Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Shared Life of Christians

2 CORINTHIANS 1:3–5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE SHARED LIFE OF CHRISTIANS.  What a great privilege to be able to proclaim, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” and to do so beyond just words because He has been such a God to us personally!   But the verse doesn’t stop there . . .


Everything we receive from the hand of God, whether material blessings, spiritual lessons learned, and comfort in trying times, are not to be hoarded.  We are not storage bins of the Lord’s goodness to us.  We are channels of God’s goodness to others.  We see this joyful practice of sharing and sacrifice in the early church at Pentecost – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).


Christianity consists of community; a community of believers who understand we don’t exist in silos of individualism, privatization, or in isolation. But it is a community of joy sharing all the rich blessings God has bestowed upon us to include the comfort we may give one another.


In my pastoral experiences, I have observed the Christians who struggle the most, endure long seasons of discouragement, even depression, have little joy and peace in their spiritual journeys, and seem to never mature spiritually are those living apart from community.  They are not sharing their spiritual journeys with other Christians.  And that, my friends, is contrary to God’s will and desire for His people.  Remember, we are a people called to serve others, not be served by others, and that demands community living.  But it is community living not of dull and joyless duty.  No, just the opposite.  It is living out community with joy, love, fulfillment, and sharing the riches we have in Christ together.


So, storage bins of God’s blessings?  No.  We are channels of His blessings to others.  Let’s makes sure we don’t “clog the channel” by living apart from the community of believers He calls us to share life with.


PRAYER: “Father, help me to see all that You give and do for me is to be shared, not hoarded.”


QUOTE: “Enjoy the comfort of God but understand we are comforted so that we might comfort others.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim