Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Can we say as Paul said of his fellow Christians, "I love and long for you."? Can we call our fellow Christians, as Paul called his fellow believers, "My joy and crown"? The Bible tells us how our relationships in our family and local church are to be. (Note: the family unit is a "small church", the local church is a "family of families") We look at how the Bible instructs us our relationship with our family and local church is to be and how our relationship is. We compare the two. As we compare how our relationship with our family and local church is and how God says it should be, we note the areas we need to change or grow in. We then attempt to make the changes expecting the Lord Jesus to help us and our family to grow and change. We can't make it happen on our own, but with Jesus all things are possible. We pray for our family, local church and our self to become transformed. We gently teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness those in our sphere of influence concerning how the Lord says we are to live together. We trust God to reveal the truth to the people we are in relationship with.
What if we can't see what changes or growth need to take place in our family or local church to cause the relationship to be transformed to be like God says it should be? We ask the Lord to reveal to us what needs to be done. He will show us what needs to happen and help it to happen.
While waiting for the growth or changes, we are to stand firm in our faith by not depending on ourselves but upon the Lord, by continuing to live according to the truth by the power of God and by looking forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. We stand firm by daily living in the presence of Jesus, by listening to His instruction and by faith putting it into practice. He promised to be with us always until the day we die physically or He comes back for us. Stand firm.