Why is Christian community so important, and why did our Master really stress it during the Last Supper? In short, we’re all we got—so Love one another. He makes this very, very clear in John 15:18-20 that, “…If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. …”(v. 19). The world is going to hate us at some point on our journey with Jesus, and one method will be by luring us with its pleasures and treasures. Jesus warns us of this in Luke, “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature” (8:14). Yes, one of the ways the world will hate us is by offering us our heart’s desires! This will be a counterfeit, to be sure, but a really good one at that….
In these pleasures and treasures we may find a false sense of self-reliance and self-security—even fellowship.And yet our fellowship with the saints slowly fades away as we get more and more involved in the pleasures of this world. And, according to Jesus, this, too, is hate….
The gathered body of believers in humble community is the only place where we can be told the truth in Love (Eph. 4:15), air our dirty laundry and be forgiven (James 5:16), and know our backs are covered and not stabbed (Romans 12:9-18). Or is it?
What are your thoughts on this? Are the other places believers can go to have these, and many more, blessings? Or is the church community truly the only place we ought to–or even can–have this?
Care to share?
Main Text: — Acts 2:42-44 — They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. [NIV84]
Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. — John 16:33 (NIV84)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. — John 13:34-35 (NIV84)
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. — John 15:13 (NIV84)
Heavenly Father, open my eyes to the profound nature of the community Your Son paid the ultimate price for. By Your Mercy & Grace and in Jesus’ Name, Amen.