Monday, July 30, 2007

Learning to Love my Friend(s) 3

Last week, we were with the Dorris Chapel congregation in Gibson County, Tennessee. They had great attendance from the community and sister congregations. They are doing well. They have had seven baptisms in the past few weeks. Their preacher, Tim Fuqua, has been with them twenty-three years. Valess Stults and Murray Turner serve well as elders. I preached there 1965, 1966. My first baptisms were there. The $150.00 they paid me for leading singing during a meeting in the summer of 1968 helped pay the hospital bill for our first child which we had without the benefit of insurance. It was encouraging to see their vitality.

Tonight, we had the third class for elders, deacons, and wives at Eddyville. As in previous sessions, we had perfect attendance and good participation. Yesterday, one of our elders, Randell O'Bryan, commended many people who had given good service. We started prayer and preparation for the special services September 2-5. Tim Alsup, who served well here, will be the preacher. We are looking forward to him and Arinne being back in Eddyville. I have heard good things about his ministry here. I am enjoying listening to him preach on tape while I shave in the moring.

The outline for tonight's class is below:

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My Friend Jesus Understands Me When I Am Tired and Lonely
Lesson 3

A. Feeling rights.
1. I have a right to my feelings.
a. God made me with emotions.
b. He made me with the capacity to experience sadness, fear, and anger as well as joy and contentment.
2. I have a right to feel as I do toward other people.
a. These feelings should be contrasted with actions coming out of those feelings.
b. Jesus, Who did not sin, was able to feel compassion, grief, and anger as well as other emotions. Mark 1:41; Mark 3:5
3. I have a right to express my feelings.
a. Expression of feelings should be done openly, honestly, specifically, caringly, respectfully, and responsibly.
b. Feelings should also be expressed at the appropriate time, in the proper place, in adequate amounts, and toward the appropriate person.
4. I have a right and responsibility to listen and respond to the feelings of others.
a. One who truly listens to another, communicates:
(1) “I care about you.”
(2) “You are important and valuable as a person.”
(3) “You are not bad and terrible although you share your painful feelings with me.”
b. Careful and concerned listening is a way of practicing the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12
5. I have a right to process or work through my feelings.
a. Often when one is expressing painful feelings such as grief or anger someone will say, “You shouldn’t feel that way.”
b. However, this contradicts clear Bible teaching. Ecclesiastes 3:4; Romans 12:15; Ephesians 4:26
c. To work through or put away feelings, these steps may be helpful: Ephesians 4:31
(1) A person must become aware of having particular feelings.
(2) An individual must correctly identify his feelings.
(3) An individual must analyze his feelings and their origin thoroughly.
(4) He needs to express the appropriate amount of feelings at an appropriate time, in the appropriate place, toward the correct person(s) or event.
(5) In working through feelings, a person must experience them - not just say feeling words; for example, crying until one is finished. (Many of these thoughts came from Managing Church Conflict, by James A. Jones.)
B. If this is true, Jesus understands me with all my feelings.

A. We can get weary in well doing. Galatians 6:9
B. Why do we get weary in well doing?
1. We have no hope; it seems nothing is being accomplished. Isaiah 55:10,11; 1 Corinthians 15:58
2. We may have a task that is too difficult. Acts 15:10
3. We may have more than we can do. Acts 6:1-4
C. Jesus promised those who followed Him rest. Matthew 11:28-30
D. He taught that principle to His disciples. Mark 6:30-32; Mark 6:45,46

A. What does it mean to feel lonely?
1. Does it always mean that there are no people around?
2. How can we feel connected with ourselves and others when we are alone?
B. What are some times when people are likely to feel lonely?
1. When was a time when you felt lonely?
2. Is it permissible to express your painful feelings, even to God? Psalm 77
C. Why can Jesus understand me when I am lonely? John 6:66; Matthew 26:56
D. Who will always be with me when I am obeying the Lord? Matthew 28:20
E. Who will be looking for me if I should stray away from the Lord? Luke 15:4-7

A. What does the word friend mean to you?
B. What did you and I do to deserve and demand that Jesus be our friend, come to earth, and die for us? Romans 5:8,9
C. “God loves you whether you like it or not!”
D. In view of our lack of merit, and yet knowing that Christ did die for us, is our motivation grace or guilt?
1. Did Paul serve because he still was guilty or because Jesus had released him from his guilt?
a. How could he say that he was the hardest working apostle and not be bragging? 1 Corinthians 15:9,10
b. How did he see grace as an opportunity for service and an occasion for praise? 1 Timothy 1:12-17
2. Define grace in your own words.
3. How can this motivate us to be more effective servants, friends, and leaders?

1 comment:

Matthew said...


I saw your post on Dale's blog. I wanted to check out your blog too, because I have heard such great things about your ministry.