By Brooke Holt
“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” Romans 13:11-13
What does healthy Christian community look like? Have you experienced this kind of community? Far too often, Christian community can look much like the rest of the world. There is quarreling, jealousy, hatred, immorality, and division. God has a different plan for his community, and the Apostle Paul writes about this plan in his letter to the Romans.
A healthy Christian community is one in which people are awake to the Lord and to the ways of the Lord meaning they are not following the footsteps of secular society. With the Bible as their guidebook and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Christians can discern the ways of the Lord while also experiencing the desire and power to distinguish themselves from the world. While the world embraces division and discord, the disciples of Jesus Christ are taught to love one another and to work through conflicts. While the world revels in the darkness using the night for excessive drinking or promiscuity, the children of God are called to a holiness of life, living in the light.
Paul would call every follower of Jesus Christ to allow himself or herself to be seen, truly seen, in the light of Christ. Why? So that the works of darkness may be exposed, and then people can repent of those works and fully return to the Lord. The Lord does not expose your sin for judgement but for redemption and renewal. His desire is to see you live free – free from the grips of sin and the consequences of sin.
This season of Advent is the time to allow God to shine the light into your darkness. It is the time to allow yourself to be exposed that you may renounce all works of the flesh and live in power of the Holy Spirit. That is the way of salvation; it is the way of life and joy; and it is the assurance that you have an eternal hope. This season of Advent is also the reminder that a day is coming, and it draws closer every day, when light will fully shine in the darkness.
May you allow that light to shine in you today that you may be ready for that final day, and may your life shine with his light that your fellowship and Christian community may be blessed.
How can healthy Christian community begin for you and through you today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Awaken the awe and the wonder of Advent! “The King Is Coming” is a 4-week Advent devotional especially written with a child’s heart in mind. It takes families through the salvation story by focusing on who God is, the gift of Jesus, and the importance of celebrating and sharing that miraculous gift! Bring your family together this Advent season for a journey exploring God’s big love for you.
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