House Church Newsletter, January 2015, Issue 2
Happy People Have Friends
"...we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again...After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy."
Relationships. We either avoid them or go towards them. This scripture convicts me. I had to ask myself a couple of questions after reading this verse. Am I joyful as a christian? Do I try hard to spend time with people or try hard not to spend time with people? Is there anyone I long to see? When I look at the brothers and sisters around me, am I just pretending to be their friend or am I really their friend? Challenge: If I'm consistently not happy as a christian, then I have to examine my relationships. Question: Does this scripture reflect the relationships in our house church? Let's strive for this!
"So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith...And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows."
Wow. Did you know that just by us making a decision to have faith we can greatly encourage someone going through a hard time? We mean that much to each other. Our faith matters that much to each other. Notice the term of endearment the author uses to address the church as "brothers and sisters." Do we still call each other brothers and sisters? More importantly, do we treat each other like brothers and sisters? The funny thing is, it didn't seem like loving people was their problem, yet they were urging the church of Thessalonica to love even more. Convicting. Is our goal just to try and be loving? As disciples, we should always look for opportunities to be even more loving!