystical body of Christ. It runs where it was not sought for, asking neither leave nor license to make its way. Christian affection knows no limit of parish, nation, sector, age. Is the man a believer in Christ? Then he is in the one body and I must yield him in abiding love. This is a short little psalm but it’s worth God in his wisdom sticking it in here to remind ourselves how good, how pleasant did God intend for human life to be. Not just with him but with one another. And I think all you’ve got to do is turn on the news or interact with anybody and you quickly go, I don’t know man. Human relationships get so messed up. Like how is that pleasant? How is that pleasant? Because you know the person you love most in life you could still get in a fight with. So it all hangs on Jesus and saying my life is in Christ and I want to and I must enjoy the gift of loving others and being loved by others. And I must do it because I am in a little microcosm of heaven if you will where God is preparing me for heaven. I don’t think you’re going to like heaven very much if you don’t like life in the local church. And you say well there are two different things. Well there are two different things in degree but nothing else. If you’re in the local church you have the Holy Spirit. If you’re in heaven you have the Holy Spirit only you know it fully because there’s no sin. So you really must be in love with God’s people fighting for God’s people because it is in a very real sense your eternity. Your eternity.

And I think that does shed a lot of light doesn’t it on our day and age when people want to reduce concept of church. Like if church, the concept of it is reduced to something I watch online. Or even reduced to just showing up and participating in a service. You’ve still like completely cut the throat of community. You’ve cut the throat of knowing and being known in a meaningful way. But then secondly apart from enjoying the gift and readying yourself for heaven through it, the Bible’s very clear in read 1 John loving the brothers, desiring to be in community is a proof of whether or not you have the Holy Spirit to start with. And that should force me to say hold on am I appeasing my flesh in the way that I want to isolate and I don’t want to really know people and I don’t really want to engage because if I’m constantly in the state of trying to keep you know the church and other people at arm’s length it’s a really huge tell-tale sign about my heart and how I’m going to live. How little I believe in the gospel because the gospel is not just deep is it? The gospel’s wide.

Here’s the second simile.

David says it’s like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion. So he’s talking about dew on this mountain and this mountain is the tallest mountain in Palestine 9200 feet above sea level. It has snow even in the summer time and so it stands among other mountains. So he’s David is drawing what they know to be like the tallest place for them but also he’s making the point that their dewy clouds work like a built in you know automated watering system. They have clouds that go out to other ranges and other places and water all that needs watering. Certainly God’s heavenly city or what would have been Jerusalem or is Jerusalem you know Mount Zion. So everything’s taken care of around Mount Zion. Everything has the water the nutrition it needs because of the dewy clouds. That’s what he’s saying.

Deuteronomy chapter 11 verse 8 God says to the people you shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today that you may be strong and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess and that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring a land flowing with milk and honey for the land you are entering to take possession of it’s not like Egypt from which you have come. Where you sowed your seed and you irrigated it. Like a garden of vegetables but the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water by the rain from heaven. A land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. So God’s saying in his economy it’s his people in his place you’re taken care of. There’s no irrigating from the Nile like you had to do back in Egypt. God gives us all that we need and it draws out doesn’t it the necessity here of water. You need what? Water. I think we’re all 60-70% water. Animals need water. Vegetation needs water. I’ve been the victim of marketing as of late because my wife bought these powder packed things that you put into your bottle of water and on the box it assures you that you know when you just drink plain old water it doesn’t really hydrate you. Your body isn’t getting all that water. It’s mostly you know going out but if you put our powder in most of that bottle of water you drink is going to your body and not being wasted. So I’ve found myself when I go to drink water thinking well I sure want this water to count and I put this whole packet in there and I’m kind of hooked on this stuff. Placebo effect or not.

Can you consume the fullness of your Bibles all on your lonesome your whole life and be who God intends you to be? Can you pray knees to the ground hours every day all on your own your whole life? And be who God wants you to be? Could you with all your best intentions remain healthy withstand Satan withstand sin all on your own the rest of your life? This verse requires that we say absolutely not. This verse requires that we say unless we are in vibrant Christian community for the long haul we will certainly be misshapen. There will be something about our Christian community or we need the Christian community to make sure that we grow up correctly and we grow up well. It has a nourishing effect when you’re in vibrant Christian community. Could you live on water if you only had water like every other week? I mean I guess you maybe could but if you did you would be really sick and have all kinds of strange chronic conditions it would be really bad to dip into it sometimes. You’re supposed to drink a bunch of water what? Daily. And so it stands here in our illustration of these clouds. If the point of this whole psalm is we must dwell together in unity and he says it’s like always being watered then aren’t the scriptures screaming to us we need it?

Ephesians chapter 4 this is a very popular verse on it. Rather speaking the truth in love we’re to grow up in every way and to him who is the head and to Christ from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. And I do think this is an important thing to preach and re-preach. I don’t know if I’m going to re-preach. Psalm 133 again every four years but the theme is elsewhere in the Bible. Because more than ever you and I live in an age of fragmentation don’t we? If it’s not for just straight up individualism. My yard, my garage, my picket fence, my car right? My phone. We see how the internet and virtual reality all these things are becoming incredibly poor substitutes for like real meaningful relationships for vibrant Christian community even. So it needs to get and I guess I’m pushing it here because I want to just say it clear. It needs to get to the point where I’m almost ashamed before the Father that I attempted to make up a Christianity that was never his prescription. It was never the Father’s prescription for any of us to live life on our own as if we can get all the watering we need me and Jesus man. It’s me and Jesus against the world. It’s a terrible plan. It’s a terrible plan.

Friends, isolation isolation is not God’s plan for us. His plan for us is to know the goodness of God, learn and grow in the context of community. In the context of community and I’m not saying, don’t get me wrong that there aren’t wonderful aspects of the Christian life that are personal. Like man, you were there and you were reading the word and man, something jumped out to you or man, you were just in prayer and you just, you know, you were just there in prayer and it was really good. I’m not saying no, don’t ever do that on your own. I’m simply saying that’s not the fullness of what God gave you so that you can thrive. So on a lot of levels, you need to ask yourself and I need to ask myself when I feel like pushing other people away and I want to live disconnected. Do I trust the wisdom and goodness of God to get me to heaven? Do I trust the wisdom and goodness of God to keep me saved? Do I trust his plan for me to not just be in the body of Christ, but meaningfully a part of it? Meaningfully a part of it. In Ephesians, Paul talks about he gave the apostles and prophets and evangelists and shepherds and teachers. In other words, the scriptures have a lot to say about the goodness and kindness of God to give leaders and to give teachers and people who help instruct us. And then the scriptures in five places talk about spiritual gifts. In other words, every one of you, we all have gifts, whether it’s service or administration or generosity, whatever it may be. We all have something when we became Christians that the spirit endowed us with to serve the body. You have something you must give and you’re depriving others when they don’t get it and you’re being deprived when they don’t as well. God gives the church all the things that it needs to thrive. Not you specifically. He gives all of us that together as the body of Christ.

So this thing we call the local church,

it’s water. And God pours it out to nourish our souls. God pours it out to keep our souls.

Is it always easy to be a part of the local church?

It is not. Is it always a rush of excitement and joy to be a part of the local church?

No. It is not. The church is full of imperfect people who do wrong.

It’s full of people who do wrong. It’s full of people who have the capacity to hurt you.

You have the capacity to hurt and wrong people. I have the capacity to hurt and wrong people. I go through stale and dry seasons. You go through stale and dry seasons. But, God is so good, so wise, as we saw last week in our text. God is working through all of us. All things. All things to perfect us. To perfect us. And it is so true in this context of continual Christian community. Life together. Life together, friends. And I’m not I’m not a seer. I can’t see into the future. But, reading the signs and reading the times and the way that people are, this idea of being intimately, vibrantly connected with one another. Where church is not about the program. It’s not about the consumer. It’s not about this thing we offer, this thing we do. But, it’s about getting into the grit of one another’s lives. It’s about both yes, all the positives of encouraging and teaching and praying for. But, just as much about the negatives. Of rebuking. Of calling out. Of questioning. Of pushing. This, this, this is the cornerstone of Christian community. And I just want to say, we will have to fight for it to keep it in a world that says don’t.

Well, practically speaking, as I told you Wednesday, I gave up my other job. So, I have a whole bunch of time on my hands to just get on your back. And just to make life terrible if you don’t want to do this with me. Because that’s why I gave up the job. I want to love you right into heaven. And it just might take me showing up at your… your door sometimes. Or calling you 15 times to say, hey, did someone cut your left leg off? No? Why didn’t you come to prayer last night? Why didn’t you come to group? Why didn’t you come to church? Friends, we we must we must stare at Jesus together. Because it’s only in looking at Jesus together that Jesus is then put back into us through the Spirit. And then when Jesus is put back into us, we radiate Christ to one another. That’s how it works. That’s how it works. And again, I know what I’m saying. Because I know life’s busy. And I know that I have four children. Some of you have quadrupled that. Some of you have less than that. I get it. Life is busy. And life is hard. And there’s going to be a good reason why you can’t extend yourself. But you know, let us push ourselves to say, no, no, no, no, no. We’re church people. We’re old-time religion, Bible-believing church people. And we are going to live for the Lord Jesus, man. And 10,000 years from now, when we’re all sitting in heaven together, we can say, God be praised. We gave our all to the body of Christ, what Jesus bled and died for. We loved one another into heaven. That’s what I want for you. And that’s what I want for us. And that’s what I’m praying God takes, that’s what I want for us. So Wednesday, be here Wednesday in this room. Be here. Mr. Richard’s going to share a little bit out of the book of Acts. And then we’re going to pray together. We’re just going to pray. And we’re just going to be God’s people together. And we’ve got a bunch of kids. I don’t know how it’s going to work out. It doesn’t matter. God’s going to work it out. We have kids. I can’t help it. Let’s just come together and we’re just going to seek God’s face together. And he says, when you seek me, you will be God’s face. You will find it.

Love the gathering of the saints. Love the gathering of the saints. Love what it means to be in meaningful discipling relationships with the saints. You know, and I’ve told you this before, we do things formally as the church. Sunday mornings, events, Wednesday night gatherings. You don’t need my approval. You know, I’m your pope to ask a brother or sister, hey, let’s get coffee Tuesday morning. Let’s meet this semester on Thursday and walk through the book of the Bible. Let’s just get together and pray. You have the Holy Spirit and you can disciple too. You can do that. So we can be all we need to be because Jesus has given all that we need to us in the Spirit. It’s worth fighting to see it teased out. It’s worth fighting to live for. And if you feel it, and we all feel it, sometimes, a deficit for this kind of love that it would take to be this kind of community on earth, pray for it. Pray for it. Pray for a love for God’s people. The prayer would be Father, help me to love the local church the way your son loves the local church. Because that’s the only kind of love that you know, counts and would last for the local church. Right? I don’t have enough love for you. You don’t have enough love for me. But Jesus does. But Jesus does. Jesus does.

Another Charles Spurgeon quote. Oh, for more of this rare virtue. Not the love which comes and goes, but that which dwells. Not that spirit which separates and secludes, but that which dwells together. Not that mind which is all for debate and difference, but that which dwells together in unity. Never shall we know the full power of the anointing till we are of one heart and of one spirit. Never will the sacred dew of the spirit descend in all its fullness till we are perfectly joined together in the same mind. Never will the covenanted and commanded blessing come forth from the Lord our God till once again we shall have one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Lord, lead us into this most precious, spiritual unity for thy Son’s sake. Amen. And I’ll end on this here. The last of verse 3. It says, For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. There the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. Where is there? Where is there? Where do I go to get this blessing? Well, in an Old Testament sense, you go to Mount Zion. But we know as New Testament people, the way I get to Mount Zion, that heavenly Jerusalem is in Christ. So friends, let us ascend that great spiritual mountain in Christ because it is commanded. God has covenanted in His Son is life, full life together. There we find the anointing of a blessing. There we find the promise of new life. There we find encouragement and strength and peace for every storm. There we find Christ and one another’s faces. Life together. Life together in Jesus is life forevermore. Let’s pray.

Father, we don’t want a fading passion for the name of Your Son. We don’t want a fleeting excitement for the work He completed at Calvary.

Lord, we don’t want to be interested today and into something else tomorrow.

Teach us what it means to abide.

Father, that Your Spirit would teach us what it means to abide. It means to remain, to love through, to give our all, to receive, to bless.

Lord, as we have seen Your Son Jesus

manifest the fullness of Your love and grace, oh, that we also would manifest it in our lives. That as we look to Jesus, we show Christ in our fellowship. And as we show Christ, we are shown Christ and even this works to show the world.

Lord, teach us more that aloneness is not from You. Isolation is not from You. Going it alone is not from You. Lord, teach us to love the brothers. Teach us to love the brothers. Teach us to love our sisters. Teach us to give our whole life for it.

And Lord, all in all in the end, we will say You have done this great thing. We pray it in Christ’s name. Amen.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: Psalm 133:1-3