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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where two or more are gathered

by Nelson Roth
Christian community happens when followers of Christ get together.  On Sundays, believers gather for the corporate experience of worship and the word.  Throughout the week as life goes on, believers share life in various ways with one another.  These times together can be awesome, and what makes them uniquely special is the presence of the Lord!  Whether the gathering is large or small, when Christ, by his Spirit shows up, there is an awareness that you’re connected with God during that time of community.

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  Matthew 18:20

Christ has promised to be “with us always.”  And, yes the presence of God happens when we’re alone with him, but we also need the community experience and the impact it has.  The Word teaches us that we - “are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19-22
  • When believers are in community - Christ is revealed!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A healthy community is compelled to respond

By Jeff Hegstrom
I love that the gospel of Jesus Christ is such a uniting factor.  The truth is that we are all sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the beauty of the cross. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you have been, your nationality, your job or your financial status.  Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”   We are all one in Christ for those who believed and place our trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.  Paul writes in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

When I think of COMMUNITY, my first response is to think of the early church from Acts 2 and how they gathered daily to study God’s Word, pray and do life together.  But one thing really stands out for me about this group of believers… they genuinely cared about each other and were concerned about the needs that they saw around them. Acts 2:44-45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.”   This community of believers saw the needs that existed around them and were compelled to RESPOND by selling their possession and goods and giving freely to anyone as needed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

commUNITY, and its outcome

by Nelson Roth  
In my role at Relevant Ministry, I have the privilege of connecting with pastors.  What’s awesome about connecting with other leaders is our common denominator is not a denomination; but, rather a love of Jesus Christ and his word.

Recently, I was sitting with a pastor in his office and in the middle of our time together, out of the blue, he said, “This is really good - sharing this time and having the conversation that we are   having - I really need this.”  He went on to say, “Before you reached out to me, we were in our own silos, doing our own thing; and to think, we live just fifteen minutes apart.” 

There was such unity in the room that day.  My pastor friend and I were experiencing real biblical commUNITY!  We are both growing spiritually and we are being encouraged in our ministry service because of our continued relationship.  “Two are better than one.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9

On the night before going to the cross, Jesus prayed.  In his prayer found in John 17, he expressed his heart.  His disciples and those who would become followers in the years to come were his primary concern.  His concern was they would live in unity!

He said to God the Father in verse 11, “protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one.”

The heart of the Father and Jesus Christ the Son, is that we as believers, would live together in unity.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Living in community with others

by Brad Houchin  
From the beginning, living in community has been God’s designed plan for mankind. We were not only created to be in relationship with God, but also with other people. Right now, take a few moments to think about the relationships you have surrounded yourself with in your community.

Who is a part of your community?
Where do you find your community?
What is the impact that you have on your community?
What is the impact that your community has on you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Revealing the good news of Jesus Christ

by Jeff Hegstrom

Every time I read John 3:16, I am deeply reminded that God’s heart is to reveal Himself to a world that He loves.   In the Bible, we learn God’s heart and plan to reveal Himself to His creation that we may truly know Him and come into relationship with Him through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.  That is the good news, the Gospel - the hope of glory!

This past week as my family celebrated Christmas together, I was reminded in the Christmas story how God intentionally revealed Himself, His love and His desire to be with us, through the birth of His one and only Son Jesus Christ.  The good news was declared through angels to; Joseph and Mary, Zachariah and Elizabeth, to shepherds, and He even used a star to lead and reveal the Savior of the World to the wise men.

When Jesus had grown older and was planning to begin His ministry upon the earth, He went to be baptized by John the Baptist.  And when John saw Jesus approaching, John said, “… the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.”  John 1:31