Why is it that we, in the Body of Christ, must put up with divisiveness and mean-spirited conflict between factions of the Church? What is it that allows some people to so freely express their beliefs in a way that ignores the admonitions we see by Jesus to love one another?

Are you inspired by this blog? We have worked with NavPress to create a 30-day devotional, Five Traits of a Christ-follower, that interacts with Scriptures on five important characteristics of those who follow Christ -- the same characteristics focused on in this blog.

Like the Psalmist in Psalm 145, we can do nothing but “speak,” “tell,” “celebrate,” and “sing” the mighty acts of God. Our lives become a symphony of commendation that exults God. There is no more powerful expression of worship than this kind of God-designed community.

In his time, the apostle Paul laid spiritual foundations in the lives of many people, including those in Colossae. Not only was the Gospel spreading in their believing community and region, it was spreading its roots around the world. God’s community was advancing the Gospel.

God’s purpose in our lives is to shape us to more fully embody our Lord Jesus. It’s basic to following Jesus and it’s at the heart of disciple-making! Transformational relationships is the third characteristic of a God-designed community.

Some of us will admit that letting people into our lives to “meddle” is very uncomfortable! I know it can be for me. The second characteristic of a God-designed community is inviting meddling to new heights! It’s authentic vulnerability.

Leaders in the early church spoke of a life intertwined with others in a way that American Christians have a hard time imagining, let alone embracing! They described, the first characteristic of a God-designed community: Interdependence.

High maintenance. Dependent. Needy. No doubt, to be called any of these is a major put down in our culture. Society applauds independence and exalts people who operate close to the boundaries, ignoring the wisdom of those around them. But what has Jesus called us to?

If today’s typical Christian community were a car, it would be like emphasizing the hubcaps, rearview mirrors, hood design, paint color, and sound systems, while leaving the standard equipment in the factory! A car without an engine won’t travel very far.

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? It’s an amazing truth; we were created to reflect the nature and character of God.