15 Best Bible Verses On Community

1. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 (ESV)

2. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:9-11 (ESV)

3.Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2 (ESV)

4. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)

5. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21 (ESV)

6. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:4-7 (ESV)

7. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.  See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 (ESV)

8. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

9. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:2-3 (ESV)

10. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)

11. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 (ESV)

12. As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV)

13. The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives; Psalm 37:21 (ESV)

14. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-12 (ESV)

15. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12 (ESV)

What You Think When Your Friend's Daughter Dies by Susie Finkbeiner

Today we have the awesome privilege of hearing from a guest poster and friend of mine from college, Susie Finkbeiner. Her new book, My Mother's Chamomile, comes out in a few days. Or you can check out her previous book, Paint Chips, that is available now.


A few years back, we got a call from a friend. It was the kind of call that you pray you never have to make. Ever.

He’d called to tell us that his infant daughter had died.

My toddler slept quietly in her crib. I knew she was okay. Still, I needed to check on her. Reach over the side to touch her face. My pregnancy swollen belly pushed against the slats.

I begged to be spared the kind of suffering our friends had that day.

Our friend gave my husband the details of the funeral. My husband asked if they needed help arranging things or setting up chairs or a dish for the luncheon.

“Just be there,” our friend said.

I’ve had hard days in my life. That day counts as one of the hardest. The day of the funeral. But it didn’t come close to the mother and father of the baby.

I try not to let myself imagine how difficult it was for them.

I could do nothing for them. How do you comfort someone who lost a child? What do you say? How many casseroles could even come close to helping ease the suffering?

Nothing could or would make things right. Nothing I could do, at least.

It bothered me for a few years. My inability to say the right thing, do the right thing. Guilt hovered over me when I saw them. Because I couldn’t make things better.

I didn’t have the power to fix the terrible thing that happened to them.

It wasn’t until a year ago that I understood: Compassion isn’t about fixing. Mercy doesn’t take away the problem. Comfort is not the remedy.

Compassion is the desire, mercy is in the doing. They are both the road toward delivering comfort, or relief.

In my novel “My Mother’s Chamomile”, the Eliot family runs the only funeral home in the fictional town of Middle Main, Michigan. Over and over, they comfort their neighbors in the worst moments, the moments of losing a loved one. They never fix the problem. They don’t bring the deceased back to life. They can’t magically heal the wound of grief.

However, the family offers relief. Comfort. And that mercy comes out of their great capacity for compassion.

Writing this novel forced me to rethink my approach to compassion. Mercy. Comfort.
Comfort is the hug that speaks more than any word in the dictionary.

It’s the check to help pay a bill for someone else.

The bag of groceries dropped off to a family in need.

A phone call. Coffee shared. Prayer whispered.

It’s not in taking anything away. It’s in the relief.

And, sometimes, all you need to do is just be there.


Susie Finkbeiner is a wife, mother, and novelist from West Michigan. Her first novel Paint Chips released in January, 2013. Her second novel My Mother’s Chamomile releases on February, 15, 2014. She is currently working on her third novel.

Susie enjoys zoo trips with her family, coffee dates with close friends, and quiet moments to read and write.

Learn more about Susie at www.susiefinkbeiner.com.

The Weekly Worship Gathering, Church, and Donald Miller

On Monday, Donald Miller wrote an article that created a lot of buzz: I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere.

The internet started writing. One good reply was Donald Miller and the Culture of Contemporary Worship.

All of the replies spurred Donald Miller to enter the fray again. Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, a Follow Up Blog.

In the follow up, he wrote: "And yet, most of the influential Christian leaders I know (who are not pastors) do not attend church."

That sentence greatly disturbed me.

When our life together as local churches are being greatly influenced by those who have abandoned the weekly worship gathering, it is no wonder that churches struggle.

When we "graduate" from the instructional side of church, we should turn around and become mentors to others. The cycle continues, and I find it wrong to say that we grow out of the cycle.

Tony Campolo famously said, "The church is a whore, but she's my mother." I can relate. Not because of my earthly mother. She's a wonderfully faithful woman. I can relate because I have also been disillusioned with the institutional church at times. Extremely disillusioned.

I can sympathize with the same wrestling match that Donald is expressing, yet I was convicted through my journey to actually make a difference by being part of the institutional church.  God convicts us of what is wrong not to flee but to bring about the change that is needed.

My disillusionment with the institutional church led me to plant a collection of house churches. I wanted to save God's money from staff and buildings to have a greater kingdom impact on the world. I wanted to foster a more intimate, real community of believers. These house churches, despite having more resources and a better fellowship, really struggle to come alongside the lost and bring them into right relationships with Jesus. The "institutional" church still does a fairly good job at this. I don't understand how. It still baffles my mind.

I don't know how to gracefully say it, but I do say this filled with kindness and love: I think we all may be thinking that weekend gatherings are for us. But then our wishes and desires aren't catered to in the worship gathering. Maybe it doesn't jive with our learning style. Maybe the music isn't in a format that we would listen to on the radio. Maybe the speaker isn't connecting with us. So we, in a different way, begin to think that the weekend worship gatherings aren't for us because they weren't designed for us.

Donald Miller exemplifies this thinking, but I also see it in the lives of those in the community I live in. Many Christians have abandoned the weekend gatherings of believers despite those gatherings being the best method of reaching the lost. And if the mature Christians all flee because they have grown beyond it, what happens? This becomes an even bigger issue in our transient culture. The mature Christians will move on, leaving those they began discipling without a community to be plugged in to.

We have a serious dearth of mature Christians to mentor the new ones in our weekly worship gatherings. Christians who will invite people over after the gathering and open up their homes and share a meal. Christians who help when help is needed. Christians who will step up and be the bridge that the gospel travels on. And this may be because the Donald Millers of this world are leaving the weekly worship gatherings. Christians who reach that point then want to abandon the gathering that helped them get there.

The weekly gathering of the church is something worth fighting for. It works. And it also has a historical tradition that can be traced all the way back to the early church. It may have some difficulties in our hyper-individualized American culture of the moment, but it is still the vessel I am seeing lives changed through. And, despite all its flaws, that is a beautiful thing.

The Sun Barely Rose

I was at work. The phone rang, and I answered, "Clem's Collectibles. This is Regan. How can I help you?" It was Dewitt Women's Health. They asked me to meet my wife, Lindsay, at the hospital. They wouldn't tell me why. Lindsay was pregnant, and we were expecting twins. My mind figured that one of our babies had died. I walked out to the car and started to cry as I put my key in the ignition. I asked God, "Why? Why does this have to happen?" That was the first of many times.

I drove across town and twenty minutes later arrived at the hospital. Lindsay wasn't there. At this point I still had no idea what was going on. Confused. Sad. Worst case scenarios running through my head. They had mistakenly told me the wrong instructions. I was supposed to have gone to pick Lindsay up and drive her to the hospital. I went back down to my car. Turned on the ignition. The car roared to life. I continued to cry. 

Twenty minutes later, I went in to Dewitt Women’s Health and gave Lindsay a big hug. I don't remember what was said. We proceeded to get in the car. Held hands. And drove to the hospital.

All I remember from the hospital that night was the ultrasound. The saddest event of my life. All of the dreams we had of the future came crashing down. The death of a baby that isn't born isn't just a death of a life that hasn't taken its first breath of air; it's the death of every dream we have of a shared future. Dreams that my cold, clammy hands were clinging to. Dreams that I didn't want to be ripped out.

I sat in the corner of the semi-lit room. The floor was cold. The metal on my chair was cold. Everything seemed cold. Lindsay laid on her back. The ultrasound was out of her view, so she looked at me. Eyes searching so desperately for a sign that things are okay. Inside I wept. I felt that I had to be strong. For about an hour the ultrasound technician took photos of the babies. She measured their heads, their hearts, everything. I kept praying in my dark, cold corner that God would heal them. I wanted to see them start moving. I wanted to hear the heartbeats on the monitor. I wanted them to live so badly. I told God, "I will tell the whole world of this miracle if you would just give life back to them." They didn't move. Life could not be found. Life was lost. Lindsay and I left that room broken and filled with more sadness than either of us have ever encountered in our lives.

They moved us to a room in the Women & Children’s section of the building. In that room, while we waited, we could hear the cry of newborns, which became a bittersweet background noise for the next few days. Way more bitter than sweet. Those cries, a constant reminder of something we could not have. Something lost.

I ran into a happy, new father by the refrigerator in the snack room. He had no idea that I was going through hell while he was experiencing heaven. "Isn't this great?” he said. I replied, "Sure is." I didn't want to ruin his day. When we gave birth to our firstborn, I had no idea that someone in the next room could be giving birth to death. How close happiness and sorrow can be. Almost like they intermingle to create life.

Then we went home. We went to bed. I'm sure we held each other in bed and wept. The sleeping pill prescribed to Lindsay to help her sleep didn't work. She laid there in bed knowing that two lifeless babies rested inside of her. Two babies we had dreams for. Two babies we already loved. At some point during the night I woke and joined Lindsay. We decided, out of desperation, to go get some oil and anoint her with it. We wanted a healing. Desperately. We read Scriptures of healing and Jesus bringing back the dead. We prayed. It gave us hope. We wanted to go back to the hospital the next day and see that our babies were alive.

The next day came. The sun barely rose. We asked for another ultrasound when we arrived at the hospital. They thought it was ridiculous since they had confirmed the death of our babies the day before. However, the hospital staff humored us because of what we were going through. We returned to the cold ultrasound room. It was just as cold. Just as still. Just as haunting.

After many tears and prayers, the screens confirmed the same findings as the night before. No heartbeat. No movement. No life. They were dead. Lifeless.

We proceeded to a delivery room. We were placed in the same room that we were in after the birth of our first child. It all seemed so ironic. Dreamy. Surreal. Nightmary. Pills were given to induce.

All I remember is waiting. Both sets of our parents arrived. It was hard on everyone. At times when we were alone, I remember climbing in bed and hugging Lindsay, weeping uncontrollably. We took turns weeping. We shared times of weeping. We wept. All the while, the cries of newborns echoed through the halls.

The delivery doesn't stand out much in my head. It wasn't until the 2nd full day in the hospital that our babies arrived into this world. They were so small and they came out so easy.

We held them. We kissed them. We longed for them to be alive, to see their lungs move up and down with life. To see their rib cages bounce from a beating heart. They were placed in a little basket like Moses once was. Yet unlike them, they sat there at the foot of the bed. No water to float on. No life.

We had to reach the point where we were comfortable with giving them to God. At the risk of being a heretic, I baptized them. It wasn't for their salvation. It was just a crazy idea that I came up with that would be an outward sign to God that we were okay with him having our babies. Our parents and Isaac joined us in the room as we sprinkled the babies and shared a prayer together. I wept while leading prayer. Everyone understood.

Uncontrollable weeping followed. Life was dreary.

We went home. The sadness didn't stay at the hospital.

I went back to work, and the sadness was even there. I couldn't get away from the sadness. I would just weep when nobody was in the store. Life seemed like it would never get back to normal. Every dream seemed to be gone. Our future needed to be reconstructed.

Some friends sent flowers. Some sent money to help with the expenses. Others sent gift certificates to restaurants because they lived too far away to give us meals. We were blessed and so thankful, and still are, of the support that was shown to us during that time. The saddest days of our lives sort of shine because of the love showered on us by friends and family.

We named our next boy Elisha Zane. Elisha means "God is generous." Zane means "God's gracious gift." He is a blessing we wouldn't have if we hadn't lost the babies. He will turn ten this month. We have struggled to find good in the midst of this tragedy.  It wasn't easy.  But if we look hard enough and with eyes wide enough, it is there waiting to carry us through.  It’s that way with all tragedy.  It’s that way with your tragedies.

Andrew Peterson's Lullaby