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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
September 28, 2002

     If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care - then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 (Message*)

The Apostle Paul speaks to the church at Philippi about what it should mean to be a community of followers of Christ. His words apply to believers in all times and places.

Community is important in the Christian life. We are to be part of a community of the Spirit. Paul is not talking about a group we see once a week for an hour and where we do not know others who come very well. He is talking about a community where we know and care about one another deeply. This is a community where we share the joys and struggles of our lives, and help and encourage each other along the way. We are not prone to disputing with one another, but grow in agreement with one another in Christ.

In the world, a lot of emphasis is put on personal success and getting ahead as an individual. In Christian community, the values are very different. We don't try to get advantage for ourselves. Rather, we seek to help others in the community get ahead. It is seeing others grow into all that Christ would have them be which gives us joy.

Are you part of such a community? If so, thank God for that; treasure and nurture this community. If not, pray to be led to such a community or to people with whom you can form such a community.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:01:13 EST