Galatians 2:9—James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. (NIV)
In the New Testament the Greek word koinōnia is used 19x and 11x is translated by the word fellowship. Koinōniadoes not appear in the Gospels yet fellowship was a daily occurrence for Jesus as He lived among His followers and trained them. In Luke 22:1-23 He became the peace offering in the “last supper,” the Passover meal He ate with His disciples. No longer are animals sacrificed to ensure that our relationship with God is good. Jesus took care of that forever when He became our peace offering. Jesus used that hallowed supper to create a new ritual we know as “Communion,” the “Eucharist” or the “Last or Lord’s Supper.” Jesus taught us that fellowship came at a horrific price because God would not let sin remain a barrier.
When James, Peter and John welcomed Paul into their fellowship they knew the cost Paul, (formerly Saul) paid to become a follower of Christ so they gladly opened their arms to him and to his advocate, Barnabas. To spiritually gather costs time, in many cases resources, and energy. But we do it spiritually to grow in our relationship with God and with fellow believers.
To neglect fellowship with fellow followers of Christ is to jeopardize our relationship with our Father and with His body. Accountability, encouragement, prayer, and learning are degraded by isolation. This is why we ought to gladly practice now what will be perfectly done in heaven. Don’t let the discouragement of how people act or treat you (whether in the past or in the present) keep you from gathering. I have met so many people who no longer go to church because they were “turned off.” Move past the hurt, forgive, get back in circulation. It may take courage and effort but it is worth it. Koinōnia matters!
We know that without food we would die. Without fellowship, life is not worth living.—Laurie Colwin
©2021 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)