Thursday, January 29, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 19

Day 19 Cultivating Community

Have you ever planted a garden? It takes some good planning to be successful, doesn’t it? Well, growing authentic relationships in the covenant community takes planning, too. Where does the cycle start?

Soil preparation.

Why do you think that is? Because if the soil is not properly prepared, the seeds you plant may not grow and produce a crop that can be harvested.

So what is involved in cultivation? Well, there are pulling weeds and removing rocks and breaking up hardened clumps. Then there’s enriching the soil with fertilizer so there are plenty of nutrients nearby to feed the growing plants. Sometimes you need to add sand to the soil if there’s too much clay for air and water to circulate.

Sounds pretty complicated…

Relationships need cultivation too. Love and unity only grow through openness and honesty, humility and generosity, accountability and responsibility—the koinonia (authentic “in common” relationships) of growing more like Christ together.

Then there’s the maintenance tasks: more weeding, watering and feeding…until the plants are mature and the harvest is ready to be gathered.

If you are trying to grow outside authentic community, you will find it very difficult—your intimacy needs will be hard to fill. We need each other to help cultivate and maintain God’s Covenant Community. (See Hebrews 10:23-25)

Today’s Look at 1 John

Read 1 John 2:18 through 3:10. While you’re reading, look for the kinds of cultivation John was encouraging them to do.

Keep Breathing!

As you invite God to fill you today with the Holy Spirit so that you will be able to remain on target and faithful to God’s purpose, see if your bike needs any maintenance! Is there any dirt or grime that has collected—slowing you down?

Take a look. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you anything that’s getting in your way. Confess it to God and let it go. Thank him that Jesus provided all the power needed to wash it away.

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