Beyond “What’s in It for Me?” – It’s Not an Elective
Key Bible Verse: Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – John 13:35
Bonus Reading: John 17:20-24
An unsettling revelation to most Christ followers, in light of our fierce individualism, is how many marks of a Christian involve other people.
So much of what is involved in truly following Christ is tied to the “one anothers” of Scripture. Originally sent as apostolic admonishments to Christians gathered in local churches, they include such directives as:
- “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13);
- “encourage each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:11);
- “accept each other” (Romans 15:7); and
- “make allowance for each other’s faults” (Colossians 3:13).
These are clear in their command, decisive in spiritual formation, and impossible to fulfill apart from a local community of faith.
Jesus maintained in John 13:35 that the practice of such community life in and through the church, would offer the ultimate witness to the world about His own life and ministry. He was convinced that the church, functioning as a community of love and witness, would arrest the attention of the world and give ultimate affirmation to His message of salvation. If we fail to participate in this community, we undermine how Christ envisioned His message being affirmed in the eyes of the world.
—James Emery White in Serious Times
My Response: How well am I connecting with my local fellow believers?
Thought to Apply: We hear about those who like Christ but do not like the church. How can we like the Head, but not the Body, the Groom, but not the Bride?—Vance Havner
Adapted from Serious Times (InterVarsity, 2004)
Prayer for the Week: As Your disciple, Lord, I recognize I can’t remain detached from Your church. Help me to truly connect.