Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Purpose Driven Life - Day 18 - Experiencing Life Together

Some great comments on yesterday's blog on how people are being impacted by all that is going on in the life of the church. You can read the comments here - why not leave your own comment if you've got anything to add.

I wonder how you are stepping outside your comfort zone? Well yesterday Lisa Rutland was way outside hers as she went to court for the first time with a CAP client to try and stop them from being evicted - I'd have been scared witless! The bottom line was that the Judge ruled in the clients favour and they are no longer going to be evicted next Wednesday. The Judge said something along the lines that without the involvement of CAP the client would have been evicted. Isn't it great all that goes on under the banner of Kerith in the Community and that it's making a genuine difference in peoples lives. Take time to encourage Lisa next time you see her, and anyone else you know involved in our community outreach as sometimes it can be really hard work and they need all the encouragement they can get.

Hope you have a great time with today's chapter. I was looking at the message for Sunday morning today and reckon we're in for another great week next week with The Purpose Driven Life.

Simon.

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Life is meant to be shared!

“Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace.” Colossians 3:15 (CEV)

God intends for us to experience life together. The Bible calls this shared experience fellowship. “Fellowship” now usually refers to casual conversation, socializing, food, and fun. The question, “Where do you fellowship?” means “Where do you attend church?” “Stay after for fellowship” usually means “Wait for refreshments.”

Real fellowship is so much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together. It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting, and all the other “one another” commands found in the New Testament.

The Body of Christ, like your own body, is really a collection of many small cells. The life of the Body of Christ, like your body, is contained in the cells. For this reason, every Christian needs to be involved in a small group within their church, whether is it a home fellowship group, a Sunday school class, or a Bible study.

The Bible says, “If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other… If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves.” 1 John 1:7-8 (NCV)

The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. Darkness is used to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in the light, we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are. You were created for community.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

About a week and a half ago, my nephew (39) was in an off roading accident that killed him. He left a wife, 4 year old son and 15 year old step son. The news was obviously a shock, but my biggest issue was not being able to go to California to be with my sister and the rest of my family. Fortunately, I have a family here, and it was lovely to know that people were praying not just for me, but also for my family - people they had never met before. It has always been hard to be so far away from family, but God has given me many friendships through the church that have deepened over the years. They say you know who your friends are in a crisis - well, I know who mine are!
Geri

Frances said...

Just home from 2 days in Devon & Cornwall. I am being challenged about letting my emotions surface more readily, to laugh more and cry more. Reading chapter 16 about expresssing love I thought I was failing dismally as I don't often feel overwhelmed with warm sweet loving feelings for everyone!! Then during my 2 days away God seemed to be showing me the value of love I was expressing in practical ways to people during my trip - love that was about giving up time, driving long distances to visit and encourage lots of people (15 relatives in 4 towns!), set up computers, drop off daughter for a uni visit etc. He showed me that all those things were signs of being a loving person just as much as 'feeling' loving towards people. I was so encouraged as I never think of myself as being loving enough towards others.
Also made the effort to go to Polzeath to walk on the coast path for a couple of hours - a special place to walk and talk with God. I thought on the many words and scriptures he had put on my heart last summer during fairly traumatic times, and was amazed to realise how accurately they had been fulfilled over the winter.
Last bit - it was stunning yesterday on the coast, I was saying - wow God will you just look at what you made, its so incredibly beautiful. Then felt him saying yes he was looking at what he had made, but it was at me. We can be more excited about ourselves and each other as evidence of God as creator. I had such a strong conviction of being created, loved, saved.

Anonymous said...

what fantastic testimony from people...this blog is soooo encouraging....to hear how God is speaking to us and how the "body" is family

todays study again was relevant and timely...i spent a couple of hours with an old friend...hadnt seen her for almost 2 years and we had such a good time together...we seem to pick up our friendship and just love each other and encourage each other so easily...

it is slightly harder with those we have no bond with...but with His help we can surely move from superficiality to a deeper level of loving and accepting

the study does talk about the ideal life group size....it is hard to go deep with a larger group number..like ours....maybe we need to pray for more leaders and more groups in the light of our mission to grow to 2000

irene m