Pastor Jon introduced the new semester of Lifenet groups by explaining real-world examples how we are better together. Pastor Jon opened with a simple question: “how can being part of a community change your life?” He then asked Yolande to share some of the things she learned from the book she has been reading called “The Happiness Connection”. Yolande explained that one of the key points of the book was that people who have endured hardships in their lives are more likely to overcome their challenges if they have a support system around them. She also described the fact that we are hard-wired for relationships, specifically we desire to be connected with one another. Genesis 2:18 references the fact that when God created Adam, He mentioned that man was not created to be alone. Yolande expressed that we are not meant to be alone in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our work environments and that we can all be the change agents in our environments. Pastor Jon concluded the message by explaining that one of the key risk factors in the health of the general public is isolation, indicating that isolation increases the risk of addiction. In summary, God has chosen to execute His will through people, and we can take joy in the fact that God has called us to lives of greatness as a result.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV).

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called to his disciples and said “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” However, many times fear hinders our pursuit of the purpose laid out for us. Through digging into his word and repentance, Christ works within us to change the way we think so that we become more Kingdom minded and see past the lies and temptations of the enemy (Matthew 4:3-4, 17). As His disciples and a member of the body of Christ we have each been given a unique set of giftings and purpose in His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). Sometimes this purpose will push us out of our comfort zone, just as it did for Peter when he was called to walk out on the water (Matthew 14:22-33). However, we do not have to run this race alone – we have our brothers and sisters in Christ to help support us. Together, keeping our eyes on Jesus and with the support of other members of the Body, we can run the race that we are uniquely qualified to run with endurance!