November is the month it starts to really feel like fall, at least in Charleston! Bright colored trees, falling leaves, football, sweaters, boots, and the start of the holiday season.
During this time of year, it is peaceful with loved ones but it’s also a time of rushing around, with more on our plates to fit in. It can be hard to pause and notice things to be grateful for and to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.
Fall is our time to shift our focus away from what we want to what we have. To focus on the blessings and not the problems. It is our time to give thanks to the people in our lives with all their splendor and their messiness.
When we think of our community we tend to think of our families, both immediate and extended. We think about our friends. Sometimes we think of our neighbors, coworkers, or people we see at the gym.
Think about expanding your definition of community to include Spiritual Family.
Your Spiritual Family includes all your brothers and sisters in Christ and are believers who are growing in their love for God like you are. If you are a believer in Jesus this is the family you will be with forever.
These are the ones who help to connect you to your heavenly Father, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit. This family helps you grow in your faith and in life. These are our most important relationships of all because they are your eternal family.
God is the one who made you, sent you to earth with a purpose, and an agenda. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
You are God’s masterpiece! While you are here on earth you were sent to do good things for others joining with God to bring His Kingdom of faith, hope, and love to the world, to your families, friends, communities, and spiritual family.
Community of Christ
Everything here on earth that we can see and experience through our 5 senses is temporary. If we are lucky, we get 80-100 years here. However, in heaven, you are looking at trillions upon trillions upon trillions of years, into infinity! On earth, our bodies will pass away, but our souls are going somewhere and the bible teaches that heaven is for those who sincerely love God.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” Hebrews 13:14-15
A healthy Spirit Family is a community of Christ and is absolutely essential in helping us learn what it looks like to love God and love others well. Even when it means doing the hard work of love which includes choosing love when it’s hard, and when it hurts.
These are the people of faith that God has put in your life, the ones who will pray with you, for you, and for your loved ones. We get to love God together here on this earth, growing in his love for one another, then pouring it out to the rest of the world.
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”. Hebrews 10:24
These are the ones God has brought to you as brothers and sisters by adoption because when you accept Jesus, you are literally adopted into his family tree.
All people are God’s beloved creation. He extends his hand of love and salvation to all people. The offer of adoption into God’s family is for all who will choose to receive it. Sadly not all choose to love God back, or to let him into their hearts and lives. For those of you who do are going to need a Spirit Family in order to grow into the fullness of all that Jesus has for you.
Gratitude for Community
This Thanksgiving take a moment to pause and pray. Reflect on the good things, and where God has brought you so far. Give thanks for things He has not yet done.
Our Spiritual Family can be found at Church, through mentors, LIFE groups, or Christian Counselors. In a healthy Spiritual Family, you’ll find belonging, acceptance, and community.
These communities will help you become familiar with the whole bible, and how to understand it and apply its teachings to your everyday life.
These are your people of faith, who will challenge and equip you to walk in “the ways” of Jesus and will pour out His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness on you. They help you to have hope, even when you have sometimes run out of it.
If you have a LIFE group and/or church, give thanks for them! These are your people. God is working on, in, and through all of our Spiritual Family.
Ask God to show you how to appreciate them even more through this holiday season. Then link arms and grow in God together, and pour his love out on the rest of the world!
If you don’t have a Spirit Family, start praying for God to send you one. Feel free to check our LIFE groups to find a group that is a good fit for you.
We have developed a Gratitude Guide to help guide your prayers as we enter into the holiday season.