Today Faith Chapel came together with Lugar de Encuentro, our sister church on campus, and the deaf ministry congregation. What a blessing to worship and fellowship as one! Pastor Beas thanked Faith Chapel for almost 10 years together and said he was grateful that we are a family with the same Father God.
In Ephesians 3:16, it says “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit…and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” God wants us to be a strong church – stronger than ever when He returns. As we begin a new year, many have resolutions – to diet, to grow, to change. Pastor Beas said that the Lord impressed on him the word STRONG, and that the church needs to grow strong.
The Holy Spirit gives us courage to be strong in many areas, both physically and spiritually. Being together in a united service is wonderful, as there is nothing stronger than our relationships in church. To be strong, you must have strong relationships. Relationship has been important to God from the beginning of creation, when He said it is not good for man to be alone.
Why is relationship important? If you don’t expose yourself to relationship, you will be empty. Despite hundreds of “friends” on Facebook and Instagram, many are lonely and without relationship. In the New Testament, we see the example of relationship in the church. We are told to pray for one another, help one another and tolerate one another. We are to be a community.
Romans 12:5 says “in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us.” God does not see us separate, but united. The first century church was born under this united spirit. We don’t need an excellent building, great preachers or perfect worship teams. All those are marvelous, but to really experience the Holy Spirit, we need unity. God calls is to unity! God calls us to stronger relationships. No relationship on earth will be forever – all will end, but the church will continue into eternity.
What is God’s image of the church?
1. United together Ephesians 2:20-22
Wood and brick and construction parts are of no use until put together to make a building. Likewise, it is useless for us to be around the church without connection. When unified, the church becomes a place where God can move and heal and teach and grow His people. Whatever is disconnected will not have God’s support. The blessing comes when we are connected to each other and God.
2. When we relate, we join the body of Christ.
Christ is the head – and the head is where great ideas begin. We are the body. To use the ideas, we must be connected to the head. The head will send us with His plans for San Diego and the church. Romans 12:45 reminds us we are one body with many different gifts…all unique. God likes variety! You need to be you for God to fulfill His purpose. Thanks be to God that we are all different, but part of one body. Together, we are better. You cannot grow spiritually if you are not connected. It is so simple – just as our body cannot function if our heart doesn’t work, a disconnected member of the body cannot function.
3. When we relate, we remain united to the vine. John 15:4
Disconnected from the vine, fruit will shrivel. It is the same for us! Disconnected from the Lord, we produce no fruit. More connected, we produce more fruit. If we abide in God, our fruit will be heavy and the source of our power, Jesus, will use it to further the Kingdom. What kind of fruit can you produce? Galatians 5:22-23 tells us of the fruit of the spirit. It’s simple – we can’t gain more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness in our own strength. Jesus gave His life for us. Separated from Him we have nothing. Connected, we have the Fruit of the Spirit.
4. When we relate, we are part of the family of God.
God has called us to be family. He is a blessing to the insecure, rejected and discriminated. against. When you come to Christ, you are loved unconditionally. Pastor Beas has 5 kids – each different, all loved. God sees diversity and differences in the church and loves unconditionally. Ephesians 2:19
In closing, you and I cannot fulfill God’s purpose if we are not connected in the church. The church has a divine purpose. You are to be part of this family, here and forever. Nothing will make us stronger than being united. How sweet it is to abide in unity!
2 Corinthians 1:5 The key to good relationship is to first give yourself to the Lord. Fall in love with the Lord and He will help you love others. He will fill you with divine love so you can have good relationships and a strong church. Welcome to this family!
Written by Debby Jarrell