Community is key in the kingdom of God. Its more than just attending a church service but actually getting involved in some type of ministry. There are so many opportunities to experience the togetherness God desires for us. It is by our love for each other that the world will know that we are His disciples. Jesus prayed that we would be one even as He and the Father are one. However, this togetherness is not just about doing things but having a genuine relationship with each other while doing things for God. There are 4 togetherness principles that are essential for spiritual growth:
Get Together: Hebrews 10:25 is clear upon getting together. Today, we think getting together with other believers is not important but getting together is highly important. Notice what the verse says, “not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.” He actually tells us to get together more.
Go Together: Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” So not only do we need to get together but we must go together with one mission in mind.
Give Together: What if we saw the success of others as our own? We should be known for our generosity. We have worn people out with words. How about we give them a breath of fresh air with acts of generosity. Also, we are to give a tenth of our income. Just think if the whole church body gave a tenth of their income? Think of the possibilities.
Grow Together: I honestly believe if we don’t get together, go together and give together we will not grow together. We will remain spiritual babies if we don’t live in obedience to God. If we never take the time for togetherness, then we put a heavy load on those who are expressing these principles and commands in their lives. You can get all the information you can get on every subject in the Bible but until you apply what you know there will be no growth. What if the depth of your application of the word was more than the knowledge of the word?
I know getting together, going together, giving together and growing together doesn’t make you a Christian but it’s what Christians do. If you aren’t doing this, then maybe you should evaluate on why you aren’t doing these things.
I deliver God’s word every week and it’s important for me to interpret the word of God through the proper context. From an objective standpoint, there has to be one interpretation God wants to deliver through a particular passage of Scripture. It’s my responsibility every week to rely upon the Holy Spirit to rightly divide the word of truth. If I have the wrong interpretation, then my attitude and application to life will be skewed.
However, the Bible isn’t the only book that needs proper interpretation. Our life needs proper interpretation. Your interpretation of life will either give you hope or despair. Everything that happens to us needs to be viewed in light of what God says. Remember, it’s not what happens to us that affects us; it’s how we interpret what happens to us. Are you ready for a life change?
• Interpret your failures, mistakes and sins through the eternal plan of God. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Philippians 1:6 says, “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” God has a plan and a purpose for your life but your interpretation of your life must agree with these verses. We have all failed but we must look at our shortcomings through the interpretation of redemption. We don’t look through this lens to continue in sin but to instill in ourselves hope so even in our mess we can rely upon a perfect God. This lens gives us the confidence we need and makes us God-conscious and not sin-conscious. The more you focus on your shortcomings the more you will come short but if you focus on what God says your life will align with His will! Your interpretation is a result of your focus.
• There will always be a daily battle to counter faulty interpretations. Paul gives the admonishment in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” Your mind needs to be reminded daily of God’s word because according to Scripture your mind is being saved. Your mind isn’t full of heaven so you need to be intentional about feeding your mind with the word of God.
Always remember hopeless situations only need a different interpretation based on God’s word.