Posted by: jcwillyams | January 23, 2010

Community

I can’t help but wonder if God meant something more for us…if he meant for us to grow deeper in community.
So many times in the bible people are referred to as an entire population. Quite rarely does the Lord speak on a specific person. Most often, it seems that people are massed together based on their works and faith as a people.
We are deeply connected.
That is undeniable.

Much of the world however is bound in a selfish and prideful state of mind. We are caught in a belief that our life is our own. It is a state of mind that has been passed down through generations.

Mat 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Mat 18:2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them
Mat 18:3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,
Mat 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Children relate with humility. When we picture a healthy child we picture him active with many friends. He is running around outside…not sitting in the sandbox by himself.
This is the call of humility we must respond to. To live not a life in a sandbox, but a life affecting others.
We should feed off of the people we encounter – and we should always be willing to give everything back.

We are accountable not simply for our own actions, but those of our community. It is our actions that shape the people around us. Our actions can very simply cause someone to stumble.
We must realize that God sees the deep connections in our lives. He knows how our words and thoughts effect the people we are surrounded by. He knows and he keeps account.
When another stumbles, how quickly we point our finger at them…but perhaps sometimes, God points His finger at us.

Community in the deepest sense should be a realization of dependency on one another.
We should realize that we receive our strength from one another – but also that our interactions with one another are necessary for advancing the kingdom of heaven.

The way that we interact..outdoing one another in service, abounding in love – that is the ultimate example of Christianity.

We must remember that Christ dwells within. The depth of our love for Christ reflects in the way we interact with one another.

***

Important questions to ask yourself:

Is Christ holding the number one position in my life?

Does that reflect in my interactions with others?

Do I spend time alone to get closer to Christ or to focus on myself?

What is my purpose when I wake up?

What is God’s purpose when I wake up?

Do I complicate the will of God with my own desires?

Do I set up my own expectations that create pain, sorrow, doubt, and anxiety when they fail to come to fruition?

Where do I find my identity?

Do I make my decisions based on my good or the good of the community?

Do I realize that “each one of them is Jesus in disguise”?

How do you act around the most important person you know? Do you treat them with respect and dignity? Is there a reverence? How much greater is the holiness of God? Do you treat him with the same reverence? Do you have an understanding of God that makes people pale in comparison?

What do you see first: the actions of the person – or the spirit of God at work within them?

Who is my closest community?

Who can affect me the most directly?

Am I realizing a “true” community with them? Do we build each other up? Do we willingly give and take from one another?

In times of stress do I lean harder on my community or do I turn to myself?

Is the base of my community God? Is it apparent in our interactions? Can our love be seen? Does it give testimony to our faith in Christ?

Do I smile when I see people?

Do people walk away from me happier…with more love then before?

Do I think that my purpose is to transform people – or simply to love them?

***

Quotes from Mother Theresa:

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much
love we put in that action.
Mother Teresa

Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.
Mother Teresa

Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the
love of Jesus.
Mother Teresa

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.
What we need is to love without getting tired.
Mother Teresa

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you
without leaving happier.
Mother Teresa

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to
love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve
hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved
in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our
love for each other must start.
Mother Teresa

The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of
course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but
whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of
what we have done.
Mother Teresa

The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.
Mother Teresa

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong
to each other.
Mother Teresa

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless.
The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest
poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
Mother Teresa

Sweetest Lord, make me appreciative of the dignity of my high
vocation, and its many responsibilities. Never permit me to disgrace
it by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.
Mother Teresa

Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the
beginning of love.
Mother Teresa

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