CHRIST AND COMMUNITY

MERRY MONDAY- BY PARRIS BAILEY

“And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father”.  Col. 3:14-17

It’s hard to believe that the first four years of our marriage and being Christians, Frank and I lived in community or in other words, we lived with other people. What an experience! And yes, many good and not so good memories. I believe our small group (care groups) at Victory stemmed from those experiences. Even Jesus lived in community throughout His ministry.

The Word of God repeatedly draws from community. The primary feeling is that Christ be the all in all in our lives with each other. One of the funnier moments we had in community was when a “brother” borrowed our car to return it with a dent, only to get a “praise the Lord” in return. Yes, we learned a lot in community. I can still remember the “sisters” gathering around me on my return from the hospital with our firstborn. I was just seventeen crying and holding my baby because I hadn’t the slightest idea of what to do with my precious son. Yes, for me community rang loud and clear that day.

Piper said, “Once we struggled to find our significance and our happiness and our security in what we were in relation to other people—we’re Jews, we’re Greeks, we’re circumcised, we’re free, we’re American, we’re rich, we’re smart, we’re strong, we’re pretty, we’re witty, we’re cool. But then we sloughed off that old self. We put on the new self. And the core essence of the new self is that CHRIST IS ALL. “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives” (Galatians 2:20)

No matter what the issue is. No matter what the activity is. No matter what the idea is. No matter what the subject in school is. No matter what the vocation is. No matter what the TV program is. It exists for Christ, or for nothing. It rests on Christ, or it rests on nothing. Because CHRIST IS ALL.”

Matthew Henry; when speaking of the book of Acts said, “They were concerned for one another, sympathized with one another, and heartily espoused one another’s interest. They met in the temple, there was their RENDEZVOUS; for joint fellowship with God is the best fellowship we can have with one another.”

Daily we all face stuff! The waves and pressures of this life can buckle anyone if they have nothing to draw/lean on.  Learn to draw on your community-your brothers and sisters in Christ.

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