We’re in a new series called “Foundations” which builds off of Jesus’ metaphor in Matt 7: “A house built on sand will never be able to stand BUT a house that’s built on the rock will never be able to fall.”
This week, we’re in Practice #4: Grow in Community. Our guest preacher, Scott Stonehouse, emphasized that biblical community is, first, a New Testament model that we see in the life of Jesus and his followers; second, something we imitate as contemporary followers of Jesus; and, third, something we demonstrate to a watching world as evidence of faith.
Today, let’s think about the call to imitate Jesus’ lifestyle as his followers. Specifically, we’ll consider the way we’re told to interact as modern-day members of Jesus’ church.
The apostle Paul is the most prolific New Testament author and offers us a glimpse into the interactions of the early church. He counsels his listeners to live in a way that is different from the world - one of unity and love in the midst of diversity. Let’s read from two helpful passages:
Romans 12:9-17 (NET):
9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people.
Colossians 3:12-17 (NET):
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 14 And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. 15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Write down a few of the descriptions you read. Consider your own experience with Christian community. How does it match? How does it differ? What kind of community do you long to have?
Consider how you can begin implementing these “one anothers” with the people in your life this week. Write down one person who comes to mind and one way you can bless them by imitating the way of Jesus.
Published on 10-12-2021 @ 4:48 AM CDT