Over the last three parts of “How bad do you want to be transformed?”, we discussed Bible reading and prayer for the purposes of being transformed. To me, these are essential for steady growth and formation. But they are not enough.
There is a third essential element to complete the trilogy.
You may be able to guess what this element is, I’ve mentioned it more than a few times in my posts… you got it! Fellowship
The Bible reading and prayer I’ve discussed are individual events. Fellowship is where we can share what we’ve learned and combine all three elements. Besides, if all our Christian activity is done in a vacuum, how can we know whether or not we are on a good path, much less learn solid doctrine?
25 There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death.
The personal and private knowledge from reading and praying is then shared and used to teach, learn and correct our theology.
Colossians 3: 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
Let’s define fellowship for the purpose of this message.
There may be many thoughts that come to mind regarding fellowship. You might think of fellowship dinners, socials or simply hanging out with friends.
The fellowship I wish to discuss is a deliberate meeting among a very small group (2-6) of like-minded believers that meet with regularity.
Acts 2: 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
Note that this says “All the believers”.
Fellowship is for everybody.
The purpose of this very small group will be to get to know more about God and each other. They will have Bibles in hand, prepared to talk about what they’ve been reading. This is not a formal gathering by all means but the intent to draw closer to God will be a serious one.
I believe this is the ideal fellowship that any seeker that desires growth should be participating in.
It is in these meetings that their lives are shared and personal issues are discussed. The Bible and common spiritual sense will be used to lovingly counsel one another.
Proverbs 27: 17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Such a group I believe should be constrained to one gender. Simply due to the more delicate nature that the conversation could lead to.
Hebrews 10: 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Be careful who you hang around with
Consider your current circle of “believing” friends. Do you have friends that enjoy talking about the Bible? It is my guess that if a person doesn’t favor discussing God’s Word in a Christian setting then there’s a good chance that they are not reading it. It is a human tendency not to discuss something that one is not engaged in. Especially when they might be embarrassed by their unfamiliarity.
So if you have Church friends that are more interested in discussing politics, sports or the latest movies than the Word of God that is a pretty good indicator that they are not suitable for the fellowship we’ve been discussing.
2 Corinthians 6: 14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
I know this verse pertains to unbelievers, but should also apply to the lukewarm.
This may be the greatest reason for fellowship:
Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Are you meeting on a regular business?
Are you meeting with a few people on a regular basis for the purpose of getting to know God more and each other? What better way is there to practice the two greatest commandments? This should be the heart of the Christian lifestyle. Finding and sharing with others that are serious about God will push you and encourage you to be a better follower of God.
Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
What else could be more important?
Will you share with others?
“Dear God, Thank you for all the friends you’ve placed in my life. Will you please help me find those friends that are serious about getting to know you? I desperately need fellowship, that’s how you made me. Help me get connected with others so that we can get to know you better and serve each other with companionship. Thank you in advance for transforming me into a new creation that will bring glory to you. In Jesus name, amen.”