September 22, 2014

Building Each Other Up

“… build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit ….” Jude 1:20 (NLT)

Throughout my journey of discovering what it means to be the message, one of the biggest changes I’ve experienced has been a new understanding of the church. When you begin to understand that you are the message, you will come to see the church in a whole new way. For many, the church is a building or a religious organization. The truth is that the church is not about religion, at least not as what people think of religion. It’s not about empty rituals or routine practices and observances. It’s not even about teaching, preaching, or communicating messages with words about the gospel. The church is much more than words; the church is the gospel lived out in community. As we each have our own life message that’s intertwined with the life message of Jesus Christ, the church becomes a community of people who live out the gospel – not just in the church buildings where they meet but in the larger community and around the world. To effectively live out the gospel in our world, we are told to build each other up in the faith. That’s the point of biblical fellowship, and that’s why I love small groups so much. Living the message of the gospel in a fallen and broken world isn’t easy. We need one another. Faith is not just a matter of believing, but it’s a matter of belonging as well. How do we build each other up in the faith? One way is through prayer. In Jude 1:20, we are told to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we pray for one another, the Holy Spirit emboldens us to be the message in our world. Are you actively building up others in the faith? Who are you praying for in your community of faith? If we are going to take our faith beyond words to a life of action, it must begin in the church. Don’t wait on someone else to do it. Look for those in your community of faith that you can begin encouraging. In John 13:35, Jesus said, Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”