Exodus 18:1-27, Deuteronomy 17:8-11, Acts 6:1-7
When I was a junior in high school, I joined a small group that would change my life forever. Comprised of roughly 15 high schoolers, this group changed my life because it taught me what Christian community looks like. Some of us were jocks, some nerds. Some of us were popular, some not. Many of us shared no common interests at all, but we became true brothers and sisters because of our interest in the gospel. We knew we couldn’t follow Christ on our own. We needed each other.
In Exodus 18, Moses is reunited with his family in the wilderness at the encampment based at the mountain of God. There Moses sat as God’s representative, judging disputes amongst the Israelites, when Jethro noticed a problem. He asked Moses, “What is this thing you’re doing for the people? Why are you alone sitting as judge, while all the people stand around you from morning until evening?” (Exodus 18:14).
Moses explained, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach them God’s statutes and laws” (vv.15-16).
Jethro was concerned his son-in-law would burn himself out. No one should bear such a burden alone. Moses needed help, but he was so focused on serving God and acting as an intermediary for his people, that he didn’t realize it. Observing all this interaction, Jethro cautioned Moses, saying, “You can’t do it alone” (v.18).
In the same way, we cannot be so busy in working to serve God, that we lose sight of the fact that we cannot live a faithful Christian life in solitude. We need brothers and sisters in Christ who are willing to come alongside us to walk through this life together. In community, we can encourage, comfort, and sharpen one another.
The only truth, the only value, the only common interest powerful enough to bear the burden of a community of people pursuing lives of eternal significance is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When our unconditional love for our Christian brothers and sisters is fueled by God’s unconditional love for us, we cannot be stopped in our pursuit of Christlikeness. Gather and grow a group of people around you who will love you well, while loving Jesus more. Together, you can fight through the darkness of the world toward the light of your shared gospel hope.
Written by Chris Martin