Dr. Mike Luper is a professor at Emmanuel College School of Christian Ministries. Mike is also a dear friend and I love our conversations. When Mike speaks, he challenges with wisdom, kindness, and humility. He spoke Wednesday morning in our opening service for faculty and staff.
“Mike Luper is a man after the heart of God who seizes the privilege of daily pouring his life into students in the classroom, in his office, in mentoring small groups, and one on one. I am privileged to be among those who enjoy the deep wells of true community regularly with Mike. His message to us flowed from experience and daily life. Thus, it rings true. We are never closer to God than when we avail ourselves as His bride to one another in community.”
I believe his thoughts fit the audience. I also believe his words are valuable to all of us. Here are a few takeaways – receive them and respond correctly to Mike’s thoughts:
· God perpetually dwells in community, and we reach our highest potential in Him when we too dwell in community, both with Him and with other members of the body of Christ.
· As we look through the Bible we find that this statement that it was not good for man to be alone is much more than a simple comment about Adam needing a wife. It is about the fundamental need of humans for community.
· Our relationship with God and fellowship with Him does not completely fulfill the need for community which God intends for his children. We were not only created for fellowship with God, but for fellowship with one another.
· Yes, it is essential for people to be in relationship with God, but he also created people with the need to experience unity and fellowship with one another.
· We were made for community; it is part of our very nature and of God’s plan for our lives.
· It is significant to note that although there are a number of other problems Paul deals with in this letter to the Corinthians, the first issue he addresses is division, and he spends the first four chapters of his letter (1 Corinthians) focused on this topic.
· In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul makes it clear that it doesn’t matter what “we say” (v. 1), what “we have” (v. 2), or what “we give up” (v. 3), without love, it all means nothing.
· It is love that serves as the basis for true community, and true identification as God’s children.
· God perpetually dwells in community, and we reach our highest potential in Him when we too dwell in community with Him and with other members of the body of Christ.
· The Bible certainly reveals that we were made to dwell in community; it is His purpose and plan for all believers. Furthermore, it also reveals that the basis for experiencing community is the practice of genuine love for one another.
· I am always reminded that it is not just what we believe that matters, but what we do with what we believe.