Last Sunday, we concluded our preaching series This is Us. One of the stand out things for me during the series was how our relationships with one another, as a church, reflect the love of Christ. The message of the preaching series overall perfectly portrays our relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ, especially at Word International. One verse that really echoed in my mind throughout the series is Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV), which reads –
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
As humans, we crave for validation through our peers and the things we value, just to give us a sense of security. Because of this, I realise how truly blessed I am to have such a loving and God-fearing community to lean on – the church. Now, as I confidently claim my identity in Christ, I am not ashamed to I once strayed far from the Lord and the Church as a teenager. This happened because of my insecurities, my need for validation and affirmation and how I was seeking these outside of God’s plan. I know that this testimony highlights just how good the Lord is and how much He cares for His children, even as far as planting a seed in the hearts of those around me to show me what true love is.
Back in 2012, when I was only 16, I found myself in the hospital for a suicide attempt. That same week, a girl, who coincidentally went to the same church as my family, approached me in one of my classes and asked me to join her for worship practice. Just that small act of her reaching out to me really showed me how important it really is to surround yourself with Godly people. God places these people in our lives to pick us back up and point us in the right direction, where Christ Himself welcomes us with open arms.
My own testimony reminds me that God placed us together in a community to support and encourage one another in times of need and it gives me the boldness to reach out to my brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to be walking through the darkness. So when you notice someone falling, don’t be afraid to reach out because God already equipped us with the power and love to show this person just how valued they are. As Christians, we need to be reminded and affirmed that we are not facing worldly trials and battles alone – we have each other and Christ Jesus standing right by us. With this in mind, we can always have hope and the boldness to encourage others too.
– Chelsea Mendoza