Small Is Beautiful!

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:19-22)
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Galatians 6:10)
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.  (1 Corinthians 12:26)
So far this week, we’ve begun looking at the truth that, by putting our faith in Jesus, we’ve been made right with God and welcomed into the family of God. It’s hard to overstate the enormous importance of this truth. But today we’re going to get a little bit more specific with one detail. Christians are all welcomed into the family of God but in practise, but in reality we can’t connect with absolutely everybody. So who are your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Stated generally, brother and sister covers everyone in Everyday Church. We are quite a big family and our ability to love, serve and connect with people is limited.

In Matthew 4 Jesus starts something, which he then concludes in Matthew 10. He begins gathering a specific group of people around him – people who he will journey particularly closely with during his ministry. This doesn’t mean that he forgets or overlooks others. He doesn’t love the crowd any less, but there is clearly a small group of people that Jesus deliberately invests his life in throughout the gospels. It’s interesting to note that that small group of people was far smaller than the social circles we would normally strive for today. Jesus chose only twelve disciples, and within that group he chose an inner three, whom he invited to draw even closer to him.

As a child of God, your capacity to love, serve and connect with people around you isn’t going to be greater than that of the Son of God during his earthly ministry. That thought is actually quite releasing. You don’t have to try to be best friends with everybody! We live in an age where there is a huge fixation on connectivity, but in trying to connect with, invest in and support a growing number of relationships, we can often end up just spreading ourselves far too thinly. It’s why being a committed participant in a Life Group is of such value and importance. As members of a large church family, it helps us to understand who our primary group of responsibility and influence can be.

If you’re part of a Life Group – keep going! Keep asking the Holy Spirit to inspire you with ways of encouraging and blessing the small group of believers into which God has placed you. There were times when Jesus directly ministered to the dozen people in his small group, and there were other times when he just hung out with them and laughed together, enjoying them for who they were. That’s his desire for you and your group too.

If you’re not part of a Life Group, it really is of great importance that you join one – so that you can be blessed by others, but also so that you can be a blessing to others as well.
  1. If you’ve been a part of a Lifegroup, what impact has it had on your faith? How has it specifically helped you as   you have journeyed through this pandemic?
  2. What experiences have you had of being honest and vulnerable in the context of a small group of Christians?
  3. How might that positively or negatively shape your decision to be involved in one now, or the way in which you relate to the people in the group that you have joined?
Father God, I acknowledge that I have an enemy who would love for me to live out my faith in isolation from other believers. Thank you that, when you saved me, you also placed me in a family with other brothers and sisters in Christ, so that our faith might be mutually strengthened and that we might encourage one another along the journey. Wherever there are areas in my walk with you where I am trying to go it alone, please help me to open up my life to others. Please enable our church family to demonstrate honesty and openness with one another, so that we might all live out your perfect plan for us and we might all grow into the likeness of Jesus. For your glory. Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were written by Adam Bream, who leads our Southfields venue.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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