A Million Bucks or a Close Friend?

First up in our “Church Works” series is Fellowship, a big part of God’s Plan to Save the World. Church works if we follow God’s plan for His people. It’s more powerful than any of us realize. Remember the statistics I quoted last time about the health benefits of church attendance? Well it turns out that social support only accounts for about 25% of these benefits. The rest must be from something beyond human contribution.
Christian fellowship means we are united together in a common mission and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work. Jesus’ disciples had very little in common and some were even grossly unqualified, yet they accomplished monumental things after receiving the Holy Spirit. It clearly wasn’t just them. But they had to be united, and they were – relentless in their mission to share the message of salvation through the risen Christ they had personally witnessed and known.
Unity (being “one”) must come from God through Jesus. Friendship is not enough. Think of a triangle with us along the bottom and God at the top. The closer we move to God, the closer we are to one another. If you are a Christian, our unity already exists, naturally extending from God. We don’t have to create it; we only need to tap into it.
In the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus prayed intensely for unity among his believers. Paul pleaded for unity many times in his letters. Unity allowed for true koinonia – a common sharing that characterizes Christian fellowship. It is active and outward giving. Fellowship is a devotion to others in the kind of love that is usually only found in close families. The New Testament has many instructions and descriptions of what this looks like in our attitudes. Essentially, we are to humbly value others above ourselves, to love and serve them as Jesus did. This is impossible to accomplish without God.
Action Items For This Week:
1. We have a new Sunday memory passage: Psalm 133. It’s a short one, so let’s say that we can memorize an entire Psalm together!
2. Reflect on these passages from Sunday’s message: Acts 2:42-47, Romans 12:9-21, Philippians 2:1-4. What is one area in which you need to grow the most? What is one thing you could do to devote yourself to fellowship?
3. Join an online class. They start this coming week. Invite friends to join you. They don’t even have to be from our church.

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