Now, beloved, as we have to sometimes encourage ourselves and remind ourselves to encourage ourselves, we are a part of something bigger than us, the Body of Christ.
When a part of your body gets injured or ill, it impacts your whole body. If my foot hurts, I hurt. If my arm hurts, I hurt. If I get congestion in my throat, nose, or chest, I am sick. What impacts the part impacts the whole.
Beloved, so it is with the Body of Christ.
As such, it was never, is not, and never will be God's plan for you to just look out for you and yours and hope others do okay. That Western form of Christianity needs to be sanitized like we try to sanitize our living spaces from the COVID19 virus, our current pandemic. Our form of Christianity, as typically practiced in the US, has us looking to God together and sometimes forgetting to look at a
nd out for each other. It does not work because that is not God's plan for God's people.
Instead, we are supposed to look out for and after each other. That is why I, and the leaders of Zion Memorial, have been so diligent in trying to keep the church family connected. We do not simply need each other for each other. We need each other because that is what is right and righteous in the eyes of God.
You may have been born an introvert; but, in your new birth, your growing faith should strengthen you to have enough confidence to want to reach out to others and not just after yourself and your own. That is the mark of a growing Christian, one who continues to grow in faith, trust and obedience.
For, the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 15:1, "We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves."
Beloved, you might be good in your health; but, do you know somebody else who is sick or injured in some way and may need an encouraging word from you, a call, a text, an email, or a socially distanced, masked drive by?
Beloved, you might be good in your wealth; but, do you know somebody else who may be struggling right now because they are between jobs and might really appreciate a meal or some help with this month's bills?
Beloved, you might be good in your relationships; but, do you know somebody else who may be having a really difficult time feeling loved because someone close to them might have just broken their heart and they are left wondering if anybody else really cares and a kind word from you, of understanding, empathy, and compassion, might make a huge difference?
Beloved, understand, you do not have to do anything but what you want to do; BUT, does what you want to do line up with who you are supposed to be, child of God?
You see, your next blessing, and do understand I faithfully believe that we are always blessed, as evidence that God continues to love you and care for you, may come when you stop simply worrying about yourself and start caring for someone else, looking out for someone else, sharing the love of God with someone else.
And, when you do so, you might experience what the Apostle Paul also wrote in Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Beloved, the Holy Spirit, who resides in every true believer, empowers you to do what you would not naturally desire to do. Let the Holy Spirit work His work in you. For, if you do so, your hope will increase as your peace abounds as your joy is filled by our Heavenly Father.
So, rather than simply keeping all your prayers, desires, and hopes focused on yourself, save some hope for someone else. God will bless you for doing so.
I look forward to connecting with you for Noonday prayer and our summer mini lesson, "The Benefits of Problems".
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!