Creating Community in Christ – Care
Where are we going? And how are we going to get there? Two months ago I began to give you a brief outline of how God is at work at Light of the Hills, and how we can grow together in Christ. I get excited when I think what God is up to at Light of the Hills, so let’s keep learning and growing together.
Here is one way of describing what God does when He creates community:
- He Connects with people, and He Connects people to each other.
- He Cultivates people like a good farmer, growing them strong in His Word.
- He Cares for them, and teaches them to Care for each other and for others.
- He Carries the Gospel, the Good News to His people, and teaches them how to Carry the Gospel to others in daily life.
This month, we look at how God cares for His people and teaches them to care. A good place to start is by listening to Jesus, our Savior, in Matthew 22:35-40:
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When Jesus talks about the most important commandments God has given us, he summarizes them into two simple categories: Love God, and love your neighbor.
As God connects with us through mission and worship, and cultivates us in His Word in Bible study and devotions, He begins to teach us to care for Him and for others. Notice how the apostle John echoes a similar theme in his first letter:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9-11 NIV)
So what does it look like to love each other?
- We love each other as Jesus loved us. This means that we consider the needs of others before our own. It means that we love our family members even when they don’t deserve it. It means we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
- We find a place to show that love. This doesn’t necessarily mean a sentimental, mushy love. For example, you can show love for a neighbor by helping to fix a car or trim a tree. You can show love for God’s people by serving as an usher or singing in the choir. You show love for your friends who don’t know Jesus by praying for them.
Remember, we can only love because Jesus has loved us first. So be connected to God in worship. Let Him cultivate you in Bible study and devotion. And then, in love, care for others by praying for them. Find a place to serve at Light of the Hills.
As you grow in Christ, we will grow together in love. It’s part of how God creates community in Christ.