Friday, May 05, 2017

JESUS CHRIST IS OUR FELLOWSHIP

Jesus Christ is our fellowship


Did you ever just get really lonely? Sometimes I work so hard at my job that suppressing this emotion comes normal and yet when life slows down appreciation for a heart to heart with Jesus Christ is my innermost desire. I start to talk to Jesus and feel His wonderful peace and love. Sometimes I can sense this fellowship while engaging in labor but for me reflecting is letting God put things into perspective for my life.

If we listen to this world ten different points of view will come our way and that can be very confusing. The Apostle John had the privilege of talking to Jesus Christ on a one on one level. He never forgot those experiences and was able to write, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3. If we don't put drawing close to God through His Son Jesus Christ very high on the pecking order then we may want to ask where our priorities are in our walk with the Lord.

We are called to fellowship with Jesus Christ. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:9. I know there is the all important message that we are to remain steadfast for Jesus Christ but what if we reversed the whole scenario around and just focused on how incredibly faithful God is to us? This verse starts out "God is faithful" and then urges us to have fellowship with Jesus Christ.

This next verse won many souls for Jesus Christ but it is a passage for Christians. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20. All we have to do is open the door because Jesus is knocking. Not only is banging coming from the outside but He is speaking and more than likely the words are different depending on who He is talking to so we need to listen, open the door, abide in Him and have fellowship with Jesus Christ.

This does make sense because we can imagine a friend knocking on our door and he is saying some words. We tell him to go away. Believe it or not we have all done this with God at one time or another. We get upset with something, depressed or want to do something else. I am amazed that God gave us a will to choose but in His wisdom that is the way He designed us so we need to respect this and understand we can say no for a variety of reasons. If we do that to much our heart will become hardened and now we are really distant from God.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23. This is a very warm verse but it comes with a condition. The passage is saying ... "If a man love me, he will keep my words" ... so here God is giving us the choice to read, study or memorize the Bible with the right motive or to just be passive and neglect the word of God. If we take the second option God the Father will not let us feel His love and Jesus Christ will be very limited in what He can do in our life based on our decision. At this point God may apply some pressure in our hearts and lives to get our attention usually through circumstances.

When I am around people I know who is receptive to talking about Jesus Christ and who has nothing but walls around their spirit. For me it is more than obvious. To gather with two or more Christians who love Jesus Christ is something special and the Bible does promise that the Son of the Living God will be in the midst of their fellowship. It has to be done with the right spirit of peace and truth but our Lord does say, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20. There is also a reference in the Old Testament very similar to this passage of Scripture which says, "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord." Zechariah 2:10.

Of course I probably don't have to mention this but obeying God is connected with having fellowship with Jesus Christ. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21. If we are listening to God and trying to take heed there is something about our obedient response that touches the heart of Jesus Christ. If this be the case He promises to manifest Himself to us with His love. If we try walking through life without the grace of God a tremendous void will be in our souls because that is the way God designed us so what concerns me is how people try and fill the emptiness which is almost always some kind of sin/sins. This is why you will hear a strong Christian say, "Be sold out for Jesus Christ."

It is interesting to me that in John chapter 14 Jesus is just getting started but when He gets to John chapter15 He really gets far more detailed in our fellowship with Him because it is the great abiding passage. I wrote an article in 2016 called, "How to abide in Jesus Christ" so I won't repeat myself but I just desire to look at one verse. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me." John 15:4. Walk outside your place of residence and observe if there are any fallen branches. What I'm trying to convey is we are nothing unless our minds and hearts are rooted in Jesus Christ. A branch has to be heavy in the vine or it will fall to the ground. The best defense is a good offense. Be strong, stay strong in Jesus Christ.

If I were to tell you that fearing God and being His companion are in the same verse in the Bible some people would not believe me unless I presented proof but sure enough the Scripture says, "I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts." Psalm 119:63. Do you really want to be close to God? Reverential fear and obedience with the right motive (earnestly for God) is when Jesus Christ shows us His love.

This is an interesting verse because it is touching on our fellowship with other people in connection with our relationship to Jesus Christ. When two people clash do you think they feel spiritual? Did you ever just say, "Oh man I have to deal with this person? I have because some people are just difficult to connect with for one reason or another. The Bible tells us what to strive for with other people especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. (1) "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:1-2.

It is actually our responsibility to make the initiative of applying these verses with other individuals. It is like we are waving the peace flag even though this person or group may have offended us so we have to go to Scripture to determine why the Holy Spirit gets very specific.

Consolation in Christ and comfort of love basically mean the same thing but it is phrased different because there is a lot of strife in this world and we are the ones called by God to step in and be the peacemakers through the divine unity of the Holy Spirit. Since most people want to fight in one form or another the word of God is saying we must take the leadership role in showing this Godly emotion through Jesus Christ.

First we give comfort then we offer our hand of fellowship. If there is an issue in their life we show mercy. The purpose of this reaching out is to be likeminded in Jesus Christ so we can be bound by His love, accord and mind. The end result is joy. Every true believer in Christ desires this final outcome but we can not skip steps because if we do some sort of strife will still be dormant in the souls of everyone concerned.

This is not to say we wink at sin or even agree with all their opinions but our main goal is to be one in Christ through His love. This is a steppingstone with our relationship to God because we want Jesus Christ at the center of our fellowship with other people. We are not trying to win a debate; however, Philippians 2:1 has the word "If " in this verse four different times. We do our part in obeying this verse but the other person has to meet us half way. If they don't the power of prayer is very effective. By the way this is not a one time activity but a lifetime of treating other people the right way with Godly comfort so Jesus Christ can be at the center of our hearts.

Isn't it interesting that our fellowship with Jesus Christ involves being good to other people the Bible way especially brothers and sisters in the Lord? Our true fellowship is with other Christians because an unbeliever in Jesus Christ does not know the Son of God in their heart. This is something a discerning believer can sense in his or her heart. I get a little weary of a so called believer in Jesus Christ that feels extremely comfortable with a person that does not even know the Lord. One is walking in light (the believer) and the other is walking in darkness (the unbeliever). I question his or her salvation but I do not judge because this is reserved for Jesus Christ Himself.

"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour." Ephesians 5:2. When we live for Jesus Christ at the center of our hearts especially in the form of prayer the Bible seems to suggest that a perfume is formed in heaven based on our faith and obedience to Jesus Christ on earth. "And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." Revelation 8:4. We read words like "Sweet-smelling savour and incense which is in direct connection with faith in God and prayer.

There is another passage in the Bible that talks about our conversation of living which is our lifestyle. There is a direct connection on how we walk through our life and an intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ. (5) "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleaneth us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7.

The first point is ... "God is light" ... which tells us that the Triune Godhead is without sin. The second point is we must not walk in darkness (sin) as a lifestyle and say we have fellowship with Jesus Christ because we will be liars. The third point is we are to walk in the light who is Jesus Christ Himself and share that communion we have with God and fellowship with other people.

The very last phrase of this passage reminds us that true Christians have this promise ... "And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." If you don't know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord repent of all your sins today/tonight and invite Him into your heart so you can be a child of God through His precious blood that He shed for all of us on the cross. He died for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day so we can be redeemed from our transgressions and have fellowship with Him on earth and for all eternity.

God Bless you,
Bob D.

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