( Romans 12:10 )
These words of Paul are so simple yet so profound. As Christians we are to love one another and be devoted to each other as members of the same family. We should consider each other over our own interests and give precedence and honor to our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. There should be no quarreling or factions between us, and we should consider how to build and encourage each other continually in the Lord. This image of God's family is what we are to portray to the world; united, loving, caring and devoted to one another.
Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us" ( I Thessalonians 2:8 ). The Gospel is what brought them together and gave them a common bond. What grew from that foundation was a great friendship with Christ as the center. He rejoiced that he was able to share in their lives also because these people were so dear to him. This bond transcends time and distance because it is based on the groundwork of Christ.
This is why it is so important to surround yourselves with other brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, who are willing to share their lives. Proverbs says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" ( Proverbs 27:17 ). Being in the company of other believers will encourage you in your relationship with the Lord. It is impossible to be around another person who is excited about God and not have that rub off on you. We are called to love each other and to be devoted to one another as a close knit family.
We now belong to one another. We have been adopted into the family of God and our lives now reflect His life. No longer do we ‘go it alone', instead we are called into fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. The writer of Hebrews said, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching" ( Hebrews 10:24-25 ). We are to share our lives, encourage each other in the word and spur each other toward love and good deeds. This is a wonderful thing about God's family, having other brothers and sister to encourage us and help us grow.
There are a few precious people in my life that have impacted me greatly. I am who I am today because of their friendship and mentoring in the Lord. As early as a teenager, I had wonderful friends who gave up their time to teach me God's word. Today, I have friends who continually encourage me in the word and strengthen me by their devotion and love for God. I have friends who go the miles with me tackling every issue that life throws in the way. These people are so dear to me because of our mutual bond in Christ Jesus. This bond transcends all things because it is not based on anything this world has to offer, but it is based on Christ and belonging to his family.
Today, I encourage you to find other brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Be devoted to them and learn how to share your life with them. You will bless the body of Christ in the process, amen!