1 Corinthians 10:13; James 5:16; Various
A COMMUNITY OF HELP
Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.
Last night we talked about temptation and how to resist it. It’s not easy and it’s deadly serious. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some help along the way to help encourage us, hold us accountable, and to pray for our every step. Let’s talk about that tonight.
The verse we used last night in our talk had 4 promises from God. The verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13 and it says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” The first promise is that everyone goes through the same kind of temptation so there are brothers and sisters all over this globe who have gone through the same thing you are experiencing and they have learned to overcome. So we can learn from them.
This didn’t come along by accident. God never intended on us doing this Christian thing on our own. We are members of a community. When you accept Jesus and are baptized you become a member of the community we call the church. This church isn’t just a local congregation but it consist of every Christian that is across the globe. The relationships we build in the church are meant to help us to follow Jesus faithfully. We especially need help when we find an area in our lives that is causing us trouble, bringing temptation, or leading us into sin. In this case we want to focus on and then ask another Christian to keep us accountable. It’s common for us to refer to these relationships as our accountability partners.
It’s important to choose someone who can really help and understand. Start with prayer. I have been amazed over the years the number of people that God has lead me to or sent to me when I have prayed. Let me give you six words that can help you remember some important things you need to know in choosing an accountability partner.
CHRISTIAN: Only another Christian can understand what you are going through and help. Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Ideally your accountability partner should be a member of the same local church.
COMMITTED: Sharing burdens and excising sin takes commitment and hard work so that you are helping each other and not dragging each other down. Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Make sure you and your accountability partner are committed to each other and to Christ.
COURAGEOUS: Most people shy away from confrontation. But, to help each other grow we need people in our lives who are courageous enough to call us out when we are flirting with danger. Jesus himself gave instruction to the church on how to handle sin in our midst (Mt 18:15-18). It takes real courage.
CONVICTION: It is crucial that both of you believe the Bible is God’s Word and it has the answers you need. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is the perfect tool for you to use in holding each other accountable.
CHARACTER: Your accountability partner must have a maturity in the faith in order for you to help each other grow. There is wisdom in maturity that comes from someone who has battled out their faith in real life situations. Ephesians 4:11-15 talks about the members of the church helping each other to grow to maturity in Christ. And Colossians 1:28 states “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”
COMPASSIONATE: Our goal is to always help each other out. Jesus himself dealt with some really hard situations in his ministry. Jesus always looked on others with compassion and mercy. The scriptures even say that Jesus was saddened when the rich, young ruler went away because Jesus loved him. Like Jesus, we must have a heart that breaks over sin. We must have eyes full of love and compassion.
An accountability partner will help you grow in your faith as you hold each other to the word of God. You must be willing to let this person “get in your face” about things as well as encourage each other in the word. Accountability is a two way street. It won’t be easy but it will be rewarding.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Abba God, Thank you for the church, the ekklesia, in which we are able to fellowship and hold each other true to your word. I ask, Lord, that you help each person today to begin to find an accountability partner for their walk with you. Lord help us to hold each other up in prayer. It is in Jesus’ name that I pray. AMEN!
Remember James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Good night and God bless you. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm.