“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus”
(Romans 15:5, NIV)
What are some creative ways we can create to connect with people in our lives and have the spirit of unity. I think we all so desire to connect with others; not just walk by others. We find ourselves doing this, just walking by one another, in our home, community and churches. Wonder Why?
25 thoughts on “Joined as a Whole”
Good question, Sara…..”wonder why?” After reading this verse you have written here, I turned to it in my Bible. Interestingly, I read above it, in verses 1-4, read with me…”We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say ‘The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.’ such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Now listen to the footnotes for verses 4-7, “The knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitude toward the present and the future. The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead. We need to diligently read our Bibles so we may have confidence that God’s will is best for us. The Roman church was a diverse community. It was made up of Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free people, rich and poor, strong and weak. So it was difficult for them to accept one another. Accepting means taking people into our homes as well as into our hearts, sharing meals and activities, and avoiding racial and economic discrimination. We must go out of our way to avoid favoritism. Consciously spend time greeting those you don’t normally talk to, minimize differences, and seek common ground for fellowship. In this way you are accepting others as Christ has accepted you, and God is given glory.”
Hum? Could one answer be that we are just interested in pleasing ourselves? Could it be that we just don’t know the Bible like we should, or should I say apply the Bible like we should? “Ouch”!
Good one, Needles. Before I read your comments I was thinking along those lines. Are we so self-absorbed, so preoccupied with living our own lives that we miss opportunity after opportunity to reach out to the community of believers and yes, even those who are in need of Christ?
This early morning, I believe that the Lord led me to the Scripture in Haggai 1:3-4 and 2:4. This is what the Lord says,” Is it time for you to be living in your paneled houses ….? Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have havested little. You eat but never have enough. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages ony to put them a purse with holes in it.” But now 2: 4 says,
“Be strong…all you people of the land and WORK for I am with you, says the Lord.” I believe the Lord is calling out to us to go into the fields and bring in the harvest to build up His House and His Kingdom. He is asking us not to sit back on our laurels of yesterdays and yesteryears, as glorious as they were, when we were on fire and calling and baptizing souls but He says the Latter House will be even MORE GLORIOUS than the former things that we have done, if we will rally and seek Him for the next segment and then DO IT!
Needles it would seem from reading all comments above that pleasing ourselves would be an obstacle to connecting with others. Self-absorption (according to one definition meaning: preoccupation with oneself to the exclusion of others or the outside world) would prevent us from thinking, considering, caring about or even being aware of others and their needs.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says also:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
One good connector/tool already in place is to meet often at thedailylily.org.
Needles wrote from footnotes, “The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead. We need to diligently read our Bibles so we may have confidence that God’s will is best for us.”
YEP! I found a picture of last year’s retreat and posted right here, just above, of my good friends and myself enjoying a summer retreat of yesterday. Now I open my mind and heart and read my Bible even now to have confidence that the Holy Spirit will lead us and help us to do what is best for us as a team this year.
I have some friends that took early retirement and moved to a new area. They found a home church right away and for that they were grateful. They began right away to use their spiritual gifts in their new church. Then they started baby sitting a young child for a working Mother whose husband was deployed. A little extra spending money for dinners out. They missed adult fellowship during the week. Although, they did attend Wednesday night church, which was great.
The husband was telling me the story. He said his wife started making a special dinner on Tuesday night and inviting the very tired Mother to stay for dinner. She did. But, of course the child was tired and needed bath and bed. So, they worked it out that they could bathe the child, let the Mother play with child for awhile and put the child to bed at their home (the babysitters) Good for the sitters because they could sleep in just a little later the next morning and the Mother could have a free morning to relax over a cup of coffee. After a few weeks the Mother and child would invite my friends over for Saturday night dinner after the child was resting in bed. She would barbecue and they could sit and overlook a beautiful lake and have some great talks. They were all military families. Then the husband came home and the Tuesday and Saturday nights continued. Sometimes young couple would invite some of their friends and then on Tuesday the older couples would invite some of their friends.
New community, new church, new people all became family. God’s connections never fail. Our Heavenly Father wants it for us so much that he gave us the tools needful to bring in about on His beautiful earth. “…God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus”
I got from this story, if old is not working find some new creative ways…….
And, adding to my story above I am quoting Needles’ footnotes from above. “) I like all the above s….. “Accepting means taking people into our homes as well as into our hearts, sharing meals and activities, and avoiding racial and economic discrimination.”
Maya Angelou says, “we are more alike than unlike….” She is speaking of color, height, age, etc. She goes on to use the word ‘ignorance’. Great wisdom from a woman of wisdom….
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” She turned 82 and speaks from her home in Winton Salem, NC.
I am quoting her to add to my creative story of the couple above. I am hoping to kick out of this closed box and discover the unity of Romans 15:5
Thanks for sharing your story of your friends. God bless them! What is so impressive is all the elements they used and intertwined to achieve/promote a ‘spirit of unity’. Connecting by meeting needs and serving others and crossing age barriers. Really good example of love, care and concern for others. I, too, want to find creative ways to live Romans 15:5.
In The Silence, you are speaking…..
“Oh Jesus can you hear me?
My soul is screaming out
And my broken will cries teach me
What your Kingdom’s all about”
I am hearing many sing this song and worship God. When our teacher shows up and we have to walk out the teacher’s homework, ‘Thy Kingdom come, thou will be done on earth as it is in heaven…..” St. Paul and his instructions to the church begins to give us an itch and rash and off we run like lightening to fill our day with our busy self. As one says, OUCH….
I love that story of community and ‘ communion’. bringing God’s family together, sometimes, if not often closer that one’ s blood relatives. But Jesus said it would be like that with those who became His followers.
Interesting story, Sara. Looks like the older couple and the young mother both gave of their time and resources, to have the connections they did. Great lesson for all of us that want to have connections, isn’t it?
Yes, I love this story and check in with both the young couple and the older couple often to see how things are going. And, I have been invited to dinner and paddle boat ride anytime I can come. I look forward to fellowshipping with them when I am in their area. I long to meet some of their friends as well.
I love it that the young couple knows and understands reciprocation as well as the older. When we understudy wisdom and walk in it the joy is unspeakable. Grace, God’s graciousness poured out through His people never changes. Its beauty is like that of Proverbs 31, rare but there!
But, the question from the blog remains unanswered. “What are some creative ways we can create to connect with people in our lives (www.thedailylily.org) and have the spirit of unity.”
We can come on the blog and beg our friends and family to read the blog but I image we all read hundreds of sites. I believe when we pray, read the Bible as said above and seek with passion, devotion and love we will have some ideas and then a willingness and desire to see a circle of friendship formed.
Sara your illustration about the ‘itch and the rash’ reminds me of something my mother would say , “what’s the matter, are you allergic to work?”
Seems many to her had time and energy for everything but.
Debi, are you saying we get what we want? Drop some and find some!
‘The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;he guides it wherever he pleases. People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.’ Proverbs 21:1-3
“Accepting means taking people into our homes as well as into our hearts, sharing meals and activities, and avoiding racial and economic discrimination. We must go out of our way to avoid favoritism.’ FOOTNOTES FROM ABOVE
And so the question still goes unanswered because the obvious may not be so palatable to many. Do you think,Lilies, that we don’t really take people into our hearts, until we’ve taken them into our homes?…at least the ones we feel the Lord has led us to communion with.
Sara , if I understand your question correctly, yes. We find energy and time for what we want to do and seem to run out of energy, time, money, resources for what we don’t want to do. So I guess that says we drop one thing but seem able to pick up another.
MG your question reminds me of the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19. He was up a tree trying to see Jesus. Jesus put him to the heart test. He told him to come down out of the seeing tree because He (Jesus) was going to his house that day. Zaccheus opened up his heart by opening his home and taking Jesus in.
“So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.” Luke 19:6
How do we take these scriptures and bring them into our world. Do we climb the tree? Throw rocks at people passing by and hope they invite us in. I think we did that by inviting Jesus into our hearts and then we invite others into our homes.
How do we connect to others. I think it is called networking, isn’t it?
You have asked, how do we connect to others? and what are some creative ways to do it?
We have so many resources to do so, in today’s society, i.e. computers, cell phones, e-mails, postal service, etc. but I’m wondering if the bottom line is…..how much time, effort, money, etc. are we willing to put into our connections/relationships with others? Could it be that some times we don’t connect, simply because we don’t know or understand those we would like to have connections with? Just trying to get the lesson of this blog.
Perhaps there are people ‘up a tree’ seeking someone to help them on life’s journey or show them the truth and we passed by without taking notice – our focus was on what we had to do for the day. I wonder how many times God has placed someone right before us and we missed it.
Perhaps what we think is the easier route – self absorption – even though we might think it at the time – is not the most fulfilling. I almost missed it last week, Memorial Day. I almost didn’t invite people in and then I got busy and cleaned, cooked, and baked and had a few help me and we all had a wonderful time in the Lord. I almost missed it, what a shame. (Perhaps I need to do more of this as the Holy Spirit leads.)
As one teacher who is searching for God said to me this week, “If we know what to do, why don’t we just do what God says do and get out of this mess?”
I told her we had to get rid of the old man first or self. That from experience is the problem and causes us to spin round and round instead of upwards. Another woman told me that her husband told her when she starts thinking along these lines of self she walks in circles accomplishing nothing. And we do to.
Rena, as one of your guest, I loved it. I also noticed that you had your husband encouraging you. Many don’t. And, sometimes one does and sometimes they don’t.
Needles asked, “Could it be that some times we don’t connect, simply because we don’t know or understand those we would like to have connections with?” I would say, yes and explain that seemly there is always something or someone to overcome in order to make connections. Rena had to overcome her self-absorption. I think the question for our heart is, “Why do we want to connect?” For gain for ourselves or gain for The Kingdom of God?
The enemy of our soul, MASTER OF THE DISCONNECT, is very busy telling Christians “how very busy we all are…. (and we are).. but that doesn’t make it right. What does that have to do with the family of GOD’s staying connected (a command in Hebrews) and in communion with one another? He’s a liar and we all know that but we buy into it and miss some lovely opportunities and GOOD TIMES. We had a blast @ Rena’s and the food was generous and DIVINE, (you should excuse the expression.) What a wonderful opportunity that gave us to fellowship and celebrate one another’s gifts and talents. It’s time to check up on ourselves, including my SELF to see how to bring the community of believers together…but not just for PARTYING but as a means to an end. Like Sara just told me….”Don’t forget what you’re going to the convention for”. Jesus said to His disciples, “don’t rejoice that the spirits are subject to you but that your names are written down in the BOOK OF LIFE>”
Once the ball of fellowship gets rolling others may come into the fold and little by little, through the breaking of bread together, we increase the Kingdom of Our God. I want others to know Jesus Christ and what He has done for us and over bread and bottle is a wonderful opportunity to share.
Sara’s question, “Why do we want to connect?” For gain for ourselves or gain for The Kingdom of God?” gets me soul-searching. I’m sure God wants His kingdom built and enlarged so He’s not the problem.
If my passion and focus is to lift up Jesus than my understanding is that
Jesus said if He was lifted up, He would draw men to Himself. (John 12:32) That means growth and connections.