Week 4: We Grow By Connecting

We need each other. That need for connection is hard-wired and is only fulfilled in communion with God and in connection with others. There is no better picture of this than in the very beginning, in the Garden, where God and Adam worked together. It was in the midst of His and Adam’s communion that God then declared it was not good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18), and He created Eve. The First Story tells a compelling story of God’s intention for our communion with Him and our connection with others.  

We see God’s intention echoed throughout the scripture. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about our need for connection and how that connection helps us grow.
 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
 
Galatians 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
 
Proverbs 18:24
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
 
Romans 12:10
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
 
The truth of God’s Word is evident: we need connection with one another in meaningful, burden-bearing, life-laying down, sharpening, loving, and supporting ways. Yet, connecting is not always easy or convenient. The busyness of life often crowds out opportunities to gather, frustrations with others’ personalities push us to our own corners, and it is often just easier to keep to ourselves. Add to that mix the complication of technology and social media platforms that give us the illusion of meaningful relationships without the demands. If we are not careful, we can become satisfied with superficial interactions and ultimately be left isolated and lonely. That’s not how we were intended to live.

We are intended to live in connection with one another. That is how we grow!
 
Healthy Habits:
Connections with others happen by design, not by default. So, we need to make a plan to connect. Try these things this week to jump-start or strengthen your connections.
-Make a plan to connect with a friend (meet for lunch, for a walk, for coffee).
-Make a commitment to limit the use of technology when you are together with others.
-Practice compassion for others by listening, learning, and asking questions.
-Practice gratitude by telling someone ‘thank you’ for something specific.

We are made to live life in community with others. Those relationships help us become healthy and whole disciples of Jesus. We grow by connecting with others.

Video devotions

The First Story, in the Garden of Eden, tells a compelling story of God’s intention for our communion with Him and our connection with others.  Tune in today as Pastor Gentry challenges us to check our connections. 

MUSIC DEVOTIONS

There is nothing like the presence of God to clear the clutter of the day and provide a refreshing reset. Today, we invite you to do just that. Join the worshipers…. Jesus, more than anything, we love you.