1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1; NKJV)
In writing this morning, what is on my heart is the fellowship I have with my brothers (and sisters) in Christ and how powerful that is. In studying this at one point, I came across a statement that hit home “Fellowship is a mutual bond that Christians have with Christ that puts in a deep, eternal relationship with one another“. Our relationship with Jesus is the foundation of our relationship with each other and truly if we are gathered in His name and His purpose then He is there too. That is enough for me to think about for a long time to really examine myself, my relationship (with Jesus and my brethren), my thoughts, my actions, and my overall attitude.
I want to move past that for now and just encourage you and I to see the profound value of our relationships in Christ, the absolute need for these relationships, and how much the devil wants us alone or fighting against these relationships. Biblical teaching is about multiples…God does not want us to be alone and warns us of all the dangers of being alone and acting alone.
In a dark world, there is no safe place except for Jesus and in Him our relationships with fellow believers. These relationships should be safe and if we don’t feel safe then something is wrong. We should be able to be completely vulnerable and confess to each other and expect love, understanding, grace, mercy, forgiveness, encouragement, prayer….that is what we get from Jesus! If we are looking to Him in our own life and allowing ourselves to be filled with His Spirit…we will then be able to humbly go to one another and be prepared to pour out what God has given us freely. Not of ourselves…but of God.
If we are walking around thinking that we need to be perfect and get it all right ourselves…we are being deceived. If we are not confessing to each other and we are trying to carry all of our troubles alone…we are failing and the devil is winning. The devil wants the sheep separated, scattered and alone…easier prey and higher likelihood of success in destroying. And that is what he does…the devil is a setter of snares, one who scatters and a destroyer.
I love my brothers and sisters in Christ. I flourish when I am with them, vulnerable, and building while being built up. I am at my worst when either I leave that environment or struggle to find it due to other’s behavior. I am committed, however, to tighten my armor and get back to the fight and relish the touch of a brother/sister on my left and on my right as we stand together for Jesus and fight the good fight to His glory and our salvation.