As your circle grows, so do you
From Colossians: A 28-Day Devotional
After Paul came to know Jesus, he traveled extensively, starting churches wherever he went.
Much of the New Testament is made up of Paul’s letters to the people he mentored and the churches he helped start. His letters answer specific questions church leaders were asking. They caution, challenge, and even course-correct those who might be going astray.
But no matter how personal Paul’s letters got, they were shared, read aloud, and passed around from church to church so everyone could grow in their knowledge and understanding of God.
"After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea" (Colossians 4:16).
Just like Paul encouraged the early churches to swap letters and learn from one another’s successes and failures, we can learn from each other’s experiences of who God is and how He’s shown up for us.
The church is a place of great diversity. Someone in another state or part of the world is seeing God show up in ways we may not know are possible. And as wise as our pastors and teachers are, no one knows everything there is to know about God (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Too often, we find the authors and speakers we like, and we stick to them. We look for people of a similar age and stage of life, and we stick together.
Each person bears God’s image uniquely and has something to contribute to our greater understanding of God and His kingdom. What might we miss out on by only reading and listening to people who are like us?
1 Thessalonians 5:21 encourages us to test everything and hold fast to what is good. We don’t have to fear branching out and learning from others. We have the Holy Spirit as our guide and the Bible as our firm foundation.
So read and listen. Test and see what aligns with Scripture. All the wisdom, history, knowledge God has poured out on His people past and present is yours for the taking.
- When’s the last time you read or listened to someone from another church or denomination? How did that experience expand your view of God?
- Why do think Christians tend to fall into camps? What’s one way you can pursue uncommon unity in your own learning?