Faith and fellowship

Most Christian churches have some form of celebration event(s) acknowledging the birth of our Lord during December. The congregation that I attend usually has a couple. Yesterday was the annual children’s Christmas show included in the third part of the Christmas Cantata, followed by a time of food and fellowship.

 

In an Age when the education system persecutes a young boy for drawing a stick figure of Jesus on the cross, it is reassuring to know that not all of our religious freedoms have been abolished (like various other countries).

 

It is a joy and a blessing to watch the children in a faith-filled environment, and among like-minded peers, proclaim the reason for the season through scripts and songs. And all the children, with the exception of the very young or very shy, enjoy participating in the festivities, and put forth genuine effort.

 

Likewise, the following feast is Christ-centered, fellowship oriented, and fit for a king. And yes, though we are a small congregation, the public is invited; including the local homeless (which our church ministers to year-round, and have often housed during the freezing days of winter).

 

It is very important for believers to fellowship with each other. In fact, Christians who feel they can do without some kind of fellowship with other faith-filled believers are only fooling themselves; or, sadly, not true believers in the first place.

 

With all the opposing faiths and philosophies permeating our society, believers can benefit greatly from fellowship with like-minded individuals.

 

Naturally, Sunday school, church service, and other church events are excellent ways to be involved in fellowship. However, they are not the only choices.

 

Home bible studies; Christian concerts, plays, and other entertainment events, along with faith-filled social networking, like Christian singles, couples, or senior groups are equally fine alternatives for fellowship; as well as many others.

 

Fellowship with like-minded believers is not just a social outlet. Fellowship can be beneficial on many levels. For instance, it is a way for new believers to connect with mature Christians, and learn by getting answers to the multitude of nagging questions most new believers feel overwhelmed by. It is also a way for believers at all levels of their Christian walk to be encouraged, inspired, and even challenged to maintain, endure, and grow.

 

A perfect example occurred today. During the bible study, prior to the church service, a young man was in attendance. He has only been in our small community about six-months, and is having a rough time. I felt compelled to assist him with his material needs, and as I did it opened the door for further fellowship.

 

This fellowship continued after the service and during the dinner, where others soon took part. In fact, it was such a blessing to several of us that we lost track of time, and were the last ones at the tables after everyone else had left, or were in the last stages of cleaning up. So we helped with the clean up, and then made plans to get together again.

 

Not only did I learn things about each individual in the conversation, which has a tendency to draw us humans closer through familiarity, but I was also touched by the miracles and other testimonies, showing how God has worked in these other lives.

 

The secular world claims such miracles and interventions by God do not happen, because they have never seen it. But the reason they have never seen or experienced these blessings lies in their unbelief. You can only receive such intervention if you truly believe. It is based on faith.

 

The secular world will never acquire that level of faith, nor will a secular minded Christian. Such faith only comes about through an enduring Christian walk and persistent study of God’s word. And part of that Christian walk includes fellowship:

 

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching. — Hebrews 10: 24-25

 

I encourage you to enjoy the blessings of fellowship with true believers. It can definitely help your faith.

© JW Thomas

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