April 28 I Tuesday
1 Kings 3-5
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together…” —Hebrews 10:24-25
As we train for godliness and fuel ourselves with spiritual nourishment, we cannot do all of this in a vacuum. Our growth is limited if it is just done by ourselves. When all we do is place disciplines into our lives, where we study and meditate on God’s Word but are isolated from the presence of others, there will be some growth but it is compromised in its effects.
We need to exercise our faith together because we were built to live in community. When we study Scripture, we see God commanded His people in the Old Testament to come together in Jerusalem for the temple feasts. And in the New Testament, synagogue was a regular practice––even Jesus Himself observed it.
Life in community is essential to our spiritual growth, we are meant to grow together. We may love podcasts, listening to messages or worship music online, but when crisis hits, a podcast cannot help us. The sermon may give us some helpful hints, but when life is falling apart, sometimes we just need a brother or sister in Christ to be there and carry us through the difficult moments. If we have not cultivated a life in relationship, when a crisis hits we will look around and go, “There are no solid believers in my life.” Ten out of ten times, when someone comes up to me after a service and their life is in deep crisis, I always ask them the same question: “Who in your life is a mature, solid believer, full of the Spirit, full of wisdom that is helping you through this crisis?” And each time, the response I get is, “There is no one like that in my life.” Then I tell them, “Maybe this is where you should start. Let us pray that God opens your eyes to people who could be partners with you and can carry you through.”
This is not a new phenomenon. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another––and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We grow best in community. Are we currently attending a Sunday service regularly? If not, finding a church community is a great starting point. If we are already in a church, have we found a way into a small group that promotes meaningful friendship and spiritual growth? Do we have people in our life that are able to walk with us through the crises of life?
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for creating us to grow in community. Open my eyes to see the people that You have placed in my life to walk with me through the crisis of life. Thank You that I am not alone.