May 18, 2023

Rhonda Patterson
"Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.' For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 15:2-6

Don’t you love coming together on Sunday mornings to celebrate Jesus, exalt His name, and encourage one another in our faith?! The Cypress campus teems with abundant life and the joy of unity. One area where oneness can be more of a challenge is in our Community Groups. We come together from an array of backgrounds and life experiences. Some are quiet, reserved, contemplating things before ever feeling the need to share. Others are downright chatty, laying their lives bare from the moment they walk in the door. Some have walked for many years with the Lord, while others are just now finding Him. We have a wide variety of personalities and opinions. It’s really the perfect storm of offense waiting to happen, right? BUT GOD…

Understanding our own position in Christ who Himself, the living Stone, was rejected by man yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, we too are being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:4-5). Our Father has lavished us with great mercy through His Son. We, too, are called to show mercy and regard for others. It’s through the encouragement of the Word that we are empowered to extend grace, patience, and kindness to those we may feel more challenged by. I’m so grateful for those who have extended these to me.