Community of Believers | We are here for one another!

 

Races can take you through many terrains.  Running uphill, it’s hard.  The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets.  Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief.  Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy.  And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more.  On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race.  They want to help you make it.

The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We run it.  We press for it.  But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.

As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race.  Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.

In this world the struggle is real.  May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs.  May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it.  May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.

We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race.  We need each other to do it.  As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails.  Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another.  We need to be there for one another.  We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).  

More encouraging verses and quotes:

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo Source: Pixabay

Advertisements

“The One Another Concept”

Despite the suggestion of this present age, we are not in this world for ourselves alone.  Our paths cross times, destinies, and people for a purpose.  Our lives are meant to connect as building blocks upon the foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ to help bring about change in the world of individuals we meet and pray for and love with the heart of Christ.

There is a “one another concept” that is richly expressed in God’s Word time and again.  One verse tells us, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  Another verse says, “…by love serve one another,” (Galatians 5:13).  And yet, another still says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” (Galatians 6:2).

When we are thinking along the lines of ministering to people, it will only happen when we consider one another.  It only happens when we step out of self for a moment, take our eyes off us, and see what another may be going through, and taking the time to step into their world for a minute to edify, serve, or help that one to bear something they need help with at the moment.

Serving people is reaching into their world where their need is pleading for help.  Sometimes that need is physical for things such as food or warmth, but at other times it’s a hug or a buddy saying, “I’m with you through this.”  All of it is driven by concern about what someone else is going through.  It’s not sitting in the seat of judgment over circumstance but it’s viewing them with the same compassionate eyes that caused Jesus to care about people the way He did.

This kind of compassion toward others causes movement.  One can’t see the struggle and not want to help with the need.  It’s recognizing, Lord, I may not be able to help everybody in everything, but for this need, I can stretch out my hand, my heart, and my time to care about another soul.

From the time of the creation of humanity, the “one another concept” has been in play.  God designed another being in the form of Eve to help compliment Adam so that he wouldn’t have to do life alone (see Genesis 2:18-22).

They were designed for relationship that offers support physically, emotionally, and spiritually to one another.  This idea can most certainly be applied to relationships with our friends, people on our jobs or we come across during the day, acquaintances and so on.  It’s hands and hearts of love designed for the betterment of humankind to meet the needs of one another wherever they are.

The “one another concept” isn’t just a good idea.  It’s a life choice that raises awareness of simply being there for people when people need you the most.  In other words, put people on your radar and become alert to any distress signals or troubles that might be registering for attention.  Some people may not know how to ask for help or feel completely uncomfortable with the idea, but in our awareness, when we notice those signals and answer the call, we can make a positive difference in that life that may have felt like it was going under all alone.

After all, if it hasn’t happened already, and even if it did, there may still come a time when we need that same support system that compels another to be willing to put us and our needs ahead of their personal feelings, advancement, and/or pleasure.

We don’t have to fit in with the self-serving nature of our modern culture.  Especially, if we remember that Christ deliberately put all our needs ahead of His own when He went to the cross in our place.  Love is what turned his attention off Himself and onto us.  What more can we do but make the same effort to reach another with the same love and help that was so freely given to us?

Is there another that needs you today?  Watch those you come into contact with during the day.  Are there ways you can brighten someone’s day?  Can you offer water or bread, in Jesus’ name, to one who has a need to be filled?  Can someone else use a word of hope and encouragement that guides them to see more than what they are facing now?  Can another just have your listening ear and understanding so they can unload a great weight they have been carrying much too long?

Touching needs where they are is only made possible when we get involved in the “one another concept”; when we allow God to use us, and our big or small offerings of help, to plant seeds of love in the life of one who may really need it today.  Together, we can do this!

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV

Camaraderie

love one another

Once, I had the pleasure of sitting in the cold, dank rain at the ballpark and watch my home team play.  Through the innings of watching outs and runs one thing that couldn’t escape my attention was the camaraderie between the opposing teams.

Yes, they were playing against each other, each determined to win.  Yes, they would do what was necessary to gain the victory in the end.  But, that didn’t stop the fellowship of being a player amongst one another.  Though, for the moment, they are technically each other’s rival.   They are, in fact, all members of the same big league family and you see this manifest itself in between the plays when they pat each other on the back or speak the same baseball family language of encouragement to one another.

What also doesn’t easily escape my attention is the lack of this same brotherly fellowship between some who say they are in Christ.  With such a worldly and competitive spirit present in some churches, the opportunities become fewer and fewer to help one another and foster the Christ-like bond that is be at the forefront; a bond that would allow one to speak words that elevate instead of tearing down or a friendly gesture that says, “I am in this with you.”

We are to be edifiers of one another building the church of Christ on bricks of love, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.  Let’s start today with a determined effort to do our part and show the world the love of Christ through the camaraderie of the brethren of which we are all members of, male or female.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” John 13:35.

Community of Believers | We are here for one another!

 

Races can take you through many terrains.  Running uphill, it’s hard.  The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets.  Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief.  Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy.  And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more.  On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race.  They want to help you make it.

The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We run it.  We press for it.  But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.

As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race.  Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.

In this world the struggle is real.  May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs.  May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it.  May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.

We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race.  We need each other to do it.  As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails.  Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another.  We need to be there for one another.  We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).  

More encouraging verses and quotes:

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo Source: Pixabay

“Lifting Spirits” | Devotion

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do,” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The main goal of a cheerleading organization is to raise the spirits of the fans and team members of the sport they are supporting.  As I look at this life, I realize there are others around you and me every day that could use some encouragement.  People who need their spirits raised.  Some whose lives need to be touched with a little something that will help see them through this day.

The old saying is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover.  People are like that also.  Day by day we walk through our normal routines.  Sometimes we come across different people.  Sometimes we see the same people each and every time.  In meeting people there’s one thing I have come to realize, you don’t have a clue of what one may be facing on the other side of that facade.

The face that is smiling at you may be at the point of giving up.  The one who is engaging you with such polite conversation may have just suffered a hard blow financially.  Or, any others we may see on a daily basis.  All we can do is look at what they show us but more often than not there are deeper issues that people are dealing with.  While in the middle of those deep issues, what if they receive word that renews, that makes them feel that everything is going to be okay in spite of what they are facing?  What if one act of kindness done for them helps to ensure them they are important too, no matter what the situation is telling them, and raises their spirits?

How would we order our day, our regular routines, if we treated everyone as if they were a mission field to receive kindness?  You could be the one that will help somebody else to make the decision that they will not throw in the towel.  They will not give up.  You and I can be that deciding factor!  You can be that spiritual cheerleader that brightens the heart and lift the spirits of those who may be having a hard time at life right now.

Oh, what a joy!  We don’t have to know the total story of another.  All we have to do is try to treat everyone who crosses our path with respect and a willingness to radiate the goodness God onto them.  Perhaps all we have to have is a kind word ready on the tongue to bless the life of another.  After all, the Bible does tell us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …,” (Pro. 18:21).  There is power in the words we speak to others and in any encouragement we can give.

1 Thessalonians commands us to “edify one another.”  That word “edify” means to build up.  Or, as I like to say, to cheer on!  The things we do and say in life should make people feel encouraged.  It should inspire them to go on and not give up.  It should show them to Whom we belong.  “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another,” (Rom. 14:19).  It’s looking for ways to touch the life of another through encouragement.

Lift someone else today.  Send out a ray of sunshine from you to them.  Let them feel the warmth of the love of God in you.  Let them know that there is something special in them.  And, yes, make them feel that they matter.  Be an encourager today!  Be a spirit lifter!

Photo Source: Pixabay

Camaraderie

love one another

 

I had the pleasure the other day to sit in the cold, dank rain at the ball park and watch my home team play.  Through the innings of watching outs and runs one thing that couldn’t escape my attention was the camaraderie between the opposing teams.

Yes, they were playing against each other, each determined to win.  Yes, they would do what was necessary to gain the victory in the end.  But, that didn’t stop the fellowship of being a player amongst one another.  Though, for the moment, they are technically each other’s rival.   They are, in fact, all members of the same big league family and you see this manifest itself in between the plays when they pat each other on the back or speak the same baseball family language of encouragement to one another.

What also doesn’t easily escape my attention is the lack of this same brotherly fellowship between some who say they are in Christ.  With such a worldly and competitive spirit present in some churches, the opportunities become fewer and fewer to help one another and foster the Christ-like bond that is be at the forefront; a bond that would allow one to speak words that elevate instead of tearing down or a friendly gesture that says, “I am in this with you.”

We are to be edifiers of one another building the church of Christ on bricks of love, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.  Let’s start today with a determined effort to do our part and show the world the love of Christ through the camaraderie of the brethren of which we are all members of, male or female.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” John 13:35.