Tag Archives: fellowship

It’s Not About Religion, But It’s Not Just About a Relationship Either

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You’ve probably heard it.

You’ve probably read it.

I know I’ve said it.

“It’s not about religion. It’s about a relationship.”

Although I said it in It’s Not About Going to Heaven, I also mentioned that Jesus’ dying on the cross was about reconciliation and getting to spend an eternity with God.

But there’s more.

Yesterday at church, our co-pastor, Josh, preached the morning sermon, and I wrote something down because of something he had said. I wish I could remember what he said, but all I wrote was “relationship & fellowship”, and as I pondered the two, although it was not exactly what his sermon was about, I realized that having a relationship with people… or God, does not automatically lead to having fellowship with them.

Fellowship is not about Christian socializing, like church potlucks and picnics, although that is what we generally think of when we use the word fellowship.

Although the term fellowship is used mostly among Christians, it is also used by groups of learned or skilled people in pursuit of mutual knowledge or talent. I know a married couple, who are professional photographers, master photographers, and were the first married couple to become Fellows as well. To become a Fellow within a group of academia is generally a great honor and something that is not bestowed lightly. Within Christianity, the term comes from the Greek koinonia, meaning “communion, joint participation, or partnership”. I have heard our pastor and other preachers define it like this:

“Fellowship is two fellows in a ship, rowing in the same direction.”

In life, there are relationships that occur naturally, like within families. We have a relationship that is created either by birth or marriage, but we don’t necessarily get along, get together or pursue the same goals as a family group. We may have a relationship, but we don’t always have fellowship.

We all have a relationship with God whether we believe in Him or not, because He is our Creator, but we do not all have fellowship with Him. We might have even said “the prayer” and call ourselves Christians and not have fellowship with Him.

But, if we are trying to seek Him, (even if we get distracted), and if we are trying to do what He said, (even if we fail), and if we are trying to discern His will and participate in His purposes and goals, (even if we sometimes think our way is His way), then we have fellowship with Him. He is so patient and gracious, that even when we break fellowship with Him, He still pursues us.

It’s not just about a relationship.

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Teamwork


Wisdom Wednesday: We Need Each Other

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“He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire and rageth against all sound wisdom.” —Proverbs 18:1 ASV

Have you ever wished you could just get away from it all?  I was able to get away two years ago and stay on Carolina Beach all by myself for a week.  It was great, but it did get lonely, especially when I had no one with whom to share the sunrises.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to seek solitude for a time.  Even Jesus did.  Sometimes we need to get away to pray, reflect and rest, which is what I did during my time away, but there is a difference between seeking solitude and isolating ourselves.  Seeking solitude is generally temporary and for the purpose of being refreshed, whereas isolation is generally an effort to shut others out to avoid something difficult or painful and to engage in something that makes us feel good and takes our minds off of things— escaping from real life.  Proverbs 18:1 says, “He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire and rageth against all sound wisdom.”  Sometimes it starts off small and innocently, spending time engaged in an activity by ourselves for a couple of hours until it becomes most of the day or night.  We might even reason that we are not alone, we have online friends.  Although online friends are real people, if we neglect the people around us, we may eventually find ourselves disconnected and truly alone.

“It is not good to be alone, even in Paradise.”  —Yiddish proverb

You have probably heard the saying, “There is safety in numbers.”  A Nigerian proverb says, “As long as you stay in a group, the lion will stay hungry.”  1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Lions generally hunt by trying to remain covert, either by stalking or ambushing.  They try to choose the closest and easiest prey, especially one that is separated from the rest of the herd.  When hunting large prey, the female lionesses generally work together to surround the herd and try to isolate a single animal.  The same is true of Satan.  He knows we are more vulnerable when isolated.  That’s part of the reason we are encouraged not to forsake getting together with others.  (Hebrews 10:25)  We need each other.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  —Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We need each other.  Someone needs you.

Photo credit:  A composite of photos by jivemm and cpsUK.


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