Posted by: bellissimanh | November 29, 2008

“What has God been teaching you lately?”

That was the question posed to us by some friends we’d not seen in a while.

Our friends moved to New Jersey this past year and we enjoyed a belated turkey dinner with them last night. It was spur of the moment visit, yet the Lord arranged the pieces beautifully.

Since we travelled over Thanksgiving, we had purchased a turkey to roast for ourselves on Friday (no leftovers was just unthinkable!). We spent a leisurely day watching movies and puttering around as the scent of scrumptious turkey filled the house.

The phone rang and it was our friends, Joe and Marilyn. They were in town for a few days and were wondering if we’d like to come for dinner. I explained about the turkey and suggested that they join us. An hour later we were all putting the finishing touches of the meal together. Marilyn brought an apple pie, she mashed the potatoes while I made the gravy. Joe and Joel set the table and sliced the turkey.

Catching up all the while, we enjoyed nice and easy conversation. Isn’t it wonderful how some friends, no matter how much time is spent apart from one another, can always pick up right where they left off? No awkward silences or fidgity…. just simple relaxed company.

As we sat at the table enjoying our meal, Joe posed the question: “What has God been teaching you lately?”

Don’t you just love that? I’ve come to learn over the years that fellowship is much more than hanging out. If two people get together and spend time with one another, yet never mention the Lord, I don’t really see that as fellowship. It’s just hanging out. But when the conversation is permeated with Jesus… that’s fellowship! When iron sharpens iron… that’s fellowship! When we share what the Lord is doing in each of our lives… that’s fellowship! When we are able to encourage one another and pray together… that’s fellowship!

The Greek word for fellowship is “koinonia”, and it carries with it the idea of joint participation. It’s partnership… sharing… it’s so much more than just “hanging out”.

It’s the opportunity to ask, “What has God been teaching you lately?” It’s a relationship that causes you to think… to really examine things and trace the fingerprints of the Father in your life.

That question resulted in a discussion about the need to really be in the Word, so that we can evaluate what we’re reading or being taught, to know if it’s biblically sound or not.

That discussion led to another discussion about prayer and what things make prayer meetings well attended or woefully attended… and how we can go about revitalizing our prayer lives so that it becomes dynamic and exciting, rather than laundry-list-like and monotonous.

From here, we moved into talking about what a joy it is to see a church body surround and love on someone who needs support… how wonderful it is that the Lord provides exactly what each of us needs, and that He uses us to do it!

This discussion flowed into another discussion about how we can do a better job of supporting our local fellowship and encouraging the members to be participants rather than just recipients…

…and then another discussion about how we really don’t know what other people are doing for the cause of Christ outside the body… and maybe we’d better take a close look at our judgments and understand that there’s often a bigger picture we’re not aware of.

Challenging… encouraging… convicting… motivating. That’s fellowship.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;  or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Romans 12:4-8

Joe & Marilyn… thank you for an evening of truly delightful fellowship! We love you!

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Responses

  1. This is how it is with my brother and his wife. We are able to open up and get down to what is important. What a blessing that you have friends like that!

    Xandra


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