Being connected helps families flourish. When we stay connected to God and to Jesus; to each other, our community and the world, we grow deep roots and produce beautiful fruit in our lives.
This month at Gather & Grow is all about CONNECTION! We’re studying John 15 through our Family Daily Devotional Calendar, looking at what it means to be CONNECTED. When we stay connected to that which supports and nourishes our growth, we establish deep roots and flourish as a family.
You may have noticed, on the blog we break things down into a few categories that represent the relationships in our lives.
We start with our relationship with GOD and his son, JESUS. This is our FAITH. And when we stay connected through Bible study, prayer and worship, our faith grows.
Next comes home + FAMILY, because outside of God, the relationships we have with our spouse, parents and siblings are the most important connection in our lives.
Together, we connect with those in our CHURCH + COMMUNITY. The Bible talks a lot about the church and doing life with others because God designed us to need each other and he instructs us to love and help one another.
Finally, we extend our perspective to include the great, big WORLD around us because the good news of God’s love is not something we want to keep to ourselves! God calls us to love and help our neighbors in other nations. We can start by opening our minds to understand a broader worldview.
So we know all the ways we need to stay connected, but what does that look like in our daily lives? Next, we’re going to dig into why we need to be connected in these areas and how those connections help our family flourish.
Use the following thoughts in conjunction with the Daily Devotional Calendar this week to talk about being connected. Download and print this CONNECT THE DOTS visual to use as you discuss being connected in these important relational areas.
CONNECTED TO GOD.
We have a relationship with God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross (John 14:6). What a joy that Jesus provided a way for us to be reconnected with our Father God! But staying connected with God in relationship is up to us. We do this by learning more about him in the Bible, praying regularly and worshiping him out of a heart of gratitude (we’re going to talk about all the ways we stay connected later this month).
Building relationship with God as a family will not only help each member grow in faith, it will also help us grow closer to each other!
CONNECTED TO JESUS.
The Bible says in John 15:15 that Jesus calls us his friends. He wants us to walk with him daily, talk to him in prayer, learn from the Bible about how to love like he does, and also worship him with a thankful heart.
Staying connected to Jesus and remaining in relationship with him (which is what John 15 is all about!) means that he is a part of our daily lives. It can be hard to understand what it means to have a friend we cannot see but that’s where faith comes in. Faith is believing something even when we can’t see it (Hebrews 11:1). We can talk with Jesus like he’s standing right beside us, every minute of every day! And we can trust that he hears us and responds by speaking to our heart and showing us what to do.
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT
CONNECTED AS A FAMILY.
Family connection comes through time spent together – learning, playing, serving and growing. If our family didn’t spend time together, we would eventually drift apart. We wouldn’t know what was going on in each other’s lives and we would feel uncomfortable around each other. Families flourish through time spent reading the Bible, talking about our day, playing games or sharing fun experiences.
The more time we spend together as a family, the more like-minded we will become. . .which simply means, we’ll develop the same goals so we can grow together in life and faith.
CONNECTED IN COMMUNITY.
The Bible is clear that we weren’t meant to do life alone. God created us to live in community with others. In Romans 12:4-5 we learn about the Body of Christ, a beautiful picture of how each member of the church has a specific role to play and we all work together with Jesus as the head. Church is an important part of connection for Jesus followers. We go to church to be in community with other Christians. Just like the foot needs the leg or the hand needs the fingers to work, we all need each other.
It’s also important for us to stay connected to our local community – our neighborhood, schools and city. God wants us to connect with and serve those in our area so we can share his love with others.
CONNECTED TO THE WORLD.
Jesus instructed his disciples to go into all the world and share the good news. When we experience the love God has to offer, we cannot keep it for ourselves. There are many people all over our great big world that need to know that God loves them. We stay connected to the world by learning about other cultures, praying for the needs of our neighbors in other nations, sharing our resources to help meet those needs and by spreading the good news of God’s love.
When we open our eyes and our minds to the world around us, we begin to understand how big God is and it all comes full circle, back to the beginning – God’s desire to stay connected to his children.
God created us to connect. Without connection we will never thrive. Our connection provides the nourishment we need to grow and to plant seeds of love in the lives of those we meet each day. Try to make it a priority to work on connecting in each of these areas. Follow along the Family Daily Devotional Calendar as we dig into John 15 this month.
In what area of connection do you or your family need the most growth? How can I pray for you this month?