"KNIT (BOUND) TOGETHER IN LOVE"

Colossians 2:2

Reading: Colossians 2:1-12

 

INTRODUCTION

[a] (i) In Kipling's 'Second Jungle Book', we read,

'Now this is the law of the jungle - as old and as true as the sky;

And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper - but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the law runneth forward and back -

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

     (ii) On many of the Orange banners in Northern Ireland, it says "United we stand - divided we fall."

     (iii) An old man on his deathbed called to him, his three quarrelsome sons. He took a bundle of sticks, tied up tightly with string. He took the bundle, and asked each of the sons, from the eldest down to break the bundle of  sticks. But as long as they were tied tightly together, they found it an impossible task!

Then he said to the eldest, "Untie the bundle!" Then he got his sons to again try and break them, but this time singly. They found the task an easy one, and soon the sticks lay in a pile in small pieces.

They learned an important lesson that day. While they were bound together, they were strong - but if the tie was broken, they were weak on their own.

[b] As Christians, what is the tie that binds us together?

The Phillip's translation of  Colossians 2:2 speaks of,  the "BONDS OF CHRISTIAN LOVE"

[c] As we say so often - and must keep reminding ourselves, The HALLMARK which proves how genuine our Christian experience is,  is found in John 13:35.

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, in that ye LOVE one another."

[d] Sometimes people are bound together, but not in love.

An East London church member was asked how things were going in his church.

"WE ARE QUITE UNITED" he said, "FOR WE ARE ALL FROZEN TOGETHER."

How often do God's CHOSEN PEOPLE become GOD'S FROZEN PEOPLE!!

[e] Could I suggest that there are too many FISH FINGER CHRISTIANS - THEY EVEN COME ON OCCASIONS, 'PRE-PACKED' - WITH THE BIGGEST LOAD OF RUBBISH YOU'VE EVER HEARD!

NOT SO MUCH BIRD-BRAINED AS BIRD'S EYE CHRISTIANS.

POINT 1

[a] LOVE is the force, as shown in our text, that BINDS or KNITS the Christian family together. A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT SUCH LOVE, IS LIKE A RIVER WITHOUT ANY WATER.[b] There is no substitute!

DUTY is not enough!

ENDURANCE is not enough!

COMPROMISE is not enough!

SOCIAL ACTIVITY is not enough!

A SENSE OF PURPOSE is not enough!

WE WILL FAIL IF WE ARE NOT BOUND TOGETHER IN LOVE!

[c] When it says on a container of glue that it BONDS two surfaces together, it means just that! It forms a firm strong bond. I remember some of the early adverts for super glue, just after it was invented. They would bond together a huge rubber belt that they had cut, and then make it hold incredible weights!

Or do you remember some of the adverts for Solvite wallpaper adhesive? Someone, whose clothes were stuck to a board, as they were dangled from a helicopter high above the ground!

Hospitals are now quite familiar with the super glue syndrome, where people arrive with certain parts of their body bonded together! There was the poor man, who ended up at causality, due to a practical joke, with a toilet seat stuck to his bottom!

[d] Philippians 1:27 says, we must "STRIVE TOGETHER."

(i)                  We've probably all heard about the Irish tug of war team who were disqualified for pushing! (Coming from Ireland, I can get away with saying that!)

(ii)                In a tug of war, the team must work together as one - THEIR STRENGTH MUST BE UNITED!

(iii)               IT IS NO DIFFERENT FOR THE CHRISTIAN!

[e] To many, 'STRIVING TOGETHER' means 'grinning and bearing it', hiding our real feelings!

In other words, bury the hatchet, but remember where you buried it, and keep a shovel handy! WE SMILE, BUT HOW TRUE IT IS!

[f] Any person who feels that way, hasn't even begun to scratch the surface of what it means to be a real Christian!

[g] As we said, when were studying the 'Fruit of the Spirit', love is not something we try, with great effort to force into our lives!

RATHER, IT IS A WAY OF LIFE!

[h] We sing, J.O.Y. surely that must be, JESUS FIRST, YOURSELF LAST, AND OTHERS IN BETWEEN! I would like to read to you, the Good News translation of  Philippians 2:1-6

2 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. 5The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God.

 

POINT 2

[a] AS A CORPS, WHAT IS IT THAT BINDS US TOGETHER?

[b] As a corps officer for 30 years, I could answer the question much easier - WHAT IS IT THAT EXPLODES US APART! BELIEVE ME - THERE'S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

GOSSIP, HURT, JEALOUSY, SELF-IMPORTANCE, MISTRUST, MISPLACED EMPHASIS, UNIFORM, RELATIONSHIPS,, EVEN THE SPIRITUALLY UNHEALTHY EMPHASIS WE HAVE ON DUTY, sometimes to the exclusion of Christian love.

[c] There are so many divisive influences amongst us - WHAT CAN COVER THEM ALL? There is but one antidote and it is simply called LOVE!

"LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH A PURE HEART FERVENTLY." (1 Peter 1:22)

{d] If you feel you can't do it, let me tell you quite bluntly - there is something wrong with your Christian experience!

(i)                  If your heart is pure - LOVE WILL FLOW OUT, without any effort from you!

(ii)                If your heart is not pure, you will find it an impossible task.

[e] A meeting such as this is arranged, that we might observe our own hearts in the light of the Holy Spirit, and prepare them for a mighty move of God in our midst, making sure that we would not be a hindrance to that move!

 

CONCLUSION

[a] I believe God will work amongst us in great power - if our spiritual condition permits Him!!

[b] To a degree, all of that hangs in the balance, on what we do with an opportunity such as this! If we think it applies to everyone else, but not us, then the devil is deluding us. THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD! ALWAYS THINGS THAT NEED FORGIVENESS, ALWAYS THINGS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT

[c] We can be so concerned with getting everything up to the mark in our building!

BUT WE MUST DECIDE, BOTH AS A CORPS AND AS INDIVIDUALS, IF WE ARE SPIRITUALLY UP TO THE MARK!

[d] PERHAPS WE WILL NEED SOME RENOVATION OF THE SOUL!

[e] I am reminded of the words of my text at a recent wedding,

Psalm 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it."

[f] IF THIS CORPS IS GOING TO CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE NEW MILLENNIUM, AS A FORCE FOR GOD, IT WILL NEED TO BE HELD TOGETHER WITH MORE THAN BRICKS AND MORTAR!

WE MUST BE BOUND TOGETHER IN LOVE!

[g] We must not allow the work of the Holy Spirit to be hindered, either in our lives or in the corps!

[h] We can help considerably, by making a pact with God today!

If we do that, then it means we cannot hold anything against anyone else!

We've got to go and make it right! EVEN IF WE'RE NOT TO BLAME!

Will we open up, to the love of Christ to heal the hurts and the wounds.

Will we allow His Love to bind us together!

It means we will lay our lives on the alter for the future of God's kingdom in the corps and wherever else He may lead us!

If you feel you should be making that commitment, then don't waste the opportunity - do it now as we sing - "For Jesus sake, this is my motivation."

 

Salvation Army Song Book

413 (267),  608 (512)

Chorus:  Bind Us Together