Loving people with the heart of Christ in the heart of Wabash.

Philippians 2:3-5

One Another

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)

Last winter, we invited a few of our neighbors over on a Friday evening for dessert. At the conclusion of our time, as we were saying our goodbyes, one of them said to us, “We’re heading out of town for a week. Would you check in on C.D. for us?”

C.D. is a neighbor who lives a few houses down. He’s an elderly gentleman who owns rental properties in the area, and for the most part, keeps very quietly to himself.

“A few years back he had some renters who were upset come to his home and hassle him. Since then I have made it a point to check on him weekly and let him know we’re here.”

A few things struck me in this exchange: 1. How thoughtful and caring our neighbors are; and 2. How unintentionally oblivious I was to this situation. What Matt saw in C.D. was a unique, beloved child of God, whom the Spirit was prompting him to reach out to and build a relationship.

In the New Testament, writers use the phrase “one another” 90 times, 30 times in the Gospels. And at various places, it is written to show us how we are to live and move and relate to one another. Greet one another, be gentle to one another, encourage, accept, confess to, be devoted to, teach, value, forgive, serve one another.

If ever we are tempted to think that the way to draw closer to God is by retreating into seclusion and prayer, these verses reveal that drawing nearer to God comes not in seclusion, but in community—with one another.

Back to C.D. Foolishly, I had made certain assumptions about him by the way he kept his home and lawn, and the people who came and went from his garage. For that, I have repented. I don’t know about you, but I tend to hear God’s voice the clearest not in God’s praise for the things I do, but in the things I leave undone. And particularly when I choose to ignore the prompting of the Spirit’s leading—especially in the ways that the Spirit leads me into the lives of those I do not already know.

Jesus invites us into a deeper experience of his grace through the Spirit, and the way it is mediated to us is by encounters of love, forgiveness, devotion to, and acceptance of one another.

This summer, we embark on a series that will lead us through the “outdoor months.” Each week, we will look at a different passage in which a New Testament writer issues a charge that involves the other. Whether on your own or in your Thumbtack Groups, we want to encourage you to look for opportunities to engage with one another in acts of kindness, love, and acceptance.

Who knows, maybe you drive past opportunities to experience God’s grace every day, and don’t even know it!

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