Dear brothers and sisters,
The Lord put it on my heart to write to you today, to encourage you in your fellowship. Although I may not know of your daily discipline and devotion to the Lord (and each other!): I know of your shared faith. The way you love one another, stand by one another and pray for another. The way you serve one another as Christ has served us. The way you listen and confess without fear of condemnation. The way you support one another through every season. There are many ways you display the heart of God.
This fellowship is only found in the unity of Christ.
There is none like it. To find a people who are so drawn to delight in Christ that they are compelled to share that joy by loving and serving each other. It is rare to find such community. To be surrounded by family. To be empowered to grow, to change. To be encouraged to turn and trust beyond our self. To be so sharpened and strengthened in our faith that we are bold in living out our beliefs. To be so enriched by fellowship with believers that we are excited to bring others into our homes, our lives. To be so filled that we overflow with the good news, sharing the hope we have in Jesus.
To find this safe place, this haven of hope, is a blessing.
To find others who are set on the same prize, their eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith: Jesus. That is a blessing. Because there are many people striving in this world, many yearning and searching. There are many who long to make a difference, to live a purpose-driven life. But not all are looking in the same place. Not all are seeking God’s face. Not all encounter GRACE.
Finding true fellowship is more than friendship, it is family.
There is a deep, nourishing beauty to finding those who are seeking the same kingdom, who are serving the same Lord, who are acknowledging and declaring the same truth, the same hope, the same authority and power.
There is the beauty of worshipping in harmony, unity, solidarity.
To be surrendering to the same Saviour, to be praising the same Father in heaven. What a beautiful name it is to praise. What a beautiful way to acknowledge his reign. Arms raised. Hearts changed. All in Jesus’ name.
Corporate worship is like no other association to “corporate” in this culture, where money is the idol. When the church comes together in corporate worship, we are one body, one voice, one Bride with her heart turned to her husband, her Beloved. This is worship: To be found in the promise. To be singing the vows of the victory we have in Christ. This is worship: To express adoration with a spirit of awe.
It is worth mentioning, however, that shared faith does not guarantee friendship. Until the Lord returns and bring us to his glory we have an interim. Here, there is no perfect fellowship.
The deep fellowship we so desire will always be lacking.
The body of Christ may not always be welcoming or warm. Our family will wound us, our brothers and sisters in Christ will neglect to love and serve us in our hour of need.
We will go through seasons where we lose sight of hope, where we forget the promises we have in Christ. We will lose faith in believers and feel bitterness towards the Church.
We will realise that this that kingdom cannot be shaken is full of shaky, flaky humans.
And. We will discover that not only do we fall short of God’s glorious standard, failing to love Him as He so deserves, but we also fall short as ministers of the new covenant, failing to show His grace to others.
BUT. SUCH IS the confidence we have through Christ toward God – not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, BUT our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.” 2 Cointhians. 3:1-6a
For the Spirit of God is always working, transforming hearts and minds in Christ.
When we feel like fellowship is not sufficient, we need to let the Spirit of the living God testify to us the truth of Jesus. Though we may fail to love God and to love each other, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
For this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).
Fellowship starts and ends here: in God’s love.
We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and ask for strength to persevere, for joy in the face of suffering, for delight in duty. We will go through times of isolation, rejection. These are seasons we will need to spend time in the presence of God, dwelling in His Word, before we can confront our communities or commit to a church.
We come to God empty, forever in need of the abundance and fullness of His grace to us in Christ. We cannot come to our church, our community, to fellowship to find this. Only to God. Believers will not be able to restore to us the joy of our salvation. Of course our brothers and sisters can lovingly rebuke us, can hold us to account, can point us to Jesus. But they cannot be our saviour, they cannot do the deep, transformative work that only God can do. We must let God do his work.
When we come to church, to Christian fellowship, to build his Kingdom here, we must remember it is Him who raises the house (Psalm 127:1).
So brothers and sisters, let the love of God transform you in Christ.
Find yourself in the broken beauty of fellowship. Find yourself in Love.
Let the Father’s heart draw you deeper and deeper into His well of abundant life, His living water that flows straight from the throne room of grace.