Enjoying God through His People
We need each other to Enjoy God.
Last Sunday, we explored that being part of the local Church was God’s idea from the very beginning and without ‘one another’ we will profoundly struggle to enjoy God and grow in our Christian walk. We were saved not to go solo but to be part of God’s people. We need each other.
Why will we struggle going solo? Why do we need each other? Matt Fuller, pastor in the UK, puts it well:
Church prevents us from simply hanging out with PLUs (people like us). That means our views are challenged, our opinions are changed, and our blind spots are revealed. More than that, the rough edges of our characters can be smoothed. Committing to a church stirs us out of being self-serving and shapes us into people who are self-giving. Unlike Facebook, church tells us that the world does not revolve around “me.”.
Is it hard to put others before yourself? Absolutely. It is easy being part of a local church? Nope. But you will find a happiness like nothing else in serving, caring and welcoming people who are different from you. Jesus was not joking when he said “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
A couple of ways to Enjoy God through His people this year are:
1. Connect Groups: This is a key time when you live out all the “One Another” verses in the Bible each week as you pray for one another, encourage one another, bear with one another and spur one another on towards love and good deeds. It’s no wonder that those in our church who are in Connect Groups are more connected.
2. Sunday Gatherings: Entering church with the mindset of who can I build up, encourage and welcome, changes everything - because you are thinking like Jesus - particularly as you seek to welcome the new person. For when you have a conversation with some you do not know, you are showing them the love you yourself have experienced in Jesus Christ. “Welcome one another, then, just as Christ welcomed you, in order to bring praise to God.“ Romans 15:7
Remember to make the first 5 minutes count as soon as the church service ends, to talk to some you do not know and then someone you do. You never know the impact that conversation can have upon them.
3. Hospitality: Hospitality is not just for women, but men too. It’s not just for people with big houses or are great cooks. It's for ALL Christians to do. (Romans 12:13) It’s as simple as grabbing a BBQ chook, bread rolls and asking someone to come for lunch from church. That’s it. It is a beautiful expression of the fruit of the gospel, when people who have little in common treat each other like family around their table.
Brother and sisters, we need each other more than we realise. Our modern world will tell you to focus on self, your needs and not others. But that’s a lie. Jesus tells you focus on others (it’s not easy) but in the end you will experience a joy like nothing else. (Hebrews 12:2).