GracePointe Church (SBC)
Sunday, September 13
  • Sweet By And By
      • Mark 12:28–40ESV

  • Cornerstone
  • Oh How Good It Is
  • Objective: For the church to see that the unified presence of the people is an irreplaceable part of life.
    One of my earliest seminary professors was a gerontologist. He studied the aging population. He said then that one of the greatest challenges that elderly people is the loneliness.
    This stems—in part—from social isolation. People who have little to no contact with others in the world.
    Studies show that 24% of the elderly suffer from social isolation. Social isolation is responsible for depression, anxiety, and—in many cases—suicide.
    Indeed—in a digital and fast-paced world that is divided over so many issues, the real pandemic that we face isolation. Loneliness. Separation.
    What is God’s answer to social isolation? The Church. We see this truth introduced to us in Psalm 133.
    We can’t be entirely sure when this Psalm was written. But perhaps it was written after David had spent years in the wilderness fleeing from Saul. Now, he has been restored to his beloved Israel. He is welcomed into his homeland and recognized as the rightful king.
    It is a national celebration.
    Overwhelmed by the joy that has permeated the people of God, David pens these words: “How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity.”
    Think about the various divisions that we are experiencing now:
    We are separated from our church family.
    Many of you are separated from your blood family.
    Our nation is divided among economic, gender, racial, or political lines.
    John Piper refers to unity as the “perfume” of the church. It is what attracts others.

    Unity Witnesses to the Beauty of God (1)

    Psalm 133:1 NASB95
    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
    It is not clear in some of our translations, but this verse begins with a very key word: Behold.
    Behold is a word that is used by the Bible to bring about an explanation point. It is the natural highlighter of the biblical text. It captures our attentions so that we do not doze off before we grasp what follows.
    What the Bible wants for us to “behold” is the beauty of the people of God living together with a unified spirit.
    Good: This is the same word that is used of Creation. God saw His creation and pronounced it “good.” It was beautiful. Fish swam. The birds sang. The cattle mooed. Adam was a man. Eve was a woman. It was good. This is how God thinks *ought* to be.
    Just as God saw beauty in His creation, He sees beauty when His people are unified.
    Pleasant: This word is only used in poetic sections of Scripture, like the Psalms. This how we *desire* things to be. In other words, we desire what God commands. And that is where the frustration often resides. God demands it. We desire it. And yet it so easily eludes from us.
    Goodness speaks of the quality. Pleasantness speaks of the effects. It is good for us to be unified: Quality. It is pleasant for us to be unified: Effect.
    But how do we find that? These two words appear together on two other occasions in the Psalms. They will give us some insight:
    Psalm 135:3 ESV
    Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
    Psalm 147:1 NASB95
    Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.
    So how do we find unity? God!
    Notice the use of these two words together. It is based upon noticing the “goodness” of God and the “pleasantness” of worshiping Him. Our unity is not based on our skin color. Our nationality. Our economic well-being.
    Our unity is based upon a common recognition of the goodness of God and the pleasantness that we derive from worshiping Him!
    There are many words that we could use to describe the culture today. Unity would not be one of them.
    However, our focus on unity does not begin with the nation. It begins with the congregation.
    Churches find themselves divided over many different things. Some church are divided because they have different political views.
    Those of us who recognize that we are traveling to a heavenly city should recognize that we are bound together by something more significant than fallen human ideologies.

    Unity Heals the Brokenhearted (2)

    Psalm 133:2 NASB95
    It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
    The Bible uses two illustrations for what a unified people of God looks like: 1) it is oil and 2) dew.
    Oil in the OT represents the presence of the Spirit of God, anointing for a special task, and a healing agent.
    An agent of healing: First, oil represents a healing agent. In a world that is driven by outrage and defined by brokenness, there are few things that provide healing like the knowledge that you have a church family that understands your needs and is committed to walk with you through your struggles. The Word of God is a word that, first, cuts (Heb 4:12) and then heals (Luke 4).
    Anointed for a task: Prophets, priests, and kings.
    You have been given the healing words of God.
    You have been given access to God through prayer and worship.
    You will rule with Christ in the end.
    Presence of the Spirit: There is no unity where the Spirit of God is not depended upon.
    Ephesians 4:1–3 CSB
    Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

    Unity Refreshes the Soul (3)

    Psalm 133:3 NASB95
    It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.
    In Psalm 89:13 Mount Hermon is one of the mountain that is said to praise God. It “shouts for joy at His name.”
    Where Zion is a small mountain (2400 feet) that is located in the Southern part of Israel, Hermon was the tallest mountain (9000 feet) in Israel and is found in the North. It was known as a mountain that is plush.
    Its plushness is due to the fact that its altitude leaves it as a snowcapped mountain throughout most of the year. As the snow melts during the warmest days, it runs down the mountain and refreshes the ground and the many animals that live upon the mountain.
    The psalmist teaches that unity among the congregation is like “dew flowing from Mount Hermon.”
    It refreshes that souls of the people.
    A church that is unified is a beautiful thing…
    Dew teaches us that God refreshes the souls of His people as we journey from Hermon to Zion.
    Acts 3:19 NASB95
    “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
    How Can I Contribute to the Beautiful Unity?
    Be a source of encouragement.
    Hebrews 10:25 NASB95
    not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
    Be present when others struggle.
    Be generous when others are in need.
    Hebrews 13:14–16 NASB95
    For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
    Time of Reflection
    Romans 15:5–6 NASB95
    Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Ultimately, our unity is based upon our faith in Jesus Christ. How are you with people? How are you with your brothers and sisters here at GracePointe? Maybe there is someone that you need to apologize to. Maybe there is someone that you’re angry at. Maybe there is someone to whom you need to speak words of healing. They’ve not done anything against you. You’ve not done anything against them. They just need you to come and stand alongside of them.
    Maybe take a moment and pray and ask for the Spirit of God guide you. Write down someone’s name in your prayer journal and commit to pray for them, to call them, or to visit them.
    Maybe your heart has just grown hard. Calloused. You lost the ability to feel. You’ve lost the ability to care. Ask for the Spirit of God to break your heart for others.
      • Psalm 133:1NASB95

      • Psalm 135:3NASB95

      • Psalm 147:1NASB95

      • Psalm 133:2NASB95

      • Ephesians 4:1–3NASB95

      • Psalm 133:3NASB95

      • Acts 3:19NASB95

      • Hebrews 10:25NASB95

      • Hebrews 13:14–16NASB95

      • Romans 15:5–6NASB95

  • Is He Worthy
  • The Blessing

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