I have always been a part of small groups at our church. Some seasons as a leader and some as a participant. This season has brought many no’s for me. My heart sank when I knew I could not join in this small group season. I love the times with other believers, studying God’s Word, praying with and for one another, and fellowship times. If I am honest, I would say I need those times to do life well. I let to go and prayed that God would give me a way to have that time somehow.
My sweet friend, Peggy, was talking to me about the women’s bible study she goes to at her church, not too far away from where we live. I felt that gentle nudge to go. I was a little nervous. I only knew a couple of people, and I do not attend their church, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This beautiful group of women has been one of the biggest blessings in this season. We are studying the Word together, praying with and for one another, and growing friendships. It has been one of the sweetest experiences I have ever had.[bctt tweet=”These women know I don’t attend their church. They know that I am not looking for a new church. They have embraced me as one of them, a sister in Christ. ” username=””]
Unfortunately, this is not always the way this happens.[bctt tweet=”For some reason, the church has forgotten, we are more than just a denomination or a building.” username=””]
The church as a whole has felt more like High School than the body of Christ. I see cliques. I see gossiping. I see people alone in a corner without someone to talk with.
I am not out to personally attack the church today. God has placed these things on my heart with purpose, and I need to share them. I believe we are missing out on the beautiful plan God designed for us as the body of Christ. We have gotten distracted.
“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Why don’t we live like it?
This is not an easy blog to write, but I am finding that the things God keeps asking me to do aren’t easy. I know this may ruffle some feathers, and it may cause some offense, but maybe we need that. Maybe we need to seek God and allow Him to evaluate our hearts on this matter.
My husband and I are members at Christian Hill Community Church. We serve there in different capacities, and we love our family there. I am attending a bible study at Grace Fellowship Evangelical Church, and I love the women there. The people at both of these churches are my family. We are bound by the blood of Christ, and you can see this in the relationships we have with one another.
We need to get out of our cliques and our comfort zones, and we need to learn how to be the whole body of Christ. Not everyone I know in different churches believes things exactly the way I do. We agree to disagree on issues that don’t determine our salvation.
We love each other anyway. We fellowship anyway. We pray for one another anyway.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-16
I love this scripture. I love it the most because this is Jesus, our Lord, and Savior praying for us. We know because this is Jesus praying, this is the heart and will of God.
Here He is praying, not only for those disciples who were alive then, but those who would come after them. [bctt tweet=”This prayer is for us. This prayer is for His Church!” username=””]
He is praying that we would be one in the same way that God and Jesus are one. He prays that we would be one, so the world would see and know that God sent Jesus here to die for us and to be resurrected because He loves us. It is through us, our love for God and one another, the world will know this is the truth.
His church is the testimony of God’s great love for us, and the immense sacrifice Jesus made for us so we may be reconciled to God.
I don’t know about you, but there are days when I look at the church, and I have a hard time seeing that testimony. I see a church that looks like the world. That breaks my heart, and I know it breaks God’s heart.
We can’t change everyone and it isn’t our job to, but we can do whatever it is God is calling us to do. We can love our brothers in sisters in Christ well, not just in words but in actions. We can be willing to engage with people of different denominations and buildings.[bctt tweet=”We can together, testify of who God is in and through us so others may know God loves them so much, He sent His only begotten son to die for us. He was resurrected on the third day, and He is coming back for us. ” username=””]
Lord, may change start with me. Let change begin with us. Work in our heart, restore, and unify Your body! In Jesus Name, Amen!