Until she passed away, I loved to meet with Lillian for prayer. She lived in a retirement community called King City. Each of the houses were separated by brick walls and the only way to enter a home was through the garage or a gate in the front. Whoever designed her neighborhood obviously valued privacy and security. There was little sense of community. No wonder lonely Lillian so much looked forward to meeting.
Acts 2:46,47—And every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.
Is it possible that technology and all that it does to further our security and entertainment is sucking the lifeblood of fellowship? Nowadays, people can spend time alone just listening to music on their I Pods, watching DVDs on their laptops, playing computer games or surfing the net. Even normal phone conversations are falling victim to text messaging where depth is replaced by speed. A pastor recently noted some sad statistics for his church. In the past year, hospitality decreased 50% among church members.
Do you know that camaraderie is a critical component of spiritual growth? Godly fellowship:
1. Centers our focus on our shared interest and relationship with God. We honor Him by coming together to partake of communion, worship in song and prayer, read and study the Scripture and minister to one another. “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144:15b).
2. Creates accountability and helps us encourage one another. The writer of Hebrews stated, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not saying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other. . .” (Hebrews 10:24,25).
3. Empowers us “because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord” (Nehemiah 8:10b); “A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). A single fir tree is easily toppled by strong winds because of its shallow root system. When firs grow together, their overlapping root system keeps them standing.
4. Enables us to better reach the world with the gospel. First, the world is drawn to Jesus when they see the genuine love we have for Him and each other as we see in Acts 2:47. Second, God gifts us each with talents and spiritual gifts for furthering His kingdom. If we neglect coming together for fellowship the corporate body suffers and the world is deprived of dynamic ministry.
Don’t be a cactus in a friendless desert trying to grow alone. Do know that you matter and the more you mingle with a heart set on honoring God the more you will experience the profound solidarity heaven favors!
Christians are like coals of fire. Together they glow; apart they grow cold.—C.S Lewis
©2007 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)