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The Blessing of Community

2

On the mountain height of Israel will I plant [that young twig], that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest.
- Ezekiel 17:23

God promised to do a great work in the lives of his exiled people. Though today there were prisoners in Babylon, there would come a day when they would have their independence. And, on that day, they would be a blessing to others.

Ezekiel paints this beautiful image of a noble cedar stretching up into the sky. Its branches spread wide. Its roots run deep. It’s strong. This noble cedar provides homes to all kinds of birds: shelter, security, safety. Birds – some of the earth’s most fragile and vulnerable creatures – need noble cedars to thrive.

We long for God to do this wonderful work in us: to make us into a noble cedar community. We want to become the sort of community who can provide shelter, security, and safety for the most vulnerable in our midst.

When the Lord grows a community, when the Lord grows a church, when the Lord grows a person … the blessings spill beyond that the life of that community, church, or person.

Here are a few ways that noble cedar communities bless the “birds” around them:

  • The lonely find friends
  • The sick find caretakers
  • The poor find dignity
  • The heartbroken find healing
  • The shamed find restoration
  • The lost find guidance
  • The vulnerable find protection

The people who make up and maintain noble cedar communities recognize that God’s work of healing and restoring our lives is meant to be a blessing to others. Maybe you’ve met people who knew that and who served you when you needed it.

When in your life have you experienced “noble cedar” communities? What kind of difference have these communities made in your life?

2 Comments

Amen! Keep praying!

I'm consistantly praying for our country:
1. Our new President, to be guided by God to do what is right and to lead our country to be One Nation Under God.
2. I'm praying for the removal of the rebellious spirit in the people of our country, that we will return to the Christian Principles this country was founded.
3. I'm praying for my finances, that God will continue to provide for me as I seek to do His will.
4. I seek the Lord diligently for my family, that they will come to know Jesus and get involved in a Community Based Church such as this one.
5. I'm praying for the outreach of this church, for it's protection, it's growth in harmony and God's infinite love; for it's blessings, and prosperity as it serves a mighty God.
IJNA

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