Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: God Teaches Me Fellowship
By Sherry A. Jackman
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Reading a book provides comfort, and I can write notes in it. These notes can be read later, for encouragement and inspiration, for praise and worship and more fellowship with God. In one devotional book I am currently reading, previous notes are read before starting new sections.
Having a job where weekend work is involved has made attending church services difficult. Due to not having attended corporate worship on a regular basis, fellowship with God at home has become imperative for me personally. I live alone, so spiritual freedom abounds to obey the Holy Spirit’s gentle leading. To prepare for fellowship with God and fellow believers, I need to get the sin out of my life, by examining my heart and following the example of forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer. For example, 18 years ago when a relative’s land was sold, our family lost money; as two building lots were given away, due to missed property lines. I thought I had forgiven the parties involved, but I kept telling friends about it. I hadn’t gotten rid of the anger, and still needed to forgive. This unforgiving heart interfered with my fellowship, both with God and other believers. Now, before fellowship with God, I pray the Lord’s Prayer. When sin is not in the way, I can have quality fellowship in the freedom God intended. Light and darkness cannot co-exist. One displaces the other; and, if I am living in an unforgiven state, I may have an aura around me that will cause other believers to shy away from me. Fellowship strengthens my position in the Body of Christ, and is a means whereby God can build deep interpersonal relationships for me that could lead to use in intercessory prayer groups or other areas of ministry.
In addition to church settings, there are other places where I can fellowship with believers in non-traditional ways. Some ways might include: telephone –friend to friend (this is especially good when one friend is a shut-in), on Christian websites, and wherever I come in contact with another believer—car repair shop, beauty salon, doctor’s office, grocery store, or eating place, to name a few. Last year, while at a car repair shop owned by a fellow believer, I met an alumnus of the Bible College I had attended in the 60’s. Since Pastor B had attended in the 80’s, we had not met previously; but I was starving for Christian fellowship, and we were well-chaperoned, in a safe setting. While we visited in the waiting room of the car-repair shop, we talked about writing Christian material and I recited some of my poems for him. One poem on abortion seemed unfinished. I had struggled with it for over 15 years. Upon hearing it, he suggested I allow the Holy Spirit to finish the poem in the heart of the hearer or reader of the work.
Pastor B’s wise counsel during our fellowship strengthened my faith. This opportunity to share ideas in Christian fellowship also encouraged me. Fellowship gives me time to pray with other Christians and lift up the body of Christ. Christianity is being attacked in every area of the media and by worldly people. I need the strength of banding together with others. Scripture tells me that “a three cord strand is not easily broken” and “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I must encourage other Christians, and remain earthly minded enough that I can be a living epistle, for all men to read. I cannot afford to be stabbing people with the gospel. As I gather together and fellowship with others, and pray for divine guidance in all areas of my Christian walk, I will perfect the love that Jesus wants me to have for my fellow man.
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