Together. Always

This year I’ve come to understand what it means to be content. Not complacent but being able to look at my life and smile truthfully. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, in fact this has been one of if not the most challenging year of my life. I’ve had to balance multiple commitments with work, church, fellowship and a thesis that may have robbed me of most of my brain cells and self esteem.

What’s responsible for this contentment has honestly been the faith community I’ve found myself in. Not only did I find a women’s fellowship which has taken me leaps and bounds over the limits I had put on myself and my relationship with God, but I’ve found a community of young people where Christ knits us together in love and fellowship. Both groups have lifted my confidence in myself and have helped me address my own insecurities. They’re not the reason I’m writing though.

I watch a lot of faith conference talks, apologetics and sermons on YouTube and on occasion I’ll look into the comments. YouTube comments 80% of the time contain the less attractive traits of humanity but these video are almost always filled with encouraging comments and thought filled discussions. On one such occasion there was a plea from a 13 year old boy who explained how he kept trying to follow Jesus and be good and holy but he felt like he was never good enough for God’s love. My heart broke for him because if you’ve ever been accused of being too hard on yourself this boy was exactly that.

The response was the most honest out pouring of love for this boy who felt so alone and so persecuted in his own heart. I commented as well and afterward he wrote to me in thanks. I told him that I could empathise with his fears and that the response from all those who commented was exactly what family is. The church is a family. Not the building, not the denominations, not the arguments but the individuals who live and love Jesus are a family. God through his love gave us a family we never would have thought to ask for. Brothers and sisters who want to walk with us on the path to holiness and people who genuinely want to see us get to heaven.

I was telling my dad about the youth group I’m part of and when I described it to him these were my words:
“There’s such a genuine atmosphere of love and acceptance. I think this is what it was like for the early Christians. They were a community of believers who loved God and each other.”

I really believe the Holy Spirit gave me that.

It’s because of this experience that I’m so passionate about church. It’s not just time out of your week to sing some songs, say some prayers and listen to a encouraging words. It’s an opportunity to recharge our spiritual batteries and be part of a community that doesn’t pressure us to be anything other than what God made us. It’s friendship, faith and family.

It doesn’t always play this part and no church is perfect, they’re all lacking in something but they are human. If God is the foundation then they will not fall and instead He will raise them up.

We all need to get our churches to that place. As individuals we need to be those people who love, encourage, serve and support all leaders in the faith not just those in our respective churches and denominations.

Family doesn’t begin in the united joys of heaven. It begins in the day to day wanderings of this life. Take from this what you will saints, but all I ask of you is to love. Love like Jesus. Love like a friend who would give everything up for the sake of a neighbour.

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People and the Screen

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

The verse above contains two things that have made me wonder. A thought occurred to me and I was hoping some of you could help me think of the answers; God speaking in first person plural and man having dominion over all the earth.

I believe that most of us would know that God’s referring to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they are a single God in three persons. An amazing mystery which I won’t go into today. What struck me is the sense of community. God is not alone, nor is Jesus nor the Holy Spirit. They never have been alone and never will be because they are together in one. When God created Adam all was well except the fact that he was alone and so he made Eve. Together they formed a community and it was good.¬†As creations of the Almighty God we’re not designed to be alone which is why we live in a society and go crazy if we’re in solitary confinement or just alone for too long.

Facebook and social sites are leading to rises in the cases of depression globally and thanks to the internet more and more people are finding it difficult to handle social situations in person. My question is do you think this could be some sort of decay or diversion from what God intended? People are spending more time alone and less time with each other and it has led to real life problems in families, relationships, etc. By trading community for a ‘manicured screen personality’ do you think we may be moving away from God’s will for us as His creations?

I’d be very interested in hearing what you have to say and your general views.

I pray that God continues to bless you all and that you may call to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you in everything that you do. Make God your compass and go where He points you.

*I’ll address the second thought in a follow up post.