August 19 – 5 – Developing Relationships

Read Romans 10:14

“Avoid the bubble.”

I learned this lesson the hard way shortly after giving my life to Christ. Many of us know the feeling. Giving your life to Jesus is the best decision you ever make. The feeling of freedom, grace, and love is beautifully overwhelming. Faith in Jesus also gives you a new family – a family of fellow believers who become your brothers and sisters in Christ. The community you gain in the Church is simply amazing. Truly- you gain a group of friends, mentors, and role models that are second to none. However, the temptation to only want to “hang out” with those like you is very real. Our passage today clarifies that it is not only right but our calling as Christians to be outside the Church, interacting with and befriending those who are not saved.

Jesus’s final words to us before He ascended into heaven were “therefore, go and make disciples…” (Matthew 29:11). Our work is not done until every person hears the life-changing message of the Gospel. It means we have to have friends that are different than who we are. In all transparency, I struggle with this quite a bit myself. I have many friends who are believers and I have many friends who are non-believers. My issue is that I put my friends into boxes; I talk church things with my church friends and non-church things with non-church friends. The Lord has burdened my heart today to be more intentional about being more whole. I can try my best to live the light of Jesus in front of my friends, but, without sharing my testimony and His gospel with them, how will they ever know how my life truly changed forever?

I say this because life change really is just one invitation away. This is a cornerstone of our ministry at Grace Church. I love Grace because of our heart for missions at home and around the world. But, by nature, this value we hold demands interaction. It warrants relationships. The passage we read today underlines the importance of this value. Paul essentially asks us to consider the following: 1) if you are not the light of Jesus, who will be? 2)  If you won’t invite this person to experience the life God has for them, who will? 3) If we closed the doors of Grace today and said “OK, we have enough now,” then what’s the point?

We have been afforded this gift of grace, not to just enjoy ourselves, but to share with others.

I wonder if you’d join me today in praying that God would bring people into our lives who need to experience the hope of the Gospel? Pray that we would live, love, and share boldly as Jesus did so the friends in our lives could be pointed to the joy we have in eternity.

Taylor Bennington

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