Tuesday, November 16, 2021

You Are Not Alone – Or Are You?

“…  you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. …. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, ….. submitting to one another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:8-10,15,21

Martie and I watched a television program Sunday night that featured Adele. I must say, I had heard of her but had not listened to any of her music. She is apparently a “big deal”.  As part of the programming there were vignettes of an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interview circled mostly around Adele’s troubled life, her recent divorce and her quest to be happy in spite of it all.  Adele seemed like a good enough person but what got my attention was the focus on happiness. I am quite certain the woman is very rich – so money is not the source of what she is looking for or she would already be there. I am certain she has more than enough for several lifetimes. What was sad to me was it seemed that with all of her fame – with all of her money – in her heart, she as on her own.

Earlier that morning, we had watched a streamed service from a local church. The pastor was preaching on Ephesians 5. Connecting the two events, I was thinking about the importance of being connected in the Body of Christ, and how alone we can find ourselves even though we are surrounded by friends, family and other Christians. Have you ever felt alone in a crowded room? I suspect that there are many Christians – some that you may know well, that feel that way – even when they are with you.  Like Adele standing alone behind that microphone – the people around us are like the audience, enjoying the “show”. And when they show is over, you are still alone.

So what does this have to do with Ephesians 5? Well, glad you asked!  When we are commanded – strong word that – it is something that God intends for us to do to fulfill His purposes.  If we are submitting to one another – putting others before us – and they are doing the same – then there is no place for loneliness – although there is a temptation to feel like you are alone.  That we are not living our new lives on our own. Do you remember Elijah in the cave – full of despair even after seeing God at work – ready to give it up because he felt alone – but God reminded him that he was not alone. Our happiness or contentment is found through faith and not circumstances. What binds us together is our love for one another – which is demonstrated by mutual submission – thinking more of others than ourselves.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

How did Jesus love us? He died for us – suffered the cross for our benefit.  Loving people sacrificially is a living witness to the world.  I must say, in my experience that Church falls woefully short. We keep our emotional distance. We can be in a church on Sunday slam full of people – but the people might as well be sitting behind a computer screen watching the service over the internet. Even with all of the “glad handing” and “good to see you’s” we are surrounded by lonely people. Submitting – having another Christian’s back, if you will, means that you must engage them on a personal level. Get beyond the social gratuities. To let them into your personal space and they do likewise. How does that happen? It starts with you.   

Think about it – Pray about it – Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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