Abundance

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jarrod
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Abundance

Post by jarrod » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:55 am

I was just thinking last night about our culture, our wealth, and the general abundance of prosperity and freedom that we enjoy. While I celebrate our freedoms and the cost many paid, I have to be so careful not to abuse everything we are given as a result of, what I believe to be, the Lord's blessing.



I think one hinderance that I experience regarding true fellowship and community among even the body of Christ is because we are _so_ independent and have an abundance of wealth. I'm not saying it is like this everywhere or that there aren't pockets of it that exist… I'm just talking about some of my experiences. It is not impossible, but tough to find that type of community that exists as a family with that closeness of life and fellowship.

No doubt one of the reasons I think genuine community is so hard to find is because it takes a commitment and certain type of selflessness to contribute to that community -- which is no doubt the result of "being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." When you find that, I think that is something to stick with and really foster with fruit to see good growth, and not just physically, but Spiritually.

I have experienced that genuine community, having it "stripped" away through circumstances, and investing into new ones and struggling through the effort that is involved when building relationships. Where I currently am, I think I am leaning towards being very open in communication and discussion with a foundation of love and giving towards fellow brothers and sisters.

Morning thoughts, Jarrod

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Paidion
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Re: Abundance

Post by Paidion » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:05 pm

Christian community is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Christian living. But the kind of close community of the first churches, even to the extent of community of goods as described in Acts 2 and 4, is rather rare among modern Christians. And those who do live in close community soon learn that disharmony can crop up rather quickly.

Perhaps the smallest unit of Christian community is that of a Christian husband and wife. Even with such a small unit, disharmony often arises. How much more so with a group of three to twenty Christian families!
Yet, perhaps close community is exactly the practice that brings us closer into being conformed to the image of Christ.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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jarrod
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Re: Abundance

Post by jarrod » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:50 pm

Very good point Paidon. Really the building blocks of good communities (larger family gatherings) are the individual marriages and the members that make up single families. When their relationship is good, and they are walking in the Spirit observing all that the Lord commands, them and their children are in a healthy place to meet up with other families that are of the same mind. I think these type of group gatherings would produce much fruit, and even a different kind, than that of the standard institutional church.

Of course, even within those good communities, you have brothers and sisters at different places in their walk, on the "road to find out" truth and build relationship with the Lord and others. Some may not know why they have the desire yet, but act on it nevertheless. Others may be seeking it actively and there will be the core of the group extending out from that with the love of Christ and Spirit at the center.

That's just what I want. I really like living "real" life together -- being open and honest. I have been reading through Genesis recently and I like how the stories relay others sharing their experiences and being open and honest. Like I said previously, I think wealth and great abundance can stifle these types of communities, but certainly do not necessitate poor extended relationships among the body. We except individualism and the concept of the culture too much in my opinion -- sometimes I get anxious because I had always lived that way.

Thanks for your replies Paidon, Jarrod
Paidion wrote:Christian community is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Christian living. But the kind of close community of the first churches, even to the extent of community of goods as described in Acts 2 and 4, is rather rare among modern Christians. And those who do live in close community soon learn that disharmony can crop up rather quickly.

Perhaps the smallest unit of Christian community is that of a Christian husband and wife. Even with such a small unit, disharmony often arises. How much more so with a group of three to twenty Christian families!
Yet, perhaps close community is exactly the practice that brings us closer into being conformed to the image of Christ.

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jarrod
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Re: Abundance

Post by jarrod » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:34 pm

I wonder if the church in America can really mature and accomplish the Lord's purpose without forming genuine community and fellowship among the body? I don't see those two as separable.

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