When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” John 1:47-48 NIV
Pam and I spent the past weekend on the prayer team for J H Outback, Tuscaloosa. I had the privilege to meet many new followers of Jesus Christ like one of our prayer partners Stanley Love. We prayed together, ate meals together, talked about our families, and shared our travel journeys with Jesus. It was only 48 hours together, but it feels like I have known Stanley for years. Welcome to the mystery of being part of the body of Christ, the family of God.
When Jesus first meets Nathaniel, he speaks a word of knowledge about him. Jesus already knew information about his past before they actually physically met. This encounter sealed the deal for Nathaniel to declare in revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. It was not only the ability to have information about his life which only God could reveal, but also Nathaniel was impacted that Jesus knew him already.
More than once this weekend, I would look at a person and wonder where I had met them. It is the presence of Jesus that connects us as family members. The presence of the Holy Spirit kindles affection and intimacy for the many members of the body of Christ. Our history will be found in our relationship connection with Jesus. There exists a quick bond of love and fellowship that can only be attributed to prayers like Jesus prayed that “we would be one as He and His father are one.”
Let me suggest some activities that you can do with another person in the family of God to strengthen the family bonds.
- Share meals together. The bible is full of encounters of shared meals. Something happens over shared meals that does not take place in any other activities together. The visitors with Abraham shared about the impending doom of Sodom and Gomorrah after their meal together.
- Pray together. Talking to and with your Daddy, God reveals the level of intimacy that you both share with Him. There is also the benefit of knowing that your brother or sister has your back as they pray for your needs.
- Trade life journey stories. It is amazing how many times we may find that people knew someone we knew that helped them along their spiritual journey. It is also special to see God’s grace consistently revealed to others in need as yourself.
- Serve together in a spiritual outreach. This does not have to be a mission trip, although everyone should participate in short term mission experiences. Serving together creates bonds of friendship and life stories of togetherness that will be yours for eternity.
- Honor one another in speech and through forgiveness. The hand doesn’t say that it doesn’t need the mouth. Honor with our words and actions reveals the deep connection that the body of Christ is joined as the Holy Spirit leads. We appreciate the variety of gifts and personalities that God brings within our lives.
These above mentioned activities work with people that you already know. You can also make it a point to reach out to new people who visit your church. Engage in their life stories now, this side of heaven. Love reaches out to others. Love knots us together. May you be blessed with being knit together in the family of Christ. Blessed be the ties that bind
Blessing Love y’all