“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”Ephesians 3:14-21, ESV
So, I’m the youngest brother in my family, I have two brothers both three and four years older than me. I absolutely LOVED being around them growing up. They were so cool, they still are, but something about them letting me hang out with them was just unreal for me. I looked up to them so much. The best moments were when they let me hang out with them AND their friends. I mean…WHAT. How cool am I? This middle school kid getting to hang out with Juniors and Seniors in high school? Get outta here. The best time that happened though was on a weekend and my brothers had all their friends over and I had my best friend over just to hang out. However, what manifested next has to be close to one of my favorite memories of all time.
It had just rained all week and the local fields close to our house were COVERED in mud and the geniuses that my brothers and their friends were decided to play some mud football and they invited me and Tyler. Many bruises and tackles later along with a rainstorm and we had ourselves probably the best thing we had ever done. Check the results:
Yes, that is us in those photos, not all of us, but these are the only photos I could recover. You can barely see me but I’m all the way to the left in that right photo. All I can remember though is that I felt like such a man that day. Playing football in the mud and not even caring about it. There was a sort of strength I felt that day, that no matter what I could now call these guys whenever.
This last weekend we had Gamma Sigma Phi retreat and those feelings came rushing back to me once more, a sort of childlike excitement with a bunch of dudes not even caring about what comes next. An almost surreal strength that empowers the childlike faith that we strive for.
Community is a key part in the Kingdom of God, needing to be with others in order to call each other to be better children of God, practicing accountability and love in these things. I also believe that the childlike activities and dude stuff has such a key part in building those relationships so that trust is not even in the question. But rather leading community in the name of freedom in Jesus.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”Galatians 5:13, ESV
My life has changed so much these last couple of years and it is thanks to the freedom I have found in delving deeper and deeper into community that Jesus is the center of. Which, should be a no brainer, but there is a culture our world has adopted that chooses acceptance over love. That acceptance equals a friendship and love is just a byproduct of circumstance. THIS should not be the case, yet it is.
Ephesians has a bold prayer on spiritual strength that I feel we should be praying more today than ever before. That we would be filled with the fullness of God and, being rooted in love, seek our brothers and sisters in a way that honors Jesus and His grace. God-honoring relationships.
Seek HIS word. Go do some dumb things with your friends. Pray this prayer of strength. Pray for a generation of young men and women that would create this culture of love and toss away this culture of acceptance and lukewarm faith. We need some boldness and a new revival today. Be a part of it.
A shorter post this week, but there is much brewing in my heart that may need some more time to process. Next week should be good.