Know & Be Known

I have been pondering the “one anothers” in the Bible lately. It started with the call to pray for one another; because praying is a gift that God has opened up to me over the past few years. I‘m realizing how hungry my heart is to really be prayed for and to experience others’ prayers for me through their writing them on Facebook, dropping me a note, texting it to me or their just praying over me in person. God has reminded me over and over to do this for others, even today as the verse of the day, James 5:16, popped up on my phone:

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

God has become my intimate partner in life in a significantly deeper way since I experienced Zoweh’s Deepening Weekend in 2012, when He not only restored me to good relationship with Himself, HE redeemed some of the darkest moments of my life. (That’s another story, right there).

Today I have been prodded by yet another turn of events and reminders to explore the “one anothers” in Hebrews 10:23-25:

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Motivate one another in the New Living Translation, prod one another in the New International Version. These verses begin with prodding and motivating and move on to encourage one another. I am moved to consider my life. Have I spent too much time isolating myself in the belief that I do not need “church” to be saved and my relationship with God is my own and is private?

I am an encourager. I seem to fall into that naturally. I have been given a gift to see the best in others, their strengths and their potential, even (especially?) when they do not see it themselves. I believe in others beyond understanding sometimes and on occasion I get shown their not too shiny side…I still believe and breathe life into their beauty without disappointment most of the time, even if they disappoint. I am not one to gather and keep offenses close to me to experience too much disappointment, though admittedly it’s because I usually cannot remember them.

I learned that the original language of this section has the Greek word katanoeo. Rick Renner pointed out that it is a word that really means to thoroughly consider something and think it through from all aspects…essentially this section of scripture could mean that we are to “take time regularly and seriously contemplate how we might encourage one another,” (Rick Renner, “Sparkling Gems,” 6 May 2015). Wow. That is the Acts 2 church. In Acts 2 those in the community of believers spent time really knowing each other. It says in Acts 2:42-47:

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.  A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.  And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.  They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

The early church offered that example to us in order for us to be inspired to follow them in their example. I sadly lack in the area of truly KNOWING too many people. I know many people, but I need a lot of work in really doing life with people so that we are transparent with each other like they were in the Acts 2 church. Do I know who really needs what? Do I ask? Do I care? Do I share what I need? Do I share what I have? Do you?

We are to journey with others in the body of Christ. All the Biblical gifts in the Bible were given to build the body of Christ, not to build others outside of it. In essence, we are to devote ourselves, fellowship in life together and in learning, share meals with each other, pray with each other and meet together and share all we have with those in need and also be willing to receive from others when we need…which means telling others we are journeying with that we do indeed need. We are called by the example of the early believers in the Bible, and by the Word itself, to meet together and to KNOW one another when it tells us in Hebrews 10:23-25: 

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

My word from God is this: Jody-Lynne, you need to really seek to journey intimately with others at your church and through the week in other venues so that you can really listen and KNOW their needs and be a part of their source of true intimate encouragement and prodding and motivating of their spiritual hearts to keep going and to offer the hope of Christ through their lives. You cannot do that without journeying with them and listening for their needs and sharing with them your own, whether those needs be spiritual or physical.

My walk with God is not private.

People tell me that they don’t need to go to church to be saved and to be “a Christian.” I agree. Church on Sunday doesn’t save you or make you a Christian if you actually go. BUT…though our walk with God is personal…we are not walking in obedience to Christ when we make it PRIVATE and we do not share the gifts that HE has given us with each other as the body of local believers in the church. We are called to go and to make disciples of all men and to share the GOSPEL. I love the quote that goes something like this:

            Share the gospel and when necessary…use words.

GO with me and LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL with each other in the body of Christ…Encourage one another and prod one another on to good works …so that we can reach out effectively and draw the world into the truth that they need the salvation of Jesus. I am on it with you. 

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