34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Thanks for sharing your practical ways to improve Christian fellowship yesterday. We continue our focus on the Discipline of Fellowship.
Today Libby has a letter from Devon. As a reminder, you will play the part of Libby and share your thoughts on the challenges people are facing. Libby is not expected to be an expert. Rather, Libby simply shares from personal and practical experiences. So, please feel free to chime in even if you have questions yourself. Also, even if you don’t have the time to share, think about how you have addressed the challenge in your life or how you would address it in the life of a loved one.
Please review the Bible passage above and Felicia challenge below.
I am convinced that God doesn’t want me to be a lone wolf Christian, so I need to interact with other Christians. However, I don’t want to settle for shallow relationships as a substitute for real fellowship. I want to know what real Biblical fellowship feels like.
I learn a lot from the positive experiences of others. Can you share any of your experiences where Christian fellowship had a material impact on your life?
Wanting the real deal,
What thoughts would you like to share with Devon?
March 30, 2017 at 6:22 am
That’s a tough question and one I struggle with in multiple areas of my life. The one word answer to your question would be, it feels uncomfortable. True Christian fellowship was best displayed by Christ. He made it look easy. But for me it’s sometimes hard to be authentic, selfless, transparent and willing to be held accountable to God’s Word and will.
I would suggest praying and asking the Lord to show you one person He want you to build this kind of relationship with. Once you know who it is, go all in. Trust me, it will be the best feeling ever to have someone to share true friendship with and the next one will come with a little more ease.
Hope this helps.
March 30, 2017 at 10:56 am
Thank you for your letter. What a delight and privilege to share my experiences with you!
Like you I’ve been guilty of being a lone wolf Christian. I ascribe guilt to this condition because Scripture admonishes us in Hebrews 10:24-25 to “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not to give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching”. Therefore I am guilty as charged.
I find that if I am not a Bible study group or other church activity I feel little desire to attend church. Therefore except for a few exceptions I have not really known true Christian fellowship via a church setting. Despite of or perhaps because of my lone wolf tendencies it has pleased the LORD to place Christians directly in my path. For this reason I have developed strong Christian friendships at my work place as well as at home. In this regard, I offer three anecdotes from my experiences:
To model Christian behavior: I have learned from my Christian peers how to behave properly as a Christian. For example I had a tendency to fly off the handle when things went wrong. Honestly I excelled in ‘blowing things out of proportion,’ sometimes seething for what seemed like hours. I had a Christian secretary who kept her cool no matter what happened to her. One day she purchased her first car through financing – brand new – after years of saving for the down payment. Less than a month later she got into a motor vehicle accident which resulted in no injury to herself but total loss of the vehicle, and debt since she still owed the bank for the car (her insurer only offered partial coverage). I saw this as a calamity. However my secretary maintained her usual calm composure, never complaining and remaining thankful she was spared injury – I was so impressed by her attitude, that it inspired me to change my attitude for good.
To hold me accountable” Yet another Christian friend at work, an attorney repeatedly poured cold water on my desire to sin. One time I wanted to commit a vile sin – on informing him on want I intended to do – in just a few words he managed to pour cold water on my desire to commit the offense. He said – why are you so carnal?
To commune with kindred spirits: In my Christian brothers and sisters I find home – a place of belonging – I am called to fulfill a purpose in the ‘Body of Christ’, as are all Christians. As the prophet Jeremiah said “his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9). It is also the place where I can share my experiences with people who love GOD and are seeking HIM. As I exchange experiences and ideas with my brothers and sisters, I find community and comfort, my perspective developing as I benefit from experiences in addition to my own. A great example is this blog.
Therefore I encourage you my friend – do not try to go it alone – after all isn’t two better than one? (Eccl. 4:9-12).
Yours in Christ.
April 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm
Very well put !