Wycliffe – A Call to Community

God has designed us to thrive and do life better when we live and relate with one another in community. This does not always mean that he wants us to sell all that we have and live in communes, as some did in the early days of the Jesus Movement in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. It does mean recognizing that he created us to function as members of one another, as stated many times in the letters of Paul the Apostle to the early Christians. A few of the 59 “one anothers” in the New Testament are “Encourage one another daily…” (Hebrews 3:13), “Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8) and “Carry one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).

As followers of Christ we are part of God’s family, the global community of believers. We have heard it said, “Think globally; act locally.” There are times that God calls us to act globally, such as going on short term or even long term missions trips. But whether we are actually called to renew our passport, get our shots up to date and learn another language or to stay and support those who go with prayer and financial support, we have the responsibility to be in relationship with and in community with those who go and to the believers to whom they are ministering, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Haiti, or in Parkland, Florida, as we have an opportunity to carry a message of hope to a shattered and devastated community.

We spoke with Kelly Chesnut of Wycliffe Bible Translators who shared some thoughts on God’s plan for Christians interacting with one another in these difficult times on Planet Earth, as we believe that we are closer yet to the Last Days than when the Bible was written. Kelly said, “Wycliffe’s ‘Call to Community’ invites people to explore the incredible way that God brings Christians together in community across cultural boundaries and how we can learn more about His character by forming relationships with people in cultures different from our own. Wycliffe.org/community has stories, tools and resources to help you learn about God’s global family and how you can find your place in it.”

In this seven day devotional you will learn how the concept of Christian community predates the Jesus Movement, the Charismatic Movement and even the early church in the New Testament. Abraham of old was called into a covenantal relationship with God and his fellow believers, called to be the Father of the faith and interacting as well with non-believers in his new community in Canaan. Joseph as well earned the favor of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and was an important part of God’s plan to minister to the Hebrews and Egyptians alike in the predicted famine in the land. Ruth, Esther and Paul the Apostle all showed us important lessons about living in community, as they all had the opportunity and the call to be God’s messengers in a cross-cultural setting.

You can explore the world from the comfort and safety of your home, read stories about people who have literally changed the world and learn how to pray for God’s global community.

Modern day examples of those who have responded to the call to community include Billy Graham, who is now with the Lord after more than six decades of worldwide ministry, and Nick Vujicic, an Australian evangelist with the extremely rare tetra-amelia syndrome, who has overcome all odds to minister to over 700 million in 175 countries.

Many readers will have recently completed a 21 day fast or longer period related to the Lenten season. This is a good time to get a better understanding of how God sees the world and how we can learn to see our neighbors, co-workers, people in our community of other backgrounds, and others in various cultures around the world with God’s eyes.

For more information go to www.wycliffe.org/community.

 

Robert Woods is an engineer with Skanska USA Civil Southeast and a published Christian author. He and his wife Marie attend Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, and Robert has made more than 15 short term mission trips to Haiti, St. Thomas and Canada. His children and grandchildren have ministered in Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Hungary.

 

Image credit: Wycliffe Devotional, A Call to Community

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