Fellowship: 1+1=3, 1+2=4!
Paris Reidhead (1919-1992) was a Christian missionary with the Sudan Interior Mission, and associated with the Christian Missionary Alliance. As an advocate of economic development he was instrumental in the formation of the Institute for International Development and Enterprise Development International. Although I know little else about him this one quote of his struck my attention.
“Most Christians do not have fellowship with God; they have fellowship with each other about God.” – Paris Reidhead
I am afraid this may be quite true.
John, the beloved disciple wrote, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)
“Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” This is the amazing reality at work when Christians meet: Jesus Christ is there with them! Not just in a large Sunday gathering, an assembly led by some “qualified” saint, but in the two or the three… the guys getting together for coffee… watching a game on TV or at the event. It is Chriatian ladies at a baby shower… or out shopping. Jesus said it: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matt. 18:20).
But sadly many believers miss this. Perhaps having interacted with unbelievers or the uncommitted at work all day some forget this dimension of Christian fellowship and fall into the superficial patterns of a superficial world. It need not be this way. Enquire of each other, “What has the Lord been teaching you?” Share together your answered, and unanswered, prayers. Minister to one another’s needs. Pray! Talk to God together about these things. Listen together to Him. Sing! Declare! Share. He’s right there with you anyway… just waiting to be invited in to your conversations.
When believers meet in fellowship that is vertical as well as horizontal… fellowship “with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” they will soon testify with the psalmist: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!… For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” (Ps. 133:1,3b).
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