By Allen White
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
I’ve known many devoted fans over the years. You know them. These fans go to every game or at least watch the game on TV. Devoted fans wear their team’s jersey and decorate their cars and houses with their team’s memorabilia.
Shortly after moving to Greenville, our family spotted a car with four flags (one for each window), a team magnet on the back, a team license plate, and a tiger tail hanging out of the trunk. Someone asked, “What’s that?” I said, “It’s a Clemson fan.” Devoted fans take this seriously.
But, what if the qualification of being a devoted fan wasn’t just devotion to the team? What if the qualification was devotion to all of the other devoted fans? We can feel a certain connectedness with other fans of our team, with other members of our political party, or with other devotees of our hobbies. But, to be devoted to other people in the sense that we’re devoted to our team, do you know how many thousands of fans there are?
So, here’s the question, how can you be devoted in brotherly love to hundreds or thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ at your church? We can’t remember 6000 names let alone show any specific devotion.
In a general sense, we can honor others above ourselves even in a large church. Greater love has no man than to give up his parking place or his favorite seat… We can certainly be courteous to everyone. But, devoted, I’m not so sure.
The early church had the solution to this. They met in temple courts and they met house to house (Acts 5:42). The Sunday morning service is our “temple court” if you will. We gather to worship and to learn. But, it’s challenging to connect, and “sharing” is discouraged during the service.
But, “house to house” is a different story. Here the early disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Devotion is possible in a small group.
Who’s your small group? Whether you’re in an official small group or not, you have a small group. It’s not your hundreds of Facebook friends, but it is the handful of people that you keep up with. Who do you connect with regularly? Who’s on your speed dial? This is your small group. Now, the question is what are you intentionally doing to express brotherly love and honor each other? Do you pray together? Do you encourage each other with God’s Word?.
“Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle” (Romans 12:9-10, Msg)
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