By Beau Leaman
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Before Ashley and I joined Elim, we definitely had a strong desire to be involved in a church body. We had moved from Southern California to Washington trusting that God would move and open the doors we needed Him to open right away. Yet through the refining process we ended up not making Elim our home until about one year into our marriage. Our plans never worked out the way we wanted them to, but praise God that His plans are greater than ours.
I wanted to talk a little about the benefits of community and what it’s done in my life and my marriage. There are a couple of questions I’m going to run through, and hopefully it helps.
1) How has joining a community benefited your marriage?
Our marriage has been directly impacted by our joining Elim and being involved with the Body of Christ. It has impacted our marriage because we come freely to worship our God and have fellowship with His sons and daughters. It has benefited our marriage because we realize our depravity at an even greater level, thus urging a more powerful push to love our God with everything.
2) How has joining a community strengthened your relationship with your God?
Paul wanted so desperately to be with his Savior, but one thing that always caused him joy here on earth was the fellowship of the saints. I have found this to be true in my life as well as in the lives of so many of the brethren at Elim. Life is not meant to be alone. There have been countless times where truth has been spoken into my life, and it was not easy truth. This truth, humble and meek, has pointed me and the giver toward Christ. Your best friend speaks the most truth in your life, and for me those best friends have been several people within the Body of Christ.
Being in community is a powerful thing. Whether you’re single, soon to be wed, or married, there is a Spirit-driven calling that burns within our hearts to be with others. As Hebrews 3:12-14 points out, whether it involves encouragement, accountability, truth, confession, or prayer, the Body of Christ is here to edify, exhort, and promote endurance until the day of Jesus Christ.
What does community with a body of believers look like to you? Is it inconvenient? Would you rather be nowhere else? Does it ease conscience on a Sunday morning? Does it bring you joy? Does it edify? Does it harden your heart? Do you see a Trinitarian community played out? Does it build and encourage you? Does it involve selfish gain?
I have shared a piece of what the Body of Christ has accomplished in my life and the direct impact it has had with my God. What does the Body mean for you?