Comfort one another. I Thessalonians 4:18
A lady who read our blog commented that when she was widowed, her church did not minister to her. And no, she said, “I did not seek counsel from my pastor. I sought help from the Bible and the Lord alone.”
I’m thinking she was saying that somewhat pridefully. I may be reading it wrong.
I replied, “God never intended you and me to handle life’s burdens ‘from the Bible and the Lord alone.’ That’s why He put us in a church when He saved us.”
We have to give the pastors and leaders a chance to help us. We should let them know we are in crisis. Then, it’s their responsibility to respond appropriately. But if they do not know, they will do nothing and you will suffer needlessly.
I repeat: The Lord intends us to help each other handle these critical passages in life. He does not intend us to life our lives in isolation, just reading our Bible and trying to get sustenance from the Lord. He gives help through His people as well as by the Holy Spirit. And often, it’s through His people that the Holy Spirit ministers best.
“Love one another.” “Comfort one another.” “Encourage one another.”
Have you read that in Scripture? It’s all through the New Testament.
It was put there for a purpose. These are admonitions/instructions for God’s people to take care of each other.
Dan Crawford and Al Meredith searched the New Testament and came up with thirty-one “one anothers” for God’s people. They wrote a chapter on each in their little volume “One Anothering,” which is available from any online source. What are the thirty-one one-anothers?
- Pray for one another. James 5:16
- Be at peace with one another. Mark 9:50
- Wash one another’s feet. John 13:14
- Love one another. John 13:34-35. John 15:12,17. Romans 13:8. Galatians 5:13. I Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9. I Peter 1:22. I John 3:11,12;4:7,11-12. 2 John 5.
- Be members of one another. Romans 12:5
- Be devoted to one another. Romans 12:10
- Honor one another. Romans 12:10
- Let us not judge one another. Romans 14:13
- Be of the same mind toward one another. Romans 15:5
- Receive one another. Romans 15:7
- Admonish one another. Romans 15:14
- Greet one another. Romans 16:16. I Corinthians 16:20. I Peter 5:14.
- Wait for one another. I Corinthians 11:33.
- Care for one another. I Corinthians 12:25
- Serve one another. Galatians 5:13
- Do not bite and devour lest you consume one another. Galatians 5:15.
- Do not provoke one another. Galatians 5:26
- Do not envy one another. Galatians 5:26
- Bear one another’s burdens. Galatians 6:2
- Bear with one another. Ephesians 4:2. Colossians 3:13
- Be kind to one another. Ephesians 4:32
- Submit to one another. Ephesians 5:21. I Peter 5:5.
- Do not lie to one another. Colossians 3:9
- Comfort one another. I Thessalonians 4:18
- Edify one another. I Thessalonians 5:11
- Consider one another. Hebrews 10:24
- Do not speak evil of one another. James 4:11
- Do not grumble against one another. James 5:9
- Confess to one another. James 5:16
- Be hospitable to one another. I Peter 4:9
- Fellowship with one another. I John 1:7
That’s the plan, for God’s people to hold on to each other, ministering and helping and encouraging and if necessary, rebuking.
No church gets it right all the time. So, no one should use the list of thirty-one to grade their church. Rather, let us use it as a blueprint to make the congregation of which we are one member stronger, more faithful, more loving.
All of which will honor our Lord.