“This is My commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you.”
In a world where people feel isolated and alone, God created a unique and loving community called the Church. In fact, one of the first acts in Jesus’ ministry was to establish a community of believers, the disciples. These 13 men, including Jesus, transformed the world with the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Throughout His ministry, Jesus modeled and taught about life in this new kind of community.
We are not created to do life or ministry alone. Community was God’s plan to change the world. Jesus was completely capable of preaching, teaching and healing by Himself. It’s not as if Jesus needed anyone to help Him! But God designed us to need each other, and Jesus lived this out by taking along 12 friends.
Being in a loving community helps us in many ways. We have friends to encourage us when we feel down, someone to help when we struggle with a problem, we learn to love as Jesus loved, it helps us stay committed to our Christian faith, and we can also be ourselves. Community also helps us stay obedient to God. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you John 15:12! The only way to love others is to live in a community. There are many more benefits to being involved in a Christian community, but one of the best is when Jesus is uniquely present when we gather. And wherever Jesus is, is a good place to be!
Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
How does meeting together, either in a small group or church setting, help us encourage each other? Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.–Hebrews 3:13
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.–1 Peter 1:22
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.–Hebrews 13:1
By Enyonam Gbekle.