United in Light
What is our purpose? What can we do to grow and shine? It can seem daunting when reflecting upon one's life and actions with a feeling of it not amounting to much--or even in thinking that we don’t have a purpose. We may even begin to question who we are and what we have to offer. But it is important that we do not give in and consistently dwell on such negative thoughts; we should be striving to do good in this world that can seem so dark. As Christians, this purpose has an even higher calling because it is in good deeds done with humility and truth that the love of God is spread. (Matthew 5:16, Matthew 6:1, Micah 6:8, Titus 2:7-9, Galatians 6:9)
What happens when a candle alone in a dark room suddenly has more and more candles come beside it? You’re exactly right! The light gets brighter and the darkness fades! It is no coincidence that when we enter the Lord’s church through baptism that we are graced with such a big, worldwide support system. If we find that at home, school, or work we have not been seizing opportunities as we should (Colossians 4:5), then we can encourage and be fruitful every week at church (Colossians 4:6). It is a time for growing in love and encouragement, a time to pray together (Colossians 1:2; 2:19), as well as a time to grow this family by putting on Christ in baptism (Acts 2:38, 22:16).
We also have this time each week together to help others stay and get back onto the path God lays out for us in the Bible (1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15). When the Bible mentions laying down one’s life in John 15, we as humans can easily jump to the one conclusion of literal life. But this is not all. As individuals with unique gifts from our experiences, we can achieve great things for God so long as we make the time to do so. It should be our passion to seek these gifts and use them to expand God’s light. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
As we grow our light and family we must also be wary of impeding such progress, because if we love God then we will obey His teachings. In dealing with others, especially ourselves, we must be careful to not meddle, pry, or become entitled to others lives and good works (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, 1 Peter 2)--just as much as we should try not to indulge in human desires as jealousy, lust, idolatry, gossip, reckless behavior/thoughts, etc. (1 Peter 4:1-6).