the importance of fellowship

4.24.2012 |

"and let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especailly now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near." hebrews 10:25
i cannot recall a point in the last four years where i have been this full of utter joy.  this reality is due to a combination of certain happenings in my life over the last five months.

1. i am actively seeking my jesus, first and foremost.  Jesus tells me in matthew that "he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern." i don't want to sound like some high and mighty, self-righteous girl who has this whole world figured out, because that could not be farther from the truth, but through spending time with Jesus every single day for the past 4-5 months, i can honestly say insecurities are being shattered and hope is being restored. to seek the Jesus before meddling in running, relationships, grades, money, and perfection has not always been my life.  the list of the later consumed a majority of my last 22 years.

2. by some divine conspiracy, i am meeting people left and right.  these are not just any ordinary people.  i am acquainting myself with these solid people who love Jesus (and love Jesus more than any one else i have ever met), and consequently, we are becoming real friends who invest in each other's lives.  they are real people with real struggles and back-bending hurt, but these folks are not ashamed to live out loud for our Jesus. they challenge me to be my very best but let me know that it is okay to have feelings and be imperfect.  they keep me accountable, they keep me growing.  i only hope that i am a supportive tool in their lives as they are and have been in mine.

"my job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow" 1 corinthians 3:6

we are intimate relational beings, to say the absolute least.  we are stimulated by human interaction and thrive on emotional investment.  we pounce at the chance to be heard.  quality time with those we love is hoarded as if it could be rationed in the future.  we are all equally familiar with friendships built on common interests.  we have our friendship at intramural games, our friends in class, our friends back in our childhood home. we all have people who have carved a memory or two in the wood of our minds forever leaving impressions.  sometimes, unfortunately, our groups of friends become compartmentalized. our interests change and we often are uprooted from one place only to relocate to another.  sometimes this puts distance and strain on a relationship of any form.

but what happens when a friendship is engineered by the strongest bond i've ever encountered and incorporates common interests?  (and i'm not talking non-polar covalent or hydrogen bonding here people) i'm talking about the bond formed when two people share mutual ground in a faith through Jesus Christ.  i'm not talking about cultural christianity. these people are rock solid and transformed by the Holy Spirit.  i want to be just like them.  i am challenged to be a better person in my entirety.

to surround yourself with like-minded people is essential to grow.

if i have the common cold spend too much time around someone with the influenza virus, the chances that i catch the flu increase exponentially.  and if i meddle in the life of someone with a more serious transmissible health condition, i might as well quarantine myself.

"confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results." james 5:16

i am not saying that our lives are not supposed to be lived investing in those people who don't share a common spiritual thread, but if that is the only or majority of the relational interaction we engage in, we are going to succumb to their pressures whether we meant to or not.

they say that "birds of a feather flock together."  i don't know who they are, but i agree.  you will begin to look more like whoever you spend the most time with, regardless if their influence is positive or negative.

i have expressed wanting to mimic my newly found friends.  the fruit pouring out of their life is evident.  they are hard workers with a passion for justice and jesus.  they are not afraid to stand up for the truths depicted in the word of God, they keep scripture at the forefront of their minds, they abstain from crude humor and other activities that could be questionable, they invest in the lives of everyone they meet with the compassion of God leaking from their smile.  this is what my Jesus looks like.


i guess i just never understood the importance of reaching out  and doing life with those who walk so boldly in their faith.  i know that i have been blinded in the past due to running, relationships, grades, money, perfection, material things, lust, selfish ambitions, and all the wonders of the here-and-now.  it's good to finally see straight, to feel cherished by the body of Christ, to walk hand-in-hand with sisters and brothers, to smile and cry and laugh and hurt without hesitation or judgement.

it's good to have fellowship.

hannah whitsitt: "purity is a direction"
"share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ"galatians 6:2


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