TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, January 15, 2019:
Group of people who live in a particular locale; a group having interests or religion in common or have the same cultural or historical heritage.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
We can remember our grandparents talking about the rural areas that they lived in. Every person within miles was considered part of their community. When one was sick everyone would endeavor to help out. If another was facing a concern everyone wanted to be with them in their time of need.
Community life today has all but left us. Many people do not even know the names of their neighbors let alone show any interest for them if they are in need. This is a by-product of the busy-ness of life today and the self-centered culture of the “ME” generation that we live in. Everyone is concerned about their own interests and no one else’s.
In chapter 5:16 (above), James paints a beautiful picture for us of an authentic Christian community. From a Christian perspective a community is not limited to neighbors but consists of all those with like mind --- a love for Jesus.
James shares with us four qualities that make a Christian community of believers. They are confession, prayer, honesty and love.
As believers in Jesus we need Christian fellowship. This fellowship gives us opportunity to talk openly with fellow Christian brothers and sisters about our situations and concerns and then to pray for insight and healing, with honesty and love. Members of Christ’s body of believers should be able to count on other believers for support and prayer.
If Christians were committed to live this way, we can only imagine how it would impact the world.
Most Christians today live in isolation cells not willing to let anyone else into their lives and not willing to let anyone see exactly who they are. You can ask someone how they are and they will answer something like, “just fine.” But they really are not just fine but have hurts and concerns that basically, they feel, no one cares about.
The real problem today, as we see it, is that most Christians do not want to share with others because in the past they have been betrayed by others who were not trustworthy. Christians need to learn to share with trust-worthy believers who will encourage them, share in their concerns and pray for them. Mutual sharing of needs enables believers to uphold each other in times of spiritual struggles. This is how it should be among the community of those who love the Lord.
The community is built on families so trust must start in the home. Far too often people cannot confide in their own family and count on them for encouragement and support. This creates the need to find a community of Christian believers that are trust worthy and caring such as a Bible study group or a Bible believing Church.
The family that “Prays together stays together.”
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Peter 5:7.
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Help my family to find a Christian community that will serve as a support base for us and that we, in turn, can be a support base for them. Give us a renewed desire to serve others and make known the love of God that He has for each of us.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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