Vision Series: Together as Family

Titus 2:1-8 CSBTrey VanCamp | September 11, 2022

OVERVIEW

In our day and age, healthy relationships built on mutual love and service between generations are rare. We easily find ourselves frustrated with the problems left behind by those older than us, or frustrated by the ambition and naiveite of those younger than us. But these frustrations only keep us stuck in our own struggles and fears. Those in their first half of life find themselves ambitious, but lonely. Those in their second half of life find themselves faithful, but angry.

In Titus 2, Paul gives practical instruction on how we can overcome these frustrations by mending our relationships. When we commit to listening to and learning from others in different life stages, we complete the family of Christ and act as an alternative community who prizes each other’s gifts and stages.

NOTES

You can take interactive notes. At the end of the message, you can email the notes to yourself.

TRANSCRIPT

Hi guys. I’m Maddie. I’ll be reading the scripture tonight and I’ll be reading Titus two one through eight, but you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching. Older men are to be self-controlled worthy of respect, sensible, and sound and faith, love and endurance in the same way. Older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slave to excessive drinking.

There to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and love their children to be self-controlled pure workers at home kind and in submission to their husbands. So that God’s word may not be slandered in the same way. Encourage the young man to be self-controlled in everything.

Make yourself an example of good work with integrity and dignity in your. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach so that any opponent will be ashamed because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about. Amen. Thank you so much. Mattie. Welcome everyone. Open your Bibles to Titus chapter two.

This is part seven of a 10 part series. If you’re new here, this is a great time to come. This is our vision series. So this is we’re essentially trying to map out for you what we are hoping to create in your life, which is to become a Jesus follower or a disciple or other people use the phrase, an apprentice of Jesus and.

Our whole church. We’re hoping everything can be described in these six words. We are formed by Jesus together for others in our estimation, this is the best formula for us that we came up with because a it’s memorable sorry, go back. It’s memorable. We can remember what it means to be formed by Jesus together for others.

But also, we think it’s actually pretty faithful to the text of what it means for discipleship. Now, quick overview, 30,000 feet. This is everything we’re trying to do. So the last six weeks, this is what we’ve covered. We are formed by Jesus, by his love, his life and his leadership. What that essentially means is we believe Jesus defines our identity.

We are loved. We are chosen. We are perfect in the eyes of God because of what Christ has done. He also determine our habits. So he’s the one who tells us what to do, cuz we believe Jesus is not only the way to eternal life, but he’s the way to the best life now. And so what we look at and what we engage in we take Jesus as our Lord to do those things.

And also he directs our thoughts. There’s narratives, as we’ve talked about. That are all around the world today. Narratives that sound so soothing, but they’re so deceptive and they strangle the soul. And it’s why we gather together around the scriptures and not just around what I’m thinking is the best thing to talk about for the week, but we wanna do this together.

I mentioned last week. This might be the hardest part for many of us in a digital age, in a divided age. It’s hard to do this thing together. We wanna do this together on Sunday. So Bravo you’re doing that right now. We believe there is a spiritual significance that’s happening here also together in groups.

And so we hope that you join a group. It’s never too late to join. It’s always open to let people in talk to me after service. If you want to see where our groups are at, and tonight we’re gonna look at what it means to be together as family starting next week, we’re almost done with this series.

We’re gonna look at what it means to be for others in our neighborhood, at the workplace, and also all around the world. This takes a lot of intention. We want to be a church that says, Hey, here’s the apex of the Christian life. Here’s the goal. But we also wanna be a church that says, and here’s all the little steps to get there.

And there’s grace upon grace. Some of us were taking steps back there’s grace and love for that. Some of us were taking a few steps forward and we celebrate that as well. So we want you to know this is we want to present this as something full of love, and we have patience with each other, but this is the goal that we would be together.

As family, as I picture the vision of what a good church looks like. According to biblical text, we cannot ignore the familial language all throughout the scriptures that you and I, if you’re a part of this covenant family, we are a family. Let’s pray. Father. I ask you that. Use these words to speak your truth.

God, may we listen to the scriptures? If there’s anything there that we disagree with, maybe submit to it and wrestle with it. There’s things there that just bring hope to our spirit, maybe clinging to it and find joy in it. But God above all I ask you that you be honored. And that we wouldn’t just be hearers of the word deceiving ourselves, but that we would take this word and do it.

As it says in James, God, give us the grace to walk in what you’ve called us to walk in Jesus name. I pray, everybody says amen to our great detriment. We have exchanged saints with celebrities. We no longer repeat the stories of saints, especially as Protestants. We think it’s a little bit too Catholic maybe, but we don’t repeat the stories of saints.

Say Saint Francis of Assisi, he was born to wealth. He had a rambunctious adolescence, but then he went into war and St. Francis became a prisoner of war. And in that moment of destitution, he heard from. This story has been told throughout history, but it hasn’t been told as of late what he winds up doing.

He says, okay, God, I will sell everything I have and follow you. And he that’s exactly what he does. He gets home. He finally gets freed. He sells all that he has. And at the moment of him selling everything, he is disowned by his father because his father had better objectives for his son than to become a priest.

If you read the story more and more of St. Francis, we don’t have time for that. I encourage you to study his story. He goes on to live a life of poverty. What we would call today, simplicity or minimalism. He realized all of these material goods really don’t even make you that happy. He lived, he chose poverty.

He chose chastity and above all he chose obedience. He tried to lead a group of other disciples of saying, this is what the word of God says, let’s do it. And what I love about this movement that St. Francis started was people called it a happiness movement. Although they were known for owning nothing, they couldn’t help, but laugh and be full of joy.

We should think about those saints. Instead, we idolize celebrities not to demean them or demonize them. I think too many of us dehumanize celebrities. And there are celebrities that I do but we do need to think about who our heroes are. We idolize celebrities for their money. How they can accumulate more and more because we’ve believed the narrative that more equals happiness or for their meddling.

They live a life filled with drama and conflict, and you learn that they actually do dramatic things just to get attention. And also we love them for their constant shifting and moving from place to place or identity to identity. We’re fascinated with how they deal with life. We desperate. Need new heroes.

We need saints who not only slay dragons, but also slay the ego of self. They not only conquer the city, I say that in the nicest way possible, but they also. Through the gospel conquer their own soul. They’re gentle, they’re kind, they’re loving, their family speaks highly of them. The more you get to know them, the more you respect them, it is those saints.

We need to lift up and to think about and meditate on and hope to become just like now I would be the first. To hope that I don’t glamorize the past. I think that’s not helpful. But I do think a shift has occurred in recent days. What you have is called the heroic journey and it’s how stories have always been told for centuries.

Since the beginning of time, the heroic journey I believe has mutated throughout the centuries. It used to be the hero was the one who sacrificed, not just for their kids, but for their kids’ kids. You are heroic. If you sacrifice for the sake of your children’s children to quote Hamilton, one of the greatest plays of all time legacy is planting seeds, the garden.

You never get to see America. You great. Unfinished symphony you sent for me. Okay. That’s not nobody. Amen. I feel really awkward, but thanks. Thanks. It’s such a good line though. Planting seeds in a garden, you never get to see that’s a hero. Doing things they’ll, you’ll never get to see, but your children’s children will nice, but something happened.

People are trying to pinpoint the decade where we are fascinated with different types of heroes, but along the way, we now, and this is still good. We find heroes who fight for the sake of their children. So they’re able to see the benefits, but they want to have a better life for their kids. And I would say yes and a amen.

That’s incredible. Not demeaning that at all. But what has happened and this isn’t good for the hero or for anybody else is we are now saying the hero is the one who’s on a journey for the self. Just sacrificing for me cue the all two familiar advice. Don’t have kids too soon. Don’t settle into a church that makes you uncomfortable.

The only sacrificing you to make is for you. Don’t stick to anything that doesn’t make you happy. Make sure you sign that prenup. This, that the other, I, when me and my wife, we got married at 21 and people winced saying, you’ve wasted your twenties friends. My twenties they’re gone now, but there was such abundance and beauty in it.

But we have this idea that commitment. Sacrificing for someone else is not the good life, but friends, I’m here to tell you it’s the good life. It’s the life that God has called us to. We need saints who live and sacrifice for the third and fourth generation beyond us. Imagine what our politics would be.

If we actually thought about the people who are not even born yet, what kind of changes would we make? Here’s the reality. No civilization survives. When the elders despise their duty to the young and the youth. Hide from honoring the old and we’re in a scary spot because this isn’t exactly our culture today.

It’s sad to see older men and women demeaned in the church world. When I meet with other pastors, they bemoan the fact that the majority of their church is old. Why they’re saints? They’re great saints in Christ and they’ve sacrificed so much. They’re souls that Jesus died for. I know that’s convenient for me to say, I don’t have a bunch of old folks.

I, we do have some, this is when I get in trouble. Every time I preach on generations. Okay. But I’m saying what a beauty why loathe? That we need to desperately get back to a intentional multi-generational family of Jesus followers. And this is hard and this isn’t conventional wisdom. When I, this is a church plant, we’re still technically a church plant until we get our own building.

But in preparing to launch this church seven years ago, I was required to come up with, I don’t know if you, any of you heard of this? Essentially it was called a passion Creek Pete. Okay. So I had to come up with a person in the avatar, so I called them Pete cuz passion Creek. Pete. Okay. Cuz you know me, I’ve had a rhyming problem my whole life.

Okay. And so with Pete, you would have to say, okay, who’s your target audience for your church? I always felt weird about it. Didn’t make sense. Cuz I think if I read the text, it’s all over the place. What do you mean? Just one there’s one type of person we like, but they say, yeah, you need to pick one person.

Is he in his twenties? Is he in his thirties? Does he make a lot of money? Does he have kids, what’s his career aspirations. And so you have to answer all these questions. And so I wanted to get past, so I answered everything. I went up just answering about me. I was like, okay, I’ll just describe myself, cuz I don’t know who else this ideal target audience is.

And here’s the reality. This is great advice. If you were to put together a tribe of people, a crowd it’s terrible advice to be together in the gospel. Amen. The gospel of Jesus is beautiful because we’re all different. Age, skin color, back cultural background, everything we need to be different. The kingdom of heaven is gonna be different.

What a beautiful thing it will be. So today, if I were to retake passion Creek, Pete, I would describe him the following he’s a 33 year old man who really likes to work with his hands. He’s as smart as a whip. And he was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. And he died on the cross. On the third day.

He rose again. That’s who we’re for we’re for king Jesus. Amen. This is how we organize our church and friends for passion Creek to fulfill its kingdom purpose. It must be formed by Jesus together as family. And so inspired by the holy spirit opened up Titus chapter two, Paul wrote a letter to pastor Titus to make sure the church was on mission as a family.

And this was supposed to be an alternative community who prized each other’s gifts, background stages of life. And in context, Paul is writing to Titus because there was false teachers, there were false religions, false prescriptions given to the church. And so Paul has his alarm going, saying there’s some toxic ideologies.

There’s some things dancing and paring as the truth. And yet it’s dividing you from the inside out. It’s full of the devil. We need the gospel of Jesus in its upright purity. And so it’s fascinating to. It’s his answer to make sure that we don’t fall into false ideologies and to sin, his answer is to stick with the family to be a multi-generational church.

Look at verse one of Titu chapter two, it says, but you were to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching older men. Are to be self-controlled by the way, I’m not, I’m smarter than this. I’m not gonna show you’re an old man. You’re not it’s up to you. Okay. You figure that out in your life. If you don’t know, ask your wife or your friend, you’re probably anyways, the older men, whoever those are in the crowd, I can’t tell are to be self-controlled worthy of respect, sensible, and sound and faith, love and endurance.

Have you met that kind of man, how beautiful is that in the same way older women are to be Revent in behavior, not slanderers. Other people say gossipers, not slaves to excessive drinking. They are to teach, look at that. They’re to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children.

Let me go back real quick. Let me just go line by line. What we’re reading here. So the older men self-controlled worthy of respect, sensible, and sound and faith, love and endurance. John sta. He summarizes this godly older gentleman as with two words, he says the exploitation is to be full of dignity and the second to be full of maturity.

Dignity self-controlled worthy of respect. They have this gravitas about them. You ever met that kind of man, you just around him. And this guy has been through some stuff and he could like he could fight a lion, but he’s also as gentle as a Teddy bear. It’s just like this manly man.

Who’s gone through life and he’s sobered. He’s sens. He endures. He sees his body decaying and yet his mind and his spirit is being renewed day by day. And then you have the older women, this word Revent is essentially saying abiding in the presence of God. Understanding this is such a gift for those in the older generations, they are able to see the spirit of God move in a way that some of us younger folks don’t see, you’re able to see through experience.

Okay, this is God working. Okay, this looks like a hiccup, but I’m telling you, I’ve seen my friend go through this. I’ve been through this man. This is actually a setup. This is not a setback, right? You’re encouraging Revent in behavior, not slanderers and not excessive drinking, essentially saying don’t partake in gossip.

And drunkenness, it’s saying excessive, by the way, where it’s showing, don’t put your hope and a drink, put your hope in Christ and then teach there to teach and other other tra other, excuse me, other traditions have, try to figure out what does it mean to teach? Certainly every Christian tradition agrees that women are called.

They have a special ability to teach children, to teach grandchildren and younger women, especially. What I have learned men. We like to learn shoulder to shoulder. And so if I wanna teach somebody or live life with them, I say, okay, let’s go play basketball together. Let’s go golf together. It’s also convenient, cuz I love those things.

And so this is actually you get to get into life more when you’re doing something else, but women it’s amazing. All you have to do is just get a cup of coffee and sit in front of each other and you just go, it’s beautiful. This is a beautiful gift that you have. We also believe man men at our church, there is a lot we can learn from the women.

A lot. We can learn, let us not be let us not think otherwise, verse four now, so that they may encourage the younger women to love their husbands and to love their children to be self-controlled. This is a consistent theme, pure workers at home. There’s a lot of questions people have about workers at home.

I don’t believe this is a passage that says every woman should be a stay-at-home. I think that is an oversimplification of this passage. We see way too many accounts in the scriptures of righteous women being out in the marketplace, read Proverbs 31, like she’s an entrepreneur, she’s a warrior. She like does all the things and she makes sure that the kids eat every night.

It’s incredible. Okay. But what this is saying, okay, don’t neglect your husband. Don’t neglect your children. Today’s gospel of self tries to communicate to women. Don’t get married too. Don’t get tied down with kids. Oh no ball and chain, all those types of things. He’s saying no find joy in it.

What a beautiful gift to have a home and be kind and in submission to their husband. So that God’s word will not be slandered in the same way. I love this. This is so great. The younger men have one command cuz we can’t remember anything else. . So he is like, how do I encourage the younger men? And it’s this one thing, younger men to be self controlled.

And the next verse says, and everything to be self controlled. You got one job, man. If you think about it, if we figure out that one thing, a lot of great things can happen, but that’s really hard. We preach at our church self control. It is such a gift. We like to use this language. Our cheaper desires must be killed so that our deeper desires may be fulfilled.

Boys do what they want to do. Men do what they need to do. Amen. Yeah. I see what you did there. self-controlled John stat has this quote about this verse. He says for doubtless, Paul is thinking of the control of temper and tongue of ambition and Avaris. And especially of bodily appetites, including sexual urges, so that Christian Young men remain committed to the unalterable Christian standard of chastity before marriage and fidelity after it, most of our problems being young men is we do not know how to control ourself control our appetites and our urges, but that is when men of God are built.

When we learn in community together, how to fight the good. Next, you guys can all be at ease now, except for me and Caleb, because now this is a word to the pastors. He says, make yourself an example of good works with integrity. Integrity means I’m the same person up here as I am at home. Here’s a trick.

Look at the pastor’s kids. If the pastor’s kids don’t like the pastor, you shouldn’t either. Now when they’re 13, I think that doesn’t really matter, it just so give us some grace in certain windows of time, but there’s something about that. We have the call as pastors to be integrity. I say the same things that I say at home and dignity in your teaching.

I love this. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach. This is why we do the hard work. In fact, me and pastor Caleb are going to Portland tomorrow to learn more about how to teach and how to craft sermon series to help our people. This is a really important job so that any opponent will be ashamed because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us.

We may disagree, but at the end of the. You’re a man of upright character. I can’t help but respect, but here’s the thing. Notice in this text, we need the younger and the older and each have a unique role to play for the kingdom of God. And I believe we, as a church are never at our fullest. If we don’t honor both at our church, we like to use the language first and second half of life.

First of all, it sounds nicer than Hey, older folks and younger folks. But also it ties back to Christian tradition using the words first half of life and second half of life. So as we’re zooming in on this, why is it so important for the younger and older to dwell together in genuine community, which is when you do that, it’s filled with conflict and hopefully by God’s grace filled with re reconciliation.

Write this down in the first half of life, us young folks, look, we are tempted to carelessly squander. The father’s love. I encourage you this week to read Luke 15, the parable of the prodigal son, the son, the young son represents this stage of life. He doesn’t know what he has with this father. He wants to take the money and run and go live life to the fullest.

When you are young, you still think life is amazing. Look, write this down. Life is wonderful in your first half of. it’s amazing. It’s full of opportunities. You get mad at a church. Why does the church always talk about heaven? Let’s talk about here on earth. There’s so much to do. And so many things to see, and it’s amazing.

We can do all of these things. Also. Life is wonderful. We actually don’t even really uphold the church. We don’t really see its significant. And so we gladly take as many vacations or we just don’t go to church because ah, that’s whatever, there’s so much in on earth to explore in your first half of life.

You’re. The world is your playground. And also you struggle with indulgence in your first half of life. If you’re a believer here today, man, it’s typical to struggle with self control. That’s why Paul says be self-controlled. We want to overeat with experiences with riches, with lust and any desire we feel right at the moment.

And if you live life long enough, you’ll recognize the more you chase after these things, the more you lose your. It over promises and under delivers. And the second half of life folks say, yes, amen. We’ve done that. We know that lesson. The third thing about if you’re in the first half of life, you’re ambitious about the future, right?

We need ambitious people in the church. We need young people to dream bigger dreams. Seven years ago, I. So many dreams about this church and the Lord and y’all and everybody else has humbled me. It’s a little bit harder just to dream about this incredible future, but that’s why anytime I have those dreams, now I know it’s all the grace of God, but it’s also hanging around with younger people who just believe still that God can do what he says he can do.

It’s a beautiful gift. I love I was reading Psalm 1 0 5 this week, verse 19. It says that until Joseph’s dreams were accomplished, God used that time to test his character. That’s beautiful, but we need to be ambitious about the future, but we cannot stay young forever. Let me be quick. David Brooks, author of second mountain, if this first and second half of life stuff is really enticing to.

I encourage you to check out that book. He notes. What happens when all of us stay in our first half of life too long, or what some people call the Peter pan syndrome, right? Let’s never grow up. Sounds amazing. It’s actually really bad for your soul and for society and everything else in general, four things quickly.

It’s not in your notes. What happens if you try to stay young and not embrace responsibility commitments and the like number one, you actually turn out being really lone. The statistics show, you even can become suicidal because commitments are actually what give you life. You have distrust because you refuse to commit to somebody.

You also fear. Nobody will commit to you. You have a meaning crisis because life hear me. Doesn’t make sense. If life gets hard, when you’re young, you just throw up your hands. I don’t get it. Why is life so difficult when you’re older? You realize responsibility, commitment, sacrifice. This is a part of the.

And tribalism again, is community for lonely narcissists. People who don’t want to grow up and serve our children’s children. It’s a really toxic environment. Now, there is a way young people out of this misery, and it requires older men and older women to spend time with us and to pour into us.

So based on this text, here’s an encouragement to younger believers. Don’t hide from the older generation honor. It’s so funny, some cultures, this is obvious. Not for us every time. My, my family’s been blessed. We have a cabin up by solo and so we were just there for labor day and every time I drive up to show.

I remember the last one of the last conversations I had with my grandfather. He passed away this past January. And what I love when you drive with him, you don’t have to worry about talking at all. He will talk the whole time. He has story his four hour drive. He wasn’t even halfway done. Just story.

After story, I learned about his ex-girlfriends in high school, his military experience when he lost all his money, when he made a bunch, all of that. And so it led me to finally ask, I brought in, I could say something real quick. I. Grandpa. How did you deal with the opinions of others?

Man, I hate this about me, but I worry about what people think. And he just sat there quietly, which is a shock if you know my grandpa, like what just happened? I was thinking he didn’t hear me what’s going on. And he simply said, if you don’t like my gate don’t swing on it. I was like, write that, say that again.

One more time. It doesn’t rhyme, but I love it. He goes, if you don’t like my gate, don’t swing. And when younger people say that you feel like they’re trying to prove that they don’t care him. I knew he meant it. , he’s if you don’t like my gate, what are you doing in my yard, man? And what a gift I can read book after book about not caring about the opinions of others.

But when I had my grandfather tell me, I knew that kind of life was possible. And I asked him questions about how he got there. That’s my hero. And this is what we need. He, I believe had a track record of faith, love and endurance friends. Let’s not hide from the older generation. Let’s honor them. Let’s quickly.

What about those who are in the second half of life? Here’s the encouragement in the second half of life, we are tempted to callously scoff at the father’s love. Hear me like the older brother and Luke 15, the older brother’s so annoyed because the younger brother, he comes home and gets this huge party and gets all these gifts.

And the older brother is saying hold on. Where’s my party. Hold on. Why this guy, he hasn’t been going to church at all. He has been doing all the bad things. He’s going to Las Vegas and we’re not allowed to talk about it, all those things. And yet I’m not getting blessed, but he is. If you live life long enough, you’ll recognize God.

Sometimes just pours grace on people’s life and it starts to irritate you. Amen. Amen. I worked so hard and he got all that. There’s so much to that. First of all, God blesses us in different ways. So what that means is usually God is pouring grace on your life. It’s just not the way you define it. But we begin to get bitter. We used to celebrate people’s success and now we get a little bit angry, cuz we think we got robbed seeing the second half of life. Here’s your temptation. Life’s not wonderful. Life is wound able, you didn’t fulfill all your dreams, your friends stabbed you in the back. The church hurt you.

Your shackle look, here’s the encourage. You’re not shackled to your wounds, but you are shaped by them. It does change who you are. Here’s the second thing you struggle, not with indulgence. That time is gone, but you struggle with vengeance. Again, you’ve been betrayed. You have felt scammed. You can point to a few scenes in life and you think everything got worse because of that moment.

And you want to pay them back and you get so mad and angry. Your life is where it’s at today because of that moment. You need the grace of God in your life in a particular way that you didn’t need in the first half of life. Last thing you’re not ambitious about the future. You’re suspicious about it.

You love to watch television talk about how bad everything is, because that’s what you feel within your bones, because why you’ve seen enough dumb people, right? You’ve met all the swindler, the false teachers you’ve met enough. Pastors who are in it for the ego. You try to do a Bible study, but all it was gossip.

And so you’re just suspicious about. I feel that here’s an encouragement from Ronald Roy Heiser, sacred fire. One of my favorite books, he says the following. He says, this is for the second half of life folks. Once the sheer pulse of life. So strong in us during our youth begins to be tempered by the weight of our commitments and the grind of the years, more of our sensitivities begin to break through.

And we sense more and more how we have been wound. And how life has not been fair to us. New demons then emerge bitterness, anger, jealousy, and a sense of having been cheated. This is such a good line. Disappointment cools the fiery energies of our youth and our enthusiasm for life begins to be tempered by bitterness and anger.

As we struggle to accept our limit. Make peace with a life that now seems too small and unfair.

The more I learn about people, saints who fight the good fight. I learned that in the first half of life, saints have to fight the devil and they hope to win. But in the second half of life, you learn that you’re actually fighting with God and you hope to lose. Nothing in my hands. I bring simply to the cross.

I claim God, this isn’t my way, but it’s your way. And I wanna believe in it. I want to accept it and still have faith love and endurance along the way. Here’s an encouragement. I think based off of Titus two, to give to those in the second half of life please. Don’t blame the younger generation.

Train them. Don’t blame them, train them. I know us young folks. We’ve messed up a lot of things. Please be patient with us, teach us what your grandfathers taught you. Will you break the mold of caring about self instead? No. You start focusing on your children’s children, older people in the room. Hear me.

Can you please be our heroes? Can you be available to us and younger folks? Can we please honor them? This is what it means to be. It’s what we’re called to do. The gospel of Jesus on the cross in the resurrection has given us so many beautiful gifts, but one of them is the church. And that church is a family and we are connected by blood because of the blood of Jesus Christ that was poured out on the cross for our sins.

So because of that, hear me, we don’t give up on each other easily, cuz we’re blood thicker than water. We deal. We rejoice together in the good times, we give them the benefit of the doubt when they tick us off, we push through I’m praying. I know specifically younger in the first half of life, we struggle with self-promotion to try to claim that we’re significant.

The second half of life, we struggle with self pity thinking we’ve been robbed friends. We need to be together. The older can teach that fame enriches are not what they promise to. The younger can encourage and enliven the older that you can still dream again, that something great can still happen by the power of Jesus that a greater day can still come.

So I want us to end, I want us to practice. We wanna be doers of the word, not just hearers only. So I’m trying to end every week for a practice for you to do together in your. But just for us to do together as a family. So the first encouragement I wanna give you, this might be hard for some of us might be really easy for others.

Spend time with saints that aren’t your age somehow this week, get out of your echo chamber. Huge bonus points. If they’re from this church. Okay. So older gentlemen and women don’t be offended. If a younger folk goes can I have your number you’re old. Okay. So they wanna talk to you. We have some incredible.

Men and women in our church that would be happy to give their time. I have incredible men and women in this church who are older than me. And what a priv, how humble of them to submit to the leadership of a 30 year old pastor. We have some incredible folks here. We need to be together. It is so normal for the church to say today.

Oh, we’re the young church. Oh, that’s the old church friends. We need to be the church. And a good family has every generation. And I’m sorry, it’s I, it’s hard for me to get older folks to come. I don’t know what it, I think it’s cuz of my age, I’m trying, we desperately, we really want to be multi-generational.

We believe to be at apprentice of Jesus. We need that. We need that balance. And the second encouragement, this one’s hard for me. Maybe not for anybody else. Maybe I made this application just for myself, but look, practice the discipline of not leaving the biggest. Get to know somebody this week and when they share a story, don’t one up them with your own story, just be amazed at their story.

This will be really fun if all of you’re trying to do it, cuz then like somebody’s gonna out impress the other cuz you have to share stories. But here’s the thing. I think that Jesus life, as I read the text, Jesus is leading a movement where we are more interested than interest. In every conversation, followers of Jesus and our humility, we walk away going what a great person that is instead of thinking, does he know how great I am?

Let us be interested, cuz we don’t need self pity. We don’t need self-promotion. We have the Lord Jesus Christ to affirm us and to satisfy us with all of our longings. Friends. I have to be honest, we’re not here yet. We’re not a fully multi-generational church, but we want to put it in the vision and say, we are getting there.

I’m pretty impressed where we’re at today, but there’s so much more to go. And I know I myself need to do a better job honoring those who’ve gone before me. May we become a church that loves being together as a. Bonded by the blood of.

Group Guide

Meal & Conversation

Open the night with a quick prayer over your time together. As your Group shares a meal, feel free to use the following question to check in with everyone:

What’s been the best and worst part of your week so far?

 

Overview of Teaching

In our day and age, healthy relationships built on mutual love and service between generations are rare. We easily find ourselves frustrated with the problems left behind by those older than us, or frustrated by the ambition and naiveite of those younger than us. But these frustrations only keep us stuck in our own struggles and fears. Those in their first half of life find themselves ambitious, but lonely. Those in their second half of life find themselves faithful, but angry.

In Titus 2, Paul gives practical instruction on how we can overcome these frustrations by mending our relationships. When we commit to listening to and learning from others in different life stages, we complete the family of Christ and act as an alternative community who prizes each other’s gifts and stages.

 

Discussion

  1. We learned on Sunday that the world around us tends to fuel distrust and animosity between older and younger generations. In what ways have you witnessed this in the culture of the world around us? How have you seen this play out in the culture of the church?
  2. Now read Titus 2:1-8. How does the biblical picture of multigenerational relationships look different from the way of the world? How do both young and old play a role in the local church?
  3. Now read the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. In what ways can you identify and sympathize with the younger son who dealt with ambition, indulgence, and loneliness? In what ways can you identify and sympathize with the older son who dealt with long obedience, jealousy, and anger?
  4. Based on the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, the responsibilities laid out in Titus 2, and what we learned on Sunday, what unique struggles and temptations do you find yourself facing in your current half of life? How can your church family help support you, and how can you help support those in a different half of like than you?

 

Debrief last week’s practice as a Group:

How did you feel about last week’s practice? What next steps do you need to take in order to become more vulnerable with the people in your community?

 

Practice

There are two ways to practice being formed by Jesus together as a family this week.

First, spend time with someone who isn’t your age. Reach out to someone who’s either a few stages ahead of you in life, or a few stages behind you in life. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you’d consider yourself in the second half of life, try inviting a college student, young adult, or young couple over for dinner to get to know and serve them.
  • If you’re in your first half of life, consider reaching out to someone older than you to get lunch or coffee with, and ask them questions about their life and relationship with God.

 

Second, practice the discipline of not leaving the biggest impression. All of us tend to be self-focused in our interactions with others. By default, we tend to seek attention, promotion, and affirmation from our daily conversations. As you spend time with people in a different life stage than you — and as you engage in your everyday conversations this week — try to pay attention to the ways you’re tempted to make yourself sound more interesting and the ways you try and get things from people.

 

Discuss the following questions about these practices right now as a Group:

1. Which half of life do you see yourself in? What would you like to learn from, or pass on to, someone in a different life stage?

2. Thinking on your own life, how do you find yourself wanting affirmation and attention from others in your daily conversations? What affect does this have on your own ability to love people well?