Part Five: Centered in Connecting to the Community of God
You are the center of a web of people, of relationships, of connections. You are the hub of a vast network.
The decision you face, every moment you spend with anyone in your network, is how you will further cultivate a particular relationship. You decide how much to involve others in the sacred center of your own “hub of people.” Essentially, you are in a constant state of building connections, restoring connections, or destroying connections.
And living a God-centered life in a self-centered world makes for some difficult choices when you look at the connections you have made, and you understand the connections you need to make.
Operating in a world that wants you to provide yourself with constant luxury demands relationships that feed a personal, self-satisfying greed which never subsides. A self-centered world is afraid of the moment when you are content, when you no longer seek ways to feed your personal greed … when you are at peace, and when you no longer panic during the storms of your life.
It is essential, in a God-centered life, to shift the way you view your relationships. God is serious about your involvement in a community that meets your need for life-giving relationships, and allows you to use your gifts to bless and minister to others. And God has established that sort of community. In order for it to function, though, it has to be healthy and united.
And your complete involvement has already been ordained by God.
Pray these prayers the next few days, and let the Word open your heart to engaging in this community, in this church, in ways that allow you to both give and receive blessings.
John 17:20-23 (NIV)
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Meditation Thought: The proof the world needs to believe in Jesus is found in our unity with God, and each other. If that unity does not exist, then the world has no reason to believe in Jesus.
Prayer: God of the heavens, of creation, of my life, to You I pray. You alone can satisfy my every need. Thank You! Thank You, God, for giving me a community of believers, a community of the saved, where I can find rest and healing. But God, forgive me, now, for hurting that unity with my behavior, with my inappropriate comments, and with my selfishness. You did not create Your church just for us — You created Your church to show the world You are real. Strengthen my desire for unity with this community. And strengthen this community with Your grace and power.