You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 2 Timothy 2:2
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:9-12
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Today is the start of week three of a three-week Devotional Series entitled, “Christian Community.” This series is about Christian community where we seek to genuinely be the body of Christ. This necessitates regular involvement with others in settings where our love and care of each other leads to the exchange of ongoing mutual support and accountability. We need to surround ourselves with a set of other people who encourage, challenge, uplift, inspire, and celebrate the work of God in our hearts and lives.
Ministering to each other in ways that support and encourage the life of God in each of us is what it means to be the Body of Christ. This is the heartbeat of Christian community. We are prone to slipping away from a close relationship to God and we are prone to slipping away from close relationships with others filled with love, care, and support. Getting together regularly in Christian community with other believers (small groups, Sunday worship, daily interactions, etc.) is essential. Consistently meeting in ways that truly support and encourage the life of God in each other will make all the difference. Truly, we are better together when the togetherness of Christian community inspires us to live fully for God.
The series is a compilation of separate weeks of Devotional material. They were selected and put together because they all contribute very nicely to this emphasis. This series has three weeks of Devotional material with the first two weeks having six Devotionals and the third week having five. Week one: A Kingdom Team. Week two: Called to Koinonia. Week three: Complete Follow-through. We begin week three: Complete Follow-through, with the following:
In whatever endeavors we choose and attempt in life, the need for good follow-through is essential. Who doesn’t want to begin and end an endeavor well? In most of the days of our lives, we face situations where the need for good follow-through comes into play. No matter what area of our lives we might consider, we want to be good at following through in that area. It is certainly true in our Christian lives. We want it to be true that we have good follow-through in the living out the new life in Christ we have been given.
Jesus addressed the need for follow-through in Luke 14 where he speaks of counting the cost before something is started so that once we begin it, we are able to follow through completely. Jesus illustrates this by referring to a builder who did not count the cost and then after laying a foundation for a building was not able to finish. With the unfinished structure in full view of other people, the builder who did not follow through became subject to their ridicule and they said of him, “this person began to build but was not able to finish.” If we are Christians, we are followers of Jesus, and according to Jesus, true followers are ones who start and follow through.
The Colossians passage above is a good description of what God wants to bring about in our lives as followers of Jesus. We are always a work in progress with the need to be going forward consistently. The 2nd Timothy passage above adds a marvelous element into the mix. We need trustworthy people around us who speak truth into our lives, and we need to be one of the trustworthy people who speak truth into the lives of various other people that God brings our way. This is what Christian community and genuinely being the body of Christ is all about. Just as we needed those people who helped us begin, we need a circle of others (small groups) to help us follow through completely in our Christian journey. Certainly, God will provide just the right circle of support we need at every point along our journey.
So, we began and are on the journey of a transformed life through Christ (We call it “Living Fully”). We certainly want to be ones who follow through with what was begun. The key is having a mix of people in our lives who speak truth and encouragement into our lives and to whom we speak truth and encouragement into theirs. As a result, our transformed lives will touch the lives of those who have yet to begin the journey and God will use us to help them come to the Master and embrace the journey He has for them. Exploring this cycle more fully and discovering the help we need to be able to go forward victoriously is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, it is my prayer that you will grant me a full measure of spiritual “follow-through” so that I fully “live fully” for you. I want to finish well. I know that gearing up is not the answer. I give myself to you in genuine commitment, surrender, and dependence. Lord, I worship you, rest in you, and count on you. Amen!