Seeking God through Community - First15 - July 8
Seeking God through Community
Learning to seek the face of God is the foundation for experiencing the amazing life Jesus died to give us. We have available to us through Christ all the wonders, excellencies, and satisfaction we can fathom. God has granted us grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy, affection upon affection, and love upon love. When we pursue him through all the avenues available to us, a door is opened in which we discover all our heavenly Father longs to give us. May you grow in your pursuit of God this week as we study various ways we’ve been given to seek his face.
Scripture:“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” - Hebrews 10:24-25
We were not created to go about this life apart from relationship with fellow children of God. Without our brothers and sisters, we will never experience the fullness of life God intends for us. In community, we discover our place in the body of Christ. In community, we learn what it is to serve out of love, honor, and respect. And in community, we receive the healing and love that can only come from those who share in the same Spirit.
Acts 2:42-47 says,
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2 describes community that my soul longs for. We were made for honest, vulnerable fellowship. We were created to help each other, eat together, worship our God, and love others. Through engaging with fellow believers, we become a witness to the world of what happens when God works in the hearts of his children. We declare through our love for each other the life and joy that comes from relationship with our heavenly Father.
Scripture is clear that true community requires sacrifice and vulnerability. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 says, “That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” God’s desire is for all his children to humble themselves and live as one body. When one part of a physical body hurts, the rest of the body feels the pain and works together to heal. God desires it to be the same among the spiritual body of believers. He desires to fill us with his love and use us to provide healing for one another. He longs to guide us to a lifestyle of humility and sacrifice in pursuit of being his hands and feet for each other.
It takes receiving the love of God to give love. It requires a work of the Spirit to fill us with courage to be vulnerable with our community in order to receive and give the love we’ve been given in Christ. So, will you be a child filled with the love of your Father today? Will you allow God to use you to help a brother or sister? Will you choose the purpose and joy that comes from living sacrificially and vulnerably? If so, you will discover a satisfaction only found in the edification that comes from believers loving one another. May you find the fellowship your heart longs for as you courageously love your brothers and sisters.
1. Meditate on the importance of community. Allow Scripture to fill you with a desire to love and be loved by your community.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”- Acts 2:42-47
2. Reflect on your need for community. Where do you need the healing that comes from relationship with others? What people has God placed in your life? How can you in humility reach out to them for help?
3. Take time and pray for an increase in God-filled community in your life. How does he want to use you to help another person today? How can you lead out in being courageously vulnerable? If you lack such a thing, ask God to provide you with this type of community to share life with.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working . . . . My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” - James 5:13-16, 19-20
God doesn’t ask us to wait for others to step out and live in accordance with his Spirit before he calls us too. His will for us doesn’t hinge upon others’ obedience. God is calling you to a lifestyle of joyful service, sacrifice, and love regardless of people’s initiatives or responses. He longs to fill you with the courage to love others well and help them through their brokenness to a place of honesty and vulnerability. May you be the loving hands and feet of Jesus to your brothers and sisters who so desperately need a touch from God.
Extended Reading: Philippians 2
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