Speaker: Rev. Damian Thompson
Week Seven Devotional
By Melinda Gividen
When my daughter was born, we were loved so well by our church family with texts, calls, prayers, and meals.
It was such an overwhelming experience, realizing how many people were in our corner, cheering us on, excited for us to begin this new chapter. While the meals offered us physical nourishment, they also offered us the emotional and even spiritual nourishment we needed as well. That season remains some of the most humbling days, as I remember opening the door and letting people into my mess – there were more dishes, diapers, burp cloths, and tears than I could even count. I had never let people see me like that! Until then I had managed to keep it all together, at least on the outside.
I definitely didn’t think I needed help, especially not from those I was closest to, right?……WRONG! Oh how silly I was to think my husband and I could do it all on our own. That’s not how God designed us.
Scripture teaches us that we were never meant to live life alone.
In a world that values and celebrates individuality, standing alone, and being self-sufficient, God is still calling us to surround ourselves with people who encourage us, lift us up, and speak truth to us. It turns out we do not have everything we need within ourselves. I was not equipped to face motherhood alone. I needed those friends who showed up with their casseroles and would still do the same for me today, almost 9 years later.
We fellowship with other believers not just so we can be served, but so relationships can become reciprocal. God is constantly healing our wounds with the words and actions of people around us. He speaks life back into our hearts, minds, and souls by forcing us to be vulnerable and admit that we need people around us (and that we will do the same when they need us).
Let’s be honest. Covid has not been great for our social lives. We’ve lost friendships simply because we weren’t willing to put in the extra work to keep up with people. Maybe it was easier when you saw that person every day, or every week, and now you don’t, and you have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Let’s change that! This week, accept the invitation God has given you to live life in true biblical community, surrounding yourself with friends who point you to Jesus.
- When was the last time you had a real conversation with another Christ follower about your faith and your relationship with Christ?
- Compared to your pre-Covid life, are you spending more or less time in community? What has been the biggest reason for that change?
- When things are going well, are you more or less likely to fellowship with other Christ followers? Why do you think that is?
- When things are not going well, are you more or less likely to fellowship with other believers? Why do you think that is?
- Have you ever viewed the people you know at church as your family? Why or why not?
Creating a Rhythm of Fellowship
This week, choose at least one of these challenges:
- There’s an old saying that claims “Birds of a feather flock together”. Would you say this is accurate in your own life? Are the people (your “flock”) who you spend the most time with pointing you toward Jesus or pulling you away from Him? What adjustments might you need to make when it comes to investing in biblical community and friendships?
- Each day this week, text (or call! *gasp!*) someone in your life who is important to you. Ask how you can be praying for them. If you’re up for an extra challenge, ask them to pray for something specific going on in your life.
- Think of a friendship in your life that has drifted or weakened over the last year or so. What intentional step can you take this week to reconnect? Reach out and schedule a time to grab dinner together, or share in a hobby you both enjoy.
- Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World by Jennie Allen
- The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon
- Just Show Up: The Dance of of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts
Scripture References About Fellowship:
Hebrews 10:24-25, Proverbs 27:17, 1 John 4:21, Galatians 6:2, James 5:16, Acts 2:44-47