Sunday, while Pastor Tim and Gloria were away celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, I spoke to the idea of prioritizing, pursuing and experiencing community specifically through the filter of the Gospel.
When we consider community through the filter of the Gospel, we learn that: Community is more than just a nice idea. A significant part of Christian community is seeing MORE OF Jesus through the lives of others around us, which allows us to get to know Jesus that much better.
Can you think of specific people who enrich your life for Christ? People who challenge you to be more like Christ? Or, considering it from another angle, what are people around you seeing and learning of Jesus through the observations of your life?
A filter to live by. The Scripture tells us if we attempt to build into other’s lives without weaving in the love of Jesus, our intentions have been futile. (1 Cor. 13:1-4) No matter what we do, or how successful we are, without the love of Jesus, in the scope of eternity, we’ve gained nothing.
This is emphasized again in Col. 3:14-16, encouraging us to clothe ourselves with love. This is a love that was offered to us through the pain and death of Christ on a cross. We cannot contrive a love through our own efforts that will be transformational to the lives of others. The love of God, that is in us comes through the power of His Spirit, because of an acceptance of the death and the resurrection of Jesus. This is the kind of love that is big enough and powerful enough to offer an alternative to brokenness and isolation that exists all around us.
Once we have accepted and applied the Gospel (the new filter) for our lives…it allows the love of Christ to penetrate our lives, allowing us to circulate that love to others. The love that we offer to others, comes out of the overflow of the love and our understanding of that love that God offered to us through the death and resurrection of His Son, (Ephesians 2: 13-14).
Sharing love as a part of community is not a duty we have… rather, it should be our response to the overwhelming love of God…
How do we live like this?
- We must first secure our faith in Christ, understanding or being reminded of what was done for us through his death and resurrection.
- Then we can live out of the hope and the renewed life that are a result of this faith.
- And it’s out of this faith and hope that we can in turn extend love.
Question to consider: “How is the Gospel of Christ, impacting the people around you, and the choices you make day-to-day?”
Opportunity coming for connections on Aug. 17, mark your calendars….we are developing four regional events– ROCC Out– (Goshen, Middlebury, Dunlap and Elkhart) that will allow you to come together with others who live in closer proximity to you and are intended to offer a fun time of fellowship and connection. More information will be coming in the weeks ahead.
Blessings to you this week as you are reminded of the Gospel throughout your daily activities.
Scott Tilley, email@example.com / 574.875.1152 x103