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Lent Devotional • Day 23

Day 23: Monday, March 28

Fourth Week of Lent: “Be Like Jesus with Commitment to Community”

 

Today’s Truth that Transforms:

“Jesus Committed to Community…So Do We”

Scripture from Matthew and John

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt. 9)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13)

How are we “Transformed in Christ” and shaped to be more like Him?

Jesus was thoroughly committed to community while on earth. That included community with his family, his village, and his worshipping community. It included the community of outsiders like tax collectors and sinners. Especially it included his disciples. What did He invest in community? Time. Presence. Shared experience. Respect. Acceptance. Humility. Hope. Honesty. Accountability. Celebration. Jesus cared deeply for the individual person but prioritized community as the most vital setting to nurture spiritual growth and service. What about us? At King of Kings, we want to invest in community as well. That is why Connect Groups are so important. Serving together also helps build community. Even worshipping creates community. Let’s be a community where everyone is welcomed and can experience the love of Christ in community together. 

How do you see this “Truth that Transforms” working in your life? 

The following is an application story written by Lisa Ashby. After you read it, ask yourself the same question. “How do I see this ‘Truth that Transforms’ working in my life?

I have loved chocolate for as long as I can remember. One of my greatest joys was coming home to my mom’s just-out-of-the-oven baking. One of my greatest sadnesses, however, was coming home and being told, “Don’t touch that; it’s for the church potluck.” Seriously? A chocolate-filled bundt cake that wasn’t for us?! How could that be? I wanted that chocolate for us. Nothing was better than mom’s baking!

But then Sunday came and the potluck dishes were laid out on the fellowship hall tables. The Beyers brought fried chicken! The Mortons prepared a seven layer jello! The Li family provided spring rolls! And the desserts seemed endless! Far better than just one cake, the potluck’s array was a wonder to my young appetite.

As I look back, I realize that while I initially longed for the singular enjoyment of my mom’s dessert, in this community, we had abundance and flavor and variety for all to share. What was one person’s common, everyday dish became a feast when joined together with the contributions of all.

When we draw together (“co-”) and exchange (“muni”) ideas, skills, beliefs, needs, and joys, that’s

community. It’s a model given by our Savior himself. My life was made richer by those potlucks. Just as it’s been enriched by community in many other forms–by church, school, volunteer agencies, and neighborhood. In each experience, I have been blessed to see the Lord in His many forms, working and touching the lives of His people.