Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why Join?

An encounter with God should change the way we live.  The decision to choose to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who was born, lived and walked this earth, was crucified and then raised to life again cannot but help to change the way we live.  Or does it?  Sadly many will point to Christians they know and suggest that there is no difference. 

As Jesus prayed, as recorded in John 17, "I am praying not only for these disciples, but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony.  My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one.  Father - that just as you are in me, and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me."  (John 17:20-21 (NLT).

That difference in the way we treat others is what is to set us apart.  So how do we keep from looking and acting like the rest of our culture?  How do we become such 'Christ followers' that the people we know are impacted because they see a difference in the way we love others in our everyday ordinary lives?

While most would suscribe to the vital spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study, many contemporary believers don't believe that a continous commitment to a local church is needed for their own spiritual journey nor do they believe that their participation makes all that much of a difference to others.  These beliefs, that are more grounded in culture rather than the Bible, are in direct contrast to what the Bible teaches about the local church and the communities, such as Life Groups, that are established within. 

Consider the Apostle Paul's words to the Romans in chapter 1.  "For I long to visit you so I can share a spiritual blessing with you that will help you grow strong in the Lord.  I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.  In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other."  Romans 1:11-12. 

Paul labored long and hard to establish many churches.  Believers then, as they do now, need the continual encouragement of others in the body of Christ.  Life Groups provide avenues for Bible Study, fellowship and the encouragement that each of us need.  If we want to stand apart from the culture, participation in Life Groups are a vital choice in our own personal walk with Christ and a way to be a tremendous blessing in the lives of others.  We encourage you to join a Life Group here through Hydesville Church.