Give me a word, Lord: FELLOWSHIP

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Last night, we kicked off our ladies’ ministry meetings again after a long hiatus caused by our not so favorite friend, COVID-19. I belong to a small church, but that church is so full of love and life and laughter. The ladies try to meet on the first Thursday night of each month to gather together for fellowship, food, and renewing of our faith through devotionals and or Bible studies. We always have such a great time when we gather together, and I didn’t even realize how much I had missed these gatherings until last night.

We wanted this meeting to be a more relaxed one to get together and reignite our ministry, and I would have to say that we were successful in our efforts. God has truly blessed me with church that has a remarkable group of ladies who truly love the Lord. These girls are not merely friends. They are my sisters in Christ. They are family. We laugh together, learn together, and definitely love each other. I have known these ladies for a long while, but last night, I learned things about them that I didn’t know. We played a silly game in which each person had to take turns telling of unique experiences or unusual talents that we possessed as a means of learning more about each other. It was so much fun. I used to hate participating in games like this, but now I truly enjoy it. I loved learning things about my friends that didn’t know. It was a great icebreaker, and prepared us for our devotional which followed.

I have put a lot of thought into fellowship of my Christian faith family, and I have to admit that fellowshipping with my faith family is one of the greatest blessings in my life. I don’t know how people make it without a great group of believing friends. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we are reminded to gather together, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” This pandemic has caused us to miss out on gathering opportunities, but praise God, we can start gathering once again!

Why is gathering with fellow believer so important? When we gather together, we motivate one another. We encourage one another. We pray for one another. Do we all like each other all of the time? Maybe not all of the time, but by the grace of God, we do love each other, and it is that love for Christ that spurns us onward in our relationships. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we grow in our interpersonal relationships as well.

So many people sadly look at church as a means of entertainment. They go for the show, the music, the lights, the action. It’s almost as if they entertain the idea of going to church in the same light as going to a movie. It’s a hour or two escape once or twice a week, and then that is it. Well, I’m here to tell you that is NOT it! To me, church is family. We are in fact brothers and sisters in Christ, right? Sometimes we are part of a church that we have attended our whole lives, and other times, we are new to a church, but whether you are an old member or a new member, all those other members are part of the family of God. If you are a child of God, those people are your kin folks! We are called to lovingly treat each and every member like family. If someone in the family is sick, we pray for that person and minister to them. If someone is struggling, we pray and offer assistance. If someone needs food, well, we are on that like white on rice. If someone needs encouragement, we are the encouragers. If there is a loss in the family, we are there. Can’t you see? Church is not a show. It is a group of fellow believers who love one another, care about one another, and fellowship with one another as family.

Oh, Peeps, I pray that you have a great church family. If you don’t, please get busy looking for one. And if you are part of a body of believers, but you don’t feel like family, you have to ask yourself why. After I married Jeff, I transferred my letter to his church, I didn’t feel like part of the family for a long while. I sat on the back pew. I kept to myself. I showed up at the appointed times. I attended Sunday School. I listened to the sermons. I was there, but I wasn’t involved. Those people weren’t my family. I left my family behind at another church. I felt distant and unaccepted. It took me about three years to realize that it wasn’t that the people of the church were not accepting me, but rather it was me who was not becoming part of them. I began getting involved. I started teaching Sunday School, participating in outreaches, accepted the position of church treasurer, and I started to really get to know the people of the church. Slowly but surely, they became my family too. I learned that being part of a family isn’t just showing up and filling a pew. It is so much more than that. You have to make a concerted effort to get to know each and every member of the family, and to do this, you have to put forth a little bit of effort. You may even play silly little getting to know you games like we did last night, and that is completely okay and acceptable. You have to do what it takes to get to know your family, silly or not. I’m so very thankful that God moved me to my current church, but I’m even more thankful that he moved me to get involved there.

Today I encourage you to check in on your sisters and brothers in Christ. Pray for them. Laugh with them. Love on them. It’s been a really tough year, and we need each other now more than ever. Fellowship with family today!

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