By Michael Risley

An amazing part of God’s creation is the giant sequoia tree.

They grow to about 300 feet tall and can live over 3,000 years. Perhaps the most incredible fact about these trees is that they can grow in just three feet of soil and withstand high winds. How do they do this? Their strength comes from the fact that their roots intertwine with other sequoias, making them stable.

Together they thrive.

God’s plan is like that for us. Our ability to stand strong in spite of the harsh winds of life is directly related to the loving support we receive from God and our community of fellow believers.

God made us not to be “Lone Ranger Christians,” but to do life with others. And that is why God gave us the church, the Jesus community. In fact, without a community it is impossible to be all that God intends you to be.

Let me give you some essentials of a Christ-centered community:

  1. The community of believers is not an option! Hebrews 10:24–25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
  2. Since Jesus Christ is the head of your church – your community (Ephesians 5:23) – be sure to submit to His leadership; that is, obey His Word, the Bible.
  3. Seek to be others-centered, not self-centered. Romans 12 gives us insights on how to do this. For instance, find a way to use your gifts and strengths and serve (12:4–8); look for ways to love others and to really honor them, often with a word of thanks (12:9–10); be patient with others and be ready to help them, especially through prayer (12:12–13).

May we all experience the great power in intertwining our lives in love and support with other believers as we go through the pains and challenges of life.

Want more encouragement and inspiration to help you finish well and make each day count? Listen to more from Dr. Michael Risley on the Meaningful Moments podcast.