Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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by Tom Goodman
August 15, 2012

How do we protect the emotional and spiritual warmth of our church?  Six actions, beginning with the letters "W-A-R-M-T-H," can help.

Work.  Scripture tells us that, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church." (1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT)  Discover how you can contribute to the work our church is trying to accomplish.

Attach.  Paul wrote, "And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others." (Romans 12:5, NLT)  We are not to be spectators who slip in for the church's "show" on Sundays and then slip out.  Get connected to others through Sunday School or Common Ground.

Respect.  It's mutual respect that gets us through.  James wrote, "You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." (James 3:18, Msg)

Motivate.  As family members, we need to encourage, or motivate, each other to make the right choices.  "Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out," the Bible says, "not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25, Msg).

Testify.  Help people share with each other what they're experiencing with God.  I love how Paul put it:  "I want us to help each other with the faith we have.  Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you." (Romans 1:12, NCV)  When Paul wrote that he had been a believer for perhaps thirty years and a church leader for twenty-five, yet he acknowledged how he needed to hear about the experiences others were having with God.  We never get too old or too experienced in following Jesus that we outgrow the need to learn from others.

Heal.  Mend the hurts of other believers through prayer and caring actions.  "My children," John tenderly wrote, "Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." (1 John 3:18, TEV).

Through your involvement at Hillcrest, aim for this kind of W-A-R-M-T-H.


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