“You have not forsaken your brothers these many days.” – Joshua 22:3
One of the realities of life in ancient Israel was the loyalty and unity that were to exist among God’s people. They could not envision life separate from one another. The eastern tribes were to fight side by side with their brethren, even after the eastern tribes had secured their own land. And none of the tribes could down a path toward idolatry without a fight from the others.
This was one body with many members, and we don’t conceive of the church any differently. “So it is with Christ,” the apostle Paul said (1 Corinthians 12:12). Is this how you think about your church family? Christians, particularly in the America, usually don’t.
When you have everything you need at home – when there’s plenty of money and job security and health to go around – you must still venture out to be with your church family. When one suffers, everyone must suffer. And when one rejoices, everyone rejoices (1 Corinthians 12:26). We do not rest as Christians until every one of our brothers and sisters in Christ has entered into the fullness of the “inheritance” of eternal life.
Never forget you are part of a church family that needs you – and to whom you are responsible. Your spiritual growth will be hindered if you do.