Thursday, 5/14/20 – Discipleship – Fellowship (& COVID-19)

Fellowship (& COVID-19)

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)

silhouette of person raising his hands

But it was not good yet! God made man a home, provided for his food, his drink. He gave man meaningful work and no doubt loved man very much – but still man was not good yet. What more could God add?

The answer was not in addition, rather it was in subtraction. Man was too complete.

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Gen. 2:21, 22).

affection afterglow backlit blur

First God made man incomplete. Then He made from that missing piece another creature like Himself, like the man, yet different. They both felt their incompleteness, and, says the scripture, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5; Eph. 5:31). Only after this did God say, it was good – in fact, He said “it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31).

We are made… deliberately… not to be complete in ourselves. Before God made woman He looked at Adam and said plainly, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18). No animal or pet creature of any kind would do (v. 19-20). Man required relationship with his own species.

adventure backlit dawn dusk

And so “fellowship” was born from the beginning… God with man, man with woman, parents with children, and peer with peer. Solomon, the wisest of all our species, observed “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17), and the psalmist sang “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

And so now, in physical distancing and self-isolation, it is not good to be alone. But again, the Christian truly is never alone. Christ is to the believer “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24). “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). Indeed, He is very near, as Paul cited the Cretan philosopher Epimenides: “…in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

round brown wooden table between two chairs and ottoman chair

If it helps in remembering this I see no harm in reserving a living room chair for Him, putting out a place at the table for Him. Chatting with Him as you go about your chores…

This is not madness. You are not talking to yourself, but to God. Is this not “praying always” (Eph. 6:18), “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) as scripture enjoins.

“I am with you always,” said Jesus, “to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20). God… ever-present… in all the rooms of your home… and in all the room in your heart.

Press on…

Would you like to be discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or maybe you would you like to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll help get you started.

Thursday, 3/12/20 – Discipleship – Fellowship

Fellowship & the Virus

person holding glass flasks

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat spreading the globe some governments are beginning to ban large assemblies. Some pastor friends and I were chatting about this earlier this week. Several ideas were put forward: smaller house gatherings, online church services, providing support for quarantined persons…

Fundamental to all these external responses is every believer’s responsibility to “encourage one another” to rest in Christ. A heart at rest in Christ can rest whatever results: protection, healing, provision, or if it must be, even through suffering or death. Panic need not be the believer’s response. Remember as Paul wrote,

“…that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39).

people taking group picture

In times like these fellowship among believers is most important, in whatever size gatherings it is accomplished. We are all sometimes ‘up,’ sometimes ‘down.’ When one is filled with hope that person can help lift another. Then, when that person wavers into worrisomeness, another can be the encourager. The church of God is a reciprocating Body, each part caring for the other. Each part pointing to the ‘Head’ Who brings all things to perspective.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ …there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Cor. 12:21, 25-26).

You have a gift to share just by being with your brother or sister, and they have a gift to share with you!

Press on…

20190522_065320Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to know how to begin this journey by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.