When was the last time you met a real need?  Many are very quick to quote, “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 John 3:16)  Lay down one’s life for someone else…not the first thing that comes to one’s mind now is it? An authentic community seeks to meet the needs of others…

Today’s Passage: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12:9-13)

What was Paul saying?  I think you can sum this passage up in the following way:  If the real you focuses on and seeks to meet, with intentionality, the real needs of others for all the right reasons and in the right way…then authentic community can be realized like Paul outlined.

Authentic community – it’s more than sipping coffee at a Bible study or greeting friends and newcomers on Sunday.  Authentic community is more than a friendly smile or providing a meal to someone in the church.  Authentic community is looking past all “the stuff” in this world and the real you being concerned with meeting real needs of those around you…at home, in the church, at work, in school, etc.

Devotional Thought:  Do you know some of the real needs in your circle of friends, co-workers, etc?  What are some things you could start doing today to begin meeting real needs of some of those around you?  Seek to live in authentic community with those around you.  Are you listening for how God may be speaking to you?