As the church we need to grow relationally!
The two greatest commands, on which, according to Jesus, all the others depend, are concerned with relationships, with God and one another (Matthew 22:36-40). However, with the coming of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit, the focus on relationships is sharpened, as is the constant emphasis on reconciliation, made possible through the cross, which must be the basis for all relationships.
It is because God is so concerned with the creating of the church as his community, that so much of the New Testament deals with relationships. Jesus spent about two and a half years seeking to build a small group of followers into a true community.
I would estimate that at least 45% of the New Testament is focusing on relationships. Either relationship with God or relationships with people. This emphasis is particularly clear when we look at the number of times the words “one another” occur, particularly in Paul’s letters. The Greek word allelon occurs 59 times as a specific command. I will let you look up most of the verses, but here are a few examples: love one another (John 13:35 – this command comes 16 times), be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10), and accept one another (Romans 15:7) just to name a few. Have fun looking up the rest:o)
We are to do these things because we belong to one another (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:25). The church in the book of Acts did a great job with this. Acts 2:41-47 give a great description of the love that they had for one another.This sharing of material goods is an aspect of fellowship that we Western Christians are not very good at, and yet one about which the New Testament has a great deal to say!
As the church we need to build unity!
Ephesians 4:1-5 –
I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace (that binds [us]. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope at your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
This is the nature of Pauls encouragement to the believers in Ephesus, a deeply personal challenge that affected to whole church. Five areas of life that will help us to grow relationally and help us to strengthen the relationships that we already have.
4) Accepting One Another in Love
I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. And as you meet new people invest the time to build the relationships. Grow relationally!!!!!!!!