No Fellowship, No Faith

JESUS SPEAKING

                “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them” (Mathew 18: 19-20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                God has always desired to dwell within groups of people.  In the Old Testament, the Jewish people wandered in the desert for forty years.  They traveled from place to place, setting up camp where ever God directed them too.  Everyone had a tent, but God dwelled in the tabernacle tent, set up right in the middle of the people.  The idea being, that God was at the center of their nation; He was brought them together.  The Jews shared many things; language, ethnicity, physical features, common practices; but only God could make them one.  Jesus said that in order for him to be present among them, or in the midst of them (dwelling at the center of the group), two or three, or more had to be gathered together.  The Lord promised that their common prayers would be answered by God.  God was meant to be shared; God was meant to bring the believers together; it was impossible to separate fellowship from a true belief in Jesus Christ.  This was reflected when Christ taught his followers how to pray.  He taught them to pray saying, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven; and give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us; and lead us not in to temptation, but deliver us out of the hands of the evil one; for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.”  There is no ‘I’ or ‘my,’ in this prayer; instead there is an ‘us’ and an ‘our.’  God is to be shared between people.  He is meant to be at the center of every relationship, of every group, and of every heart.

                I have been privileged to answer prayer lines at church.  Many callers are in very serious spiritual conditions.  Many are in drug addiction; some are noticeably intoxicated over the phone.  Many have serious emotional problems.  Many are also stuck in some sin; adultery, fornication, dishonesty, etc.  One thing seems to tie many of these struggling people together; when asked where they attend fellowship, many say, “I don’t attend fellowship anywhere right now.”  I ask them, ‘are you a part of a small group bible study;’ many reply, “No, I used to be, but not now.”  I ask, ‘where are you serving;’ they answer, “nowhere, but I have been thinking about getting involved.” I say, ‘do you have any close friends or Christians you talk to on a regular basis;’ often the answer is, “No, not really.”  Somewhere along the way, many got the wrong impression; they came to believe they could have a relationship with Jesus Christ in the absence of others.  They began to move away from God, and the result was selfishness, isolation, and disconnection.  Closeness with God is often directly proportional to a person’s closeness with others.  God brings people together, sin pushes people apart.

                Fellowship is essential for all who believe in God.  Without communion with other believers, there is no way to share God and experience the true love of Jesus Christ.  Our faith is not exercised in a vacuum; God hears common requests that are lifted up to him in gatherings.  If you are not in a group fellowship, or involved with other believers, how can you practice the faith?  If you have always isolated yourself, it’s time to know the true power of love; the true fullness of the faith; a true connection with the body of believers; it’s time to allow the Lord to answer your requests as they are offered up in love.  Go to your church; find a bible study that works for you.  Make friends and begin to call them and pray with them.  Get involved in serving others in the church and in the community.  Share yourself with others.  Come to know your eternal brothers and sisters.  Gather together and give yourselves to one another in the bond of peace, and in the love of Christ.

                “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  They Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  And give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us, out of the hands of the evil one; for yours is the kingdom and the power, and the Glory, forever and ever, Amen.  Father we desire intimacy with others, and closeness with them.  We ask that you would help us now to let go of isolation, and begin to build true friendships with others; help us to enjoy gathering together with other believers, and give a heart of true unity.  We love You Father; we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.     

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