Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are you connected?

It's sometimes pretty tough to feel like you're really connected to your local church, isn't it? It's easy to get lost in the shuffle, whether you're a part of a big church or a small one. You can come and go every Sunday and yet never have much personal connection with other believers. The Christian life was not designed to be lived alone (see Genesis 2:18). We were created with a need for God and a need for meaningful relationships with people. When we choose to live life in isolation, we're missing out on so many of God's great blessings.

Our relationships aren't perfect. In fact, they're often really messy. It all goes back to sin (see Genesis 3). When you bring sinners into close proximity with each other, we tend to mess things up. We sin against each other in our motives, thoughts, and actions. At times, it's not pretty! But Scripture gives us hope that our relationships, while imperfect, can get better. They can begin to be characterized by love, compassion, forgiveness, and humility where once impatience, pride, dishonesty, and divisiveness were given free reign.

That being said, you need meaningful relationships! God knows our struggles, our pains, and our weaknesses. Amazingly, He often helps us with these struggles in the context of community - authentic, life-changing, hope-inspiring, transforming relationships. Would you like to be a apart of that? How about starting a small group with folks at your church? How about starting a Bible study and inviting your neighbors, who may or may not be saved? If we want relationships that are life-changing and transforming, we're going to have to work hard at it. It doesn't come easily, but it's worth the effort. There's the real opportunity that you'll get hurt...but, there's the real opportunity that the Lord is going to use others to change you, if you'll step out in faith trusting that He's in control. It's worth the risk. I'm giving it a shot. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

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