Shalom. Allow God to capture you in his presence and may learn to linger there.
The wisest thing we can do after accepting Jesus’ invitation is to guard our heart. For this is the seat of who we are and determines what we treasure and directs our actions. It contains the values we live by and live out.
Jesus said it isn’t what goes into a person that makes them unclean but what comes out of them… their heart.
So, our hearts matter to God… therefore they should matter to us. Further, we should be concerned for each others hearts and always be willing and trying to spur each other to love and good deeds.
You see we need each other to best guard our heart…
Community is important. It gives us somewhere to belong, helps to place part of our identity and gives us people we can relate to. A community of faith is very important. It saddens me that so many who say they follow Christ never settle down in a church but instead casually flit in and out, never settling down in the search for that elusive perfect match. I will be the first to admit that sometimes church can be a hard place to be… the politics, the grumblings, the crazy Pastor, the noisy parents… but it can be the most wonderful place to be as well… the intense discussion, the expression of diverse opinion, the sense of care and concern, the laughter, the support. This is simply because we’re family and you can’t really choose family – God does that for us – but we can choose to let family be friends; and family / friends stick together. One of the many things I enjoy about our church is the real way people relate; it impresses me how often I do see ‘intergenerational’ discussion.
This is also called mentoring, and it’s something that we need to be involved in as both recipients and givers. It’s something I’ve benefitted from hugely and is something I hope to be able to offer more and more as I continue to get old(er).
May the fruit of your character reap itself in the harvest of relationships you’ve sown.