Ever since I was in 5th grade, I have had one very best, dearest friend. Then during high school I was fortunate to have another additional friend that was also very close to me. Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of friends. I lived in a town with tons of really good people but that close, intimate circle of friends had been gifted to me by God to encourage me in my faith and push me to look more like Christ during my academic education specifically. What made these people so special to me was that they not only loved me, but they loved Jesus more than anything else. Together we held each other to a standard of integrity and way of living that helped us to be above reproach in our character, so we could all know Jesus more intimately and be more effective in what God was asking us to do.
Having these people in my life was crucial to my relationship with God during that time in my life. The beautiful thing is that God not only provided for me that particular way in high school, but provides a similar support system to each believer through the body of Christ. The gift of the church is something so dear to my heart. At both of the churches I have been blessed to serve at, people have poured into me and truly become family. To be a part of the body of Christ is an incredible privilege because we are given the honor of lifting the name of Jesus high and worshipping God corporately. When people that love God come together to pray, sing, and speak the Word of God, all bets are off. There is nothing that can not be accomplished through the church when they come together to tap into the Holy Spirit and God’s incredible grace. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” How wonderful is it that when we simply gather in the name of Jesus we can fully expect His presence to join us!
The body of Christ is not only powerful when coming together, but as I mentioned earlier one benefit of belonging to people that love Jesus is that they will push you to be the man or woman God created you to be. These people will not only hold you accountable to living a life that honors God, but they will also be there to walk with you through the mountaintops and valleys that life is sure to bring. One of my favorite Scriptures come from Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” When we are in a season of joy, the church is there celebrating God’s goodness with us. When we are in a season of brokenness, there they are also, holding us up and reminding us of His goodness.
There is power in coming together with other people that are chasing after God. He uses the church to strengthen us, refine our character, and encourage us to serve us in the capacity to which we are called. I would love to encourage you to seek out a church home if you have yet to find a community you can run this race with. It’s such a privilege to serve and grow in faithfulness with people passionately loving Jesus and cherishing one another.
Stand firm in the faith,