Choose… to Fuse!

Choose… to Fuse!

by Rev. Steven James

 

One of the most blessed dynamics of church life is to connect together.

The apostle Paul, the man whom God used to write or impact most of the New Testament, admitted the need to be connected with others.

In Romans 1, he shares his heart with the believers in a very transparent way in declaring how he felt about them and needed them, and that he looked forward (in verse 12) to the encouragement they would give him, through their “mutual faith.”

This phrase, “mutual faith” could be literally translated “one-another faith.”

The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation. Over 120 times, we are commanded in Scripture to ”one another” each other: love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, forgive one another, be patient with one another, watch over one another, etc.

Let’s look at a few this month.

 

Love One Another

Jesus challenges us to love each other (John 13:34-35). He didn’t leave it up to us to determine what that love should “look” like or what its level of expression should be, however. He said that we are to love each other “as He loved us.” That’s the bar He set. We need His grace to love like that!

Love is the ultimate virtue to be clothed with, as it ties all of the other virtues together (Colossians 3:14). It covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

Of all of the life-changing “forces” that we are to possess—faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, hope in His second coming, and love for one another—love is the greatest of the three.

If we do not love each other, we are not truly Christians nor God’s children, as Jesus said that all would know that we are His disciples by our love (John 13:35) and John writes that love proves that we truly have “life” (1 John 3:10-24; 4:7-16)

So let’s choose to fuse by “one anothering” each other with love!

 

Watch Over One Another

Many of the “old” Baptist covenants contain words that convey how we should “watch over one another for good,” taken from Hebrews 10:24 – “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

To “consider one another” means to give each other more than a casual thought or glance. It means to intentionally and intensely pay attention to each other. And when combined with the “love” dynamic covered above, we should do this out of love and care.

It is also written in Hebrews 10:24 that we are to “provoke” one another, or literally, to “stir each other up, spur each other on, agitate each other for” living a life of love and good works (or a changed life).

In order to “one another” each other, you and I have to have “an other” in our lives and be “an other” in the lives of others. Who is an “other” who adds significance to your life? What other lives around you are you yourself adding significance to?

The next verse shares what I believe is one of the greatest, built-in dynamics of church life that affords the most readily available means of watching over each other: that of assembling together as a church family. Truly for us as followers of Christ, assembly is required!

It is said in our history as SDBs, that the early churches had a very passionate watch care over each other, so much so that if one was absent from assembling, others in the assembly (not just the pastor, by the way) would take on a “shepherd’s” role and seek out the missing sheep to make sure all was well in their lives.

So will we, as this new year continues to unfold, choose to fuse? We’ve only explored two of many “one another each other” directives in God’s Word. Let’s tackle these, and explore others, as we continue to explore the choices we’re making as a Conference, as churches, and as God’s children!

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