As followers of Christ our history becomes His story. God has created and shaped each of us on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. For the Christian our life-message is rooted in declaring the glory and grace of God.
Email. Internet. Video. Texting. Tablets. Smartphones. The list never ends, does it? As technology advances, real human connection becomes harder and harder. If we’re not careful, each new gadget can draw us further away from the family of believers God designed us to be.
If you want to experience a close community with other Christians, you must first escape the trap of superficiality and to develop tight bonds that will feed your soul and mature your spiritual family.
We have come to the fourth and final mental picture—a productive vine—another vivid analogy preserved for us in the Word of God. In fact, this one comes to us from the lips of Jesus as He left His disciples words of encouragement just before He was crucified. They have been recorded for us in the 15th chapter of John, a chapter that centres attention on three vital relationships the Christian must maintain.
Studies in anatomy occupy the attention of every medical student in the world. Christians would do well to emulate students of medicine. Since we are members of His body, over which Christ serves as Head, understanding the body would give us a better understanding of the church—how it’s put together, how it functions, and how to respond when it malfunctions.
Do whatever you can to be at peace with all those around you. Practice forgiveness. Be helpful. Do little things, such as write letters of encouragement, or make a phone call or two.
When we see the value and potential in others and then convey to them what we see, we are making a positive impact. Here are eight ways we can learn to affirm others and make a positive impact in their lives.
Far too many Christians have bought into the “pursue pleasure at all costs” philosophy. Marriages are breaking up at almost the same rate inside the Church as outside. Christian leaders often create just as much scandal as any movie star. And many churches no longer place holy living at the top of their priority list. But purity, as Paul explained in Romans 6, is a powerful alternative to our culture’s formula for living.
Itʼs a bit dismaying to realize that you’re going to be spending eternity with people in the family of God you don’t even speak with on earth! Quite frankly, when someone has wounded us with his or her sharp quills, it’s natural to want to keep our distance. But we do need each other, needles and all!
All of us need encouragement. We need somebody to believe in us. To reassure and reinforce us. To help us pick up the pieces and go on. To fuel our flame of determination as we face the odds against us.
Just as a river without the boundaries of the shorelines can become a devastating force, love without discernment can sweep away the reality of sin and the power of grace. John’s letter to a lady and her children provides for us guidance as we seek to balance truth and love.
Let’s start living as good neighbours to the people God has placed in our paths. To help us begin doing that, let’s eavesdrop on a conversation held in the street back in the first century between a lawyer and the Lord.