Following Christ is a daunting commitment that reaps great reward. What I mean by saying this is that following Jesus is hard, yet it brings great joy. In fact, walking as a follower of Jesus is so difficult that Christ Himself even says that few will enter through the “narrow door” (Luke 13:24 ESV). Do not lose hope though! You, the disciple, are not called to walk this path alone. God’s Spirit has created a community, His Church, in order for believers to engage in fellowship with one another, bear one another’s burdens, encourage one another, sharpen one another, and overall, simply grow more into the likeness of Christ with another. Our next destination for The Journey is community.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”Luke 13:24 ESV
A team operates as one unit in order to accomplish a task. Whether this be within a sport, within some workplace, within a school project, or wherever else a team may be needed, this definition remains the same. Comparatively, this is exactly how the community of believers functions. We are one team united under the headship of Christ with giving Him glory as our task. In fact, this community is even more than just a team. We are a family, a body, a bride.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV
Christians are not called to embark on this journey alone. I know in my life, after committing to Christ, it was necessary for me to dive into a community of other believers. This looked like me getting more involved within my youth group, becoming more active in being discipled and discipling others, seeking opportunities to serve in my local church, and establishing a solid friend group, establishing a brotherhood.
I know for certain that I would not be where I am today if God had not placed two outstanding friends in my life. These two individuals were more than just friends however: they were brothers. While each of us continued to grow in our walks with the Lord, we each encourage one another, rebuked one another, and loved one another with Christ-like love.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17 ESV
The purpose of a believing community is to experience the radically transforming power of Christ with one another, and grow more into His likeness. All the while you, and your fellow community, are walking in love with one another. I encourage each and every one of you to seek out a community of fellow believers that replicates Paul’s description of how the unified body of Christ should function.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”Ephesians 4:1-5 ESV
This journey is hard task. However, you are not called to walk this alone! God has given you fellow believers who have experienced similar, if not, the same exact things you have gone through, are going through currently, and will go through. You are called into fellowship with one another in order to further God’s glory and righteous Kingdom. Actually, this is where we will venture next on The Journey: His glory.
- Do you have a local church congregation to get involved in?
- Do you have a close friend group that you can grow with intimately?
- How can you get more involved in a local body of believers?
- Have you committed to walking this “narrow path” of committing to Jesus?