“Koinonia…”

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12

My daughter is nine. This year, she has decided to fast on Tuesdays for Lent. It isn’t a total fast, she will only consume water and vegetables. However, for a 9-year-old, that is pretty much like eating nothing.

So this morning at breakfast we were discussing dinner plans. Now, our family has a choice to make. We can either support Hope in her choices, or we can leave her to struggle on her own. What do we choose? Will we have something yummy like pasta or hamburgers? Or will we all choose a salad and water?

It may seem like a small thing, however, for my daughter, it is a big thing and we will support her.

Following the Lord is hard. There are challenges and trials. Many times we find ourselves led in other directions. But isn’t it easier to stay the course when we have others walking with us and supporting us? In my personal experience, I have found that, without godly, praying friends, I would have lost my way several times .

What about those times in which we just want to quit and accept our defeat (or failure?) Those are the times that we are in the greatest need of prayer partners and encouragers. And I’m not talking about those fringe friends that will just share platitudes and tell you everything will be alright. Because, sometimes, that isn’t the case.

I am talking about the people in your life that see your reality for what it is, and seeks God on your behalf. I am talking about the people that will come along beside you and carry you when you can’t walk anymore. The people that will speak truth and grace into your life and be faithful to help you discern God’s will for you. The Greek term for such relationships is “koinonia.” It means deep and abiding friendship and shared communion with God.

Do you have these people surrounding you? This world does not create those relationships for us. We have to seek them out. We have to pray and ask our Savior to lead us to those people that will be our foundational community – and we have to show up and cultivate it.

If you don’t currently have those people in your life, let me ask you a question. How will you make it, friends? How will you stand through the storms in your life? Because they are out there, and they will come – eventually. And, in the meantime, what are you missing out on? Are you living the life Jesus has for you? Or are you missing out on some incredible opportunities to engage with your brothers and sisters – to be a part of the blessed body of Christ?

Maybe you say your spouse is that person for you. Wonderful. However, I would suggest that, sometimes, you need more. There are times in our lives when our spouse isn’t the best person to rely on in a particular situation. If you don’t have a trusted friend (or two) of the same gender, prayerfully consider finding some. The value of such relationships cannot be measured. They are critical if we are to succeed in this life. God never meant for us to be alone. He said so in Genesis. That is why He created Eve. Faithful companionship is part of the original design for us. Please don’t shortchange yourself by denying your need for such relationships.

Grace to you, brothers and sisters.

Gracious Lord,

You provide for all my needs. Sometimes I don’t attend to my relational needs very well. Please lead me to those people You have provided for my koinonia. Please point my needs out to me, and help me to surround myself with people that will lead me closer to You.

 In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

Song of the Day: FANTASTIC version of “They’ll Know We Are Christians.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9zoq3k-3K0

Lectio Divina Passage for Today:

“A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods.  They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape.  So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.  Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself.  But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

Acts 16: 22-28

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