Have you ever noticed that the word Community includes the word Unity?

Maybe I'm really late to the party, but I had that realization rather recently! It made me wonder if that was intentional when the word was formed, so I looked up my friend Google and asked him about it.

Here's what he said:
By basic definition, Community is a group of people who share things in common (such as cultures, values, beliefs, and interests).
And Unity is the harmonious balance of people in peaceful agreement.

While I appreciate Google and his quick responses, I like to be in the habit of cross-checking his knowledge with Scripture to ensure I'm in alignment with Truth. So, I looked up passages about Community to see what the Bible says about it.

Here's what the Word says (paraphrased for ease of reading, but please look these up!):
  • Being in Christ makes us automatically part of Community (Rom. 12:5, 1 John 1:7)
  • Community loves (John 15:12-13, Gal. 6:2, Eph. 4:2)
  • Community lives in peace & unity (1 Cor. 1:10, Eph. 4:3)
  • Community grows together (Prov. 27:17, Eph. 4:15-16)
  • Community stays together (Heb. 10:24-25)
  • Community has a Purpose (1 Peter 2:9)

Based on these passages (and others!), I believe Unity is a huge part of Community, regardless of whether or not that word was intentionally used in the creation of the word Community! The Bible is clear that we are meant to be part of the Body (Community), and that we are supposed to Love the way Jesus loves. If we truly Love each other the way Jesus loves, then we will do everything possible to maintain Unity.

So let me ask: Are you living out your part of Community? We each have a responsibility as part of the Body (as listed above). Here's your chance to self-reflect and make some adjustments as we approach Christmas:
  • Are you treating others with the Love of Jesus? If not, ask the Lord to fill you with His love that it may overflow to those you encounter.
  • Are you living at peace with others? If not, apologize to God and to anyone you've wronged; ask forgiveness from both.
  • Are you growing together? If not, join a Bible Study, go to Sunday School, get involved in activities that will spiritually strengthen you.
  • Are you staying together? If you are not a regular attender of church, I encourage you to make some changes and attend faithfully. Not because it's "tradition" or "duty," but because we trust God when He says it's good for us.
  • Are you living out your Purpose in Community? Our purpose is to glorify God and tell others about Him. We can encourage believers in our Community to help them grow, and we can share the Love of Jesus with those who are not yet part of our Community. If you aren't sure where to start, I suggest starting with your church. Ask where you can plug in to a small group, or an outreach project, or a place to serve. 

As we move into December and approach the Coming of the King celebrated on Christmas Day, I pray that you will be encouraged and that you will encourage others as we collectively live out Unity through Community.

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