UNPACK this

Gathering Together

Published on July 15, 2016 | By
Last night ESPN put on their yearly awards show, the ESPYS. Athletes, actors, and entertainers all gather at one location to celebrate the year in sports. It’s always a great show, and I especially enjoy seeing athletes from different sports interacting with each other. Before the ceremony began, two of my favorite players, Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning, were interviewed together. With both recently retiring, they had a lot in common to share, and their back and forth comments were very entertaining. These sports superstars appear to really enjoy the evening. I think one of the reasons is because they have the opportunity to engage with other athletes who relate to being in their unique position. Most of these guys run hard all year long with team responsibilities and endorsement obligations. Connecting with other athletes, beyond social media, is difficult. So when they have this chance each year in July, they seem to embrace hanging out with the biggest names in the world of sports. It is important for athletes to be surrounded by like-minded people who can motivate and encourage each other, while discussing things they have in common that others don’t always understand. The same is true for followers of Jesus. We live a life that others can’t always relate to, so there is value in gathering regularly with other believers. Having fellowship at church, being involved in small groups, and getting together with like-minded people, provide opportunities to be challenged, encouraged, and share what God is teaching us on our faith journey. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT), “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.” Our lives get busy and we run in so many different directions, but we must pause often to gather with other followers of Jesus. We weren’t designed to figure everything out on our own or to take on the struggles of life by ourselves. By taking our fellowship seriously, we can position ourselves to have a more powerful impact and influence on the world. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for getting so busy that I neglect to spend time with other people who are also pursuing You. Please allow me to pause and seek genuine fellowship with other followers of Jesus, and not take for granted the importance of encouragement and accountability that comes with it. I’m thankful I don’t have to live this life alone. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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