What makes an authentic community? To me it is things like: transparency, honesty, grace and acceptance. The word authentic appears only twice in Scripture, one of which is found in Philippians 4:8 on lieu of the word pure. So authentic community is one that has it’s anchor in purity? That’s dangerous. Few things are more controversial than individual choices and definitions of purity, and if we are honest, our purity only goes as far as what we are willing to let others see.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”-Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
Do you see that? The very first thing the Lord tells us is to get alone with Him, where we can be authentic and seen for exactly who and where we are.
I wonder if what we really need is not “authentic” community but “Kingdom” community–where everyone takes their place on their knees before the throne of God. Where everyone filters their lives through the colander of His Word. Where everyone is finding out who they are and what they are living for in light of who Christ says they are. Where obedience is not optional because the cost of disobedience is far too high.
A Kingdom community is one where grace is not the exception, but the rule. A Kingdom people are ones who know the space where grace begins, and are not afraid of it.
Examine your heart today. Will you run fast into His presence, examining your purity and devotion to His ways, believing Him to be mighty enough to surround you with others who do the same? Ask Him to bring you into Kingdom community, where grace abounds and purity in Christ is a joy and the aim.
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