“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
In a recent article, I talked about the reasons why we go to church. It started out with an emptiness that I felt about the purpose of going to church. Throughout the article, I spoke about the true reason why we should go to church and that was to encourage one another. I don’t believe, however, that the end of the story.
In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, King Solomon wisely wrote; “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” This is one of the primary reasons that we need a church family and not just a country club to join. It is a place to join together, buckle down, and embrace life!
So, I went a little strong on that in the first two paragraphs. Perhaps I am little overzealous on the topic. However, I am a firm believer that before we can reach the world, we have to first reach within. We have to first love on the unlovable…in our churches. Jesus spoke in John 13:34 that we are to “love one another” as Christ loves us. As we walk to the next verse it says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Did you see that? It is by the love that we have for one another that people will know that we are His disciples! We were not designed to live life alone (see Genesis 2:18). Throughout scripture, there are plenty of places that you will find God relaying to His people to build a relationship with one another and how imperative it is for them to do so. Why?
For me, the answer lies in Galatians 6:2 where Paul writes, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The people of God do not have their act together. How do I know that? Carry each other’s burdens. Yes. Perfect people do not have burdens and God’s people, in fact, do not have their act together. Heck, I don’t have my act together. Why do you think I write this blog?! I digress.
God wants you and me, as believers, to carry one another and help one another through the tough times. Doing this, the people of the world will see something in us that they will desire. I know this because so many people will go to the bar to have community and feel accepted for who they are. I am not advocating for you to go to the bar, let’s keep your focus here! If someone comes into the church and automatically senses something amiss with the people of God, they are not going to want to stick around.
My goal is to be the solution to this. Nope. I am not perfect. It is just that – at goal. My prayer is that I acknowledge when I see someone come into the doors of our church and be one to show them the love of Christ. First, I have to begin within the four walls of my church to love people…just as Christ loves us.