Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Romans 12:10-13
Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Colossians 4:12-13
Today’s thoughts from today’s verse:
Today’s first Scripture would serve as great departing words if you wanted to leave behind a good word to a group of Christians who were seeking to be what they need to be to each other and the world. The Apostle Paul is saying this is what “should be” true of the believers in Christ in Rome. In today’s second Scripture the Apostle Paul is saying what “is” true of Epaphras: “he has a ‘deep concern’ for you (believers in Christ in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis).” Having a “deep concern” for others is so very much a part of “Koinonia” living. A “deep concern” for others is what is being talked about in a fuller way in our first Scripture passage.
When we have a “deep concern” for others, we will have a tremendously “giving and caring” spirit that will lead to our fulfilling the kinds of things spelled out in our first passage. Read it again and think about where you are in regard to being this kind of person and being a part of a “fellowship (Koinonia)” of believers who live their lives this way. What is the true “goal” of your life? The “goal” of a believer’s life should be to advance God’s kingdom on earth and this necessitates a “giving and caring” spirit. The Apostle John said, “Whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him.”
What you do with your financial resources and how you use your time are pretty good indicators of whether or not you have a “giving and caring” spirit. How much of your financial resources goes to serving others and helping meet needs? Would you be willing to live in a smaller house, drive an older car, spend less on household accessories, downsize spending on recreation and vacations, give up having the latest and greatest gadgets, etc.? How about volunteering at a hospital, nursing home, hospice agency, soup kitchen, food bank, prison, disaster agency, youth or senior citizen center, etc.? A “giving and caring” spirit can go a long way when we give up “working” and “living” for ourselves. “Koinonia” living has been God’s call for the Christian community since the start of Christianity and yet Christians today barely scratch the surface of “living fully” in this regard. What will you do to answer God’s call today for “Koinonia” in your life and your shared life with others?
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, help me to die to myself, so that I might become fully alive to you and others (Koinonia). Bring me to the spot where my approach to what “I do for” and what “I have” in regard to “material” things is fair game for you to change. Grant me a genuine “giving and caring” spirit so that I become a true “blessing” to others and really do live “fully” for you and the goal of advancing your kingdom on earth. Amen!