The Power of One Another
Monday - August 3rd Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Philemon 1:4-7
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:13-16
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
Depending on how you count them, there are between 50 and 60 different "one another" or "each other" commands in the New Testament regarding how we are to relate to each other as members of Christ's body.
The phrase "one another" is derived from one Greek word, and that word means: "one another, each other; mutually, reciprocally." It occurs 100 times in the New Testament. According to Carl George, there are 59 of those occurrences. They are specific commands teaching us how (and how not) to relate to one another. Obedience to those commands is imperative. It forms the basis for all real Christian community and directly impacts our witness to the world (John 13:35).
In addition to this specific word, the Bible uses other words and phrases to instruct us on how to relate to other believers. With that in mind, the following list is not exhaustive, but it helps get a sense of the various ways in which God commands us to relate to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Love One Another (John 13:34 & 16 other passages)
Live in Harmony with One Another (Romans 12:10)
Care for One Another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
Serve One Another (Galatians 5:13)
Comfort One Another (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
Pray for One Another (James 5:16)
Forgive One Another (Ephesians 4:2)
Admonish One Another (Romans 15:14)
There are many more. CLICK HERE for a simple list of all of the "One Another" verses in the New Testament.
Paul demonstrated many of these commands in his letters to various churches and individuals. His little letter to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian Church, gives a clear glimpse of Paul's One Another attitude and life toward fellow believers. Many of these reciprocal commands emphasize encouraging, building up, and loving others. Every person needs encouragement, love, and someone reinforcing and building into their lives.
With all our world faces today, it is too easy to get overwhelmed by worry. Kind words shared with each other can go a long way to bring relief and hope. I love how Proverbs 12:25 states it: "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." Living out the "One Another" commands makes a difference!
As you read the eight "One Another" commands I listed above (or the list of 59 at the link above), did a few stand out to you? Which one do you struggle with the most as you seek to relate to others in God's family? Which one do you feel like you need the most? Is there one that you think the church neglects more than the others? If there is one, which one is it?
Even though it is nearly impossible to experience the in-person kind of community the Scriptures describe for us as the followers of Jesus, look for a way to reach out and exercise one or two of the ONE ANOTHER's with a few Christian friends. Go out of your way to love, pray, forgive, admonish, comfort, or serve (or any other one another) in Christian community with others this week. Don't let the barriers and restrictions regarding the coronavirus stop you. You can follow the guidelines and still engage with others in the Calvary family or with other Christians you know beyond Calvary.
What a different kind of church the church would be if we took our obedience seriously to the One Another commands! The world would clearly know we are the followers of Jesus!
Let's seek ways to engage in the power of One Another body life so distinctly taught in the New Testament!