Fellowship exists among true believers because each shares in the nature of God and Christians share in salvation. Fellowship must be established with God before it can exist between individuals. The fellowship of Christ is sharing between divine and human persons…and humans between humans.
A local church congregation is a fellowship of Christians and there should be a very special fellowship amongst the congregation where we are members. Members have a special responsibility to each other. Fellowship in this sense is not socializing; rather it is contribution, joint participation, sharing in common, partnership, and communion.
Christians have a special fellowship God and with other Christians. Our world is full of human beings to be redeemed and saved. God needs the services and interest of us humans who work in accord with His will and purposes. It is the fellowship of God and man working together, each willingly giving their resources for the accomplishment of joint interest and mutual ends that pleases God most.
God wants us to live in harmony with each other. Without unity and harmony there will be no fellowship. Without fellowship there will be no church. God, like any father, wants His children to always get along with each other, care for each other and live in peace. We must never forget that it is the Holy Spirit that affords us fellowship and that fellowship centers around the Church.
True believers willingly work for harmony and the growth of fellowship together. It is easier for Christians because we share one Bible that teaches us that we share one God, one Father, one Spirit, and the same faith, hope, purpose, and baptism. When we practice harmony we are patient with each other and realize that each person is different. This way we support fellowship and avoid division in the church.
No individual is perfect and thus no church is perfect. There are times when even ‘believers’ will disappoint us, but we must remember that God wants unity and fellowship, so we must avoid divisions within the church by being mature and understanding. There are always three sides to every issue; your side, my side, and the right side. We must learn to encourage rather than criticize. Always be part of the solution and not part of the problem…never listen to gossip and try to always support your pastor and church leaders. God blesses the church that is unified and works in harmony. Our preachers can be the hub of our Christian fellowship, but they need our support. Our minister is simply colonel of the regiment. The real fighting is to be done by the soldiers in the ranks.
Years ago I read somewhere that being a preacher is a challenge. Even strong preachers have a great time meeting the challenges: “If his hair is grey, he is old. If he is a young man, he hasn’t had experience. If he has ten children, he isn’t setting a good example. If his wife sings in the choir, she is presuming; if she doesn’t, she isn’t interested in her husband’s work. If a preacher reads from notes, he is a bore; if he speaks extemporaneously, he isn’t deep enough. If he stays at home in his study, he doesn’t mix enough with the people; if he is seen around the streets, he ought to be at home getting up a good sermon. If he calls on some poor family, he is playing to the grand stand; if he calls at the home of the wealthy, he is an aristocrat. Whatever he does, some one could have told him to do better.”
In 1938 Edgar A. Guest, wrote the following:
These are the things we cannot change:
Weather and time and the flowing tide.
We face whatever the fates arrange:
And willing or no put our whims aside.
As the day is ordered we must abide.
This we learn as the years go by;
Sorrow is something that all must bear;
The joys we’d keep are the ones that fly;
Skies are gray when we’d have them fair;
Disappointment falls everywhere.
He lives best who can best reshape;
His dreams anew to the wish denied;
Who bravest bears what he can’t escape.
Of wind and weather and flowing tide.
And keeps his faith when he’s trouble-tired.
In short, pray, praise, push, give, support the church with true fellowship…and pray, and pray, and pray.
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