May We Encourage and Support One Another

For the past 6 months I have enjoyed an early Monday morning study with five other men. It consists of guided reading and memorization during the week, followed by gathering in the early hours to share what we’ve learned, encourage one another and most importantly, hold each other accountable in our journey of faith. Doing life together in biblical community is an essential aspect of our spiritual journey as believers. Scripture emphasizes this in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
" These verses are not just about the importance of assembling in church. I believe they were written to remind us of the importance of being part of a community of believers (in church and out) and the benefits that come from it.

Let’s unpack that a bit. An obvious benefit of being part of a biblical community allows us to encourage and support one another in our spiritual walk. We are all on a journey of faith, and having others to walk alongside us can help us stay on track and grow in our relationship with God. When we share our struggles and victories with others, we can learn from their experiences and gain wisdom and insight that we may not have otherwise. Attempting to walk through life alone can leave us vulnerable to making navigational errors, especially when we have struggles that often make decision making more challenging.

As believers, we are not just encouraged to support one another, but we are called to do so. Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." When we are part of a community of believers, we have people in our lives who can do just that. They can rejoice with us in our victories and comfort us in our sorrows. When we face challenges or setbacks, they can provide us with the support and encouragement we need to keep going.
Secondly, biblical community provides a place of accountability. We all have blind spots and areas in our lives that need growth and improvement. Being part of a community that cares for us and holds us accountable can help us recognize and address those areas. When we have people in our lives who can speak truth to us in love, we are better equipped to grow and mature as believers.

In Proverbs 27:17, a familiar passage reads, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." It’s important to have close associations with people in our lives who can help sharpen us and refine us. They can challenge us to grow in areas where we may be weak, and they can help us see areas where we need to improve. When we are held accountable, we are better able to stay on track and grow in our relationship with God.

Another important benefit of biblical community is that it provides a place of belonging. We were not created to live in isolation, but rather to be in relationship with others. Being part of a community of believers can help us feel connected and part of something larger than ourselves. It provides a space where we can be ourselves, where we can be vulnerable and authentic, and where we can experience love and acceptance.

In John 13:34-35, Jesus says, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." When we are part of a community of believers, we have a place to live out this commandment. We can show love to one another and create a place of belonging where everyone feels welcome and accepted.

Let's not try to live out our faith as a “lone ranger”. Rather, commit to investing in relationships with others and supporting one another along the way. Doing everything we can to encourage and challenge each other to live in a way that reflects Jesus.

Credit: Ron Kelley

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