“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I among them.” — Matthew 18:19-20 (ESV)
Encountering God through Others
One of the most impactful ways God reveals Himself is through others. Jesus taught us in Matthew 18:19-20 (ESV), “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” We can learn aspects of God’s heart through others that we simply can’t learn alone. In relationship with others we learn about God’s heart for unity, grace, humility and love in new and powerful ways. In fellowship we encounter people with various giftings, perspectives and past experiences that are different than our own. And in community we discover God’s heart to use others for the building up, healing and sharpening of ourselves. James 5:13-16 (ESV) says,
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
God longs for you to give yourself fully to the community around you. He longs to use you for the healing and building up of others. And he longs for you to embrace humility and receive help and sharpening from others around you.
Ephesians 4:16 (ESV) says, “From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Investing in community gives you the opportunity to be used by God to be built up in love with a group of believers. It positions you to receive help from fellow believers who are pursuing Jesus. And it equips you to pursue freedom and life in areas where you might not have gotten victory without the help of others.
Pursue wholehearted community today, not because fellow believers are perfect, but because you, as an imperfect child of God, need help from fellow imperfect children to encounter the fullness of abundant life God intends for you. Have grace for others. Love when you are unloved. Help when no one else will. Build up the body that Jesus loves that the world might better know the loving and available God we serve.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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