weekly devotional

5-4-22

God Honoring Community

Have you ever wondered how much you are influenced by the people around you? If you were friends with different people, how would you be different? If the culture of your school changed, how would you change? Growth and maturity are important and a big step in maturing is learning how you are influenced. The reason is because if you learn how you are influenced, you can be intentional about surrounding yourself with people who will influence you the way you want to be influenced. They will challenge you and help you to grow. But if we don’t pay attention, we often surround ourselves with whoever is available or the people we have always been there. This means we are willing to be influenced in a good or bad way. We are not setting ourselves up to grow and mature, we are just going with the flow of life. Which leaves us susceptible to negative influence that can play a huge role in who we become. 

 


The Bible is an amazing resource on community. It gives wisdom on surrounding yourself with the right people. Instead of being influenced negatively, it shows us how to help others grow. In fact, the Bible can give you a great foundation for what it means to be a healthy person with strong character. What’s interesting is that the Bible doesn’t recommend that you grow and mature just by reading it. Instead, we are taught to read the bible and seek out strong communities of people. People who have their priorities right before God, people who are trying to grow and mature, people who are also looking to be challenged. Take a moment and consider the ways you could grow in a community that is willing to hold you accountable and challenge you to be the best version of yourself. The call of the Bible is for Christians to spend time with each other. The reason is that we are meant to point each other towards God, we are meant to encourage each other, we are meant to move towards God together. In other words, we are designed to live in a God honoring community. 


Check out some of these verses: 

Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 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! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


These are just a few verses the Bible uses to help us know that we need a strong community. The reality is that it is a powerful thing when you have strong friends who are walking with God. Not only will being plugged into a strong community challenge you, but it will change you and help you know and experience the power of God. But if this is what you want, you have to be intentional. You have to choose to make connections, build friendships, be present at youth group and church – Not just showing up be purposefully connecting with others, praying with them, and being real. Real community is designed to be around the worship of God. Real community helps you become who God created you to be. Real community should be protected and cherished as a gift from God!


Action Steps: 

Think about and answer these questions:

1. Do you have a strong connection to a real community of believers?

      a.  If not, what steps can you take to get connected?

2. How can you be intentional about building your connections?