MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (February 15, 2021)

*I apologize for skipping last Monday, but I was away from home preaching and did not have the opportunity to do so. Today we continue some thoughts about fellowship.*

We are currently exploring the idea of “fellowship” as taught in the Bible. This word is translated from the Greek word “κοινωνία” (koinonia), which denotes “partnership,” or “joint participation,” and means more than just “showing up.” The idea is of a joint undertaking in which each member contributes – there must be participation on your part if true fellowship is to be enjoyed!

Two posts ago, we discussed what fellowship means. Last time, we discussed how we engage in fellowship. Today, I want us to look at why we engage in this biblical fellowship.

Why should we make fellowship in the Kingdom of God a priority? There are at least three reasons: (1) Jesus commanded us to do it; (2) Jesus Himself engaged in it; and (3) we desperately need it!

One of the basic characteristics of a true disciple is that he or she DOES as commanded! In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands this type of fellowship with one another: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” How amazing: Jesus not only tells us to love one another, he tells us how to love and why to love.

We are to love one another and engage in this godly, loving fellowship because Jesus says “love one another.” And not just any old kind of love: it is the kind of love that He had for us! Many people today think love is merely a “feeling,” where your heart goes “pitter-pat” and butterflies appear in your stomach. Beloved friends, love is an action verb, not a noun! Jesus did not just love us from afar in heaven, He got up from His throne and came down to this lowland of sin and sorrow, and demonstrated His love by dying on the cross and fulfilling the covenant of grace! This is the “how” of our love and fellowship – do it like Christ did it!

Why should we fellowship one with another, beyond the fact that He commanded it? Purely and simply, it is by demonstrating our love in fellowship that other people will know that we are Jesus’ disciples. Notice: it is NOT by our orthodoxy (although we ought to worship Him correctly), it is NOT by our truth believing (although we ought to believe the truth); rather, it is by the way that we love one another that others are able to see Whom we serve!

Secondly, Jesus Himself gave us the example of fellowship in His earthly life and ministry. Rather than remaining aloof, and staying to Himself, the Lord lived, ate, slept, and dwelt among His disciples. Wherever you see Him, with the exception of the times He was in meditation and communion with His Father, He was ALWAYS spending time with His friends! Jesus sought their fellowship, and enjoyed their fellowship. And by His example He showed us how we ought to live.

Finally, we NEED Christian fellowship in our daily walk! Have you ever been to the point where you feel like you just don’t fit in? Often, in workplace or social gatherings, I have felt alone in a crowd! There is a reason for this, my friends: we DON’T fit in here! And we are not supposed to. Jesus knew that, when He ascended back to heaven, His disciples would need a place where they could fell the joy and peace of heaven – a little “downpayment” on glory, so to speak! There is no place else on earth where I feel to be more at home than in the church, the earthly visible Kingdom of God.

Do you feel to be “out of place” in the world? Do you feel the need for closeness with God? Come on into the Kingdom of God! Jesus promised to meet us there, and He does on a regular basis – I know, because I’ve felt Him! When we join together with one another in loving, Christian fellowship, God is pleased. In fact, we are told that a “book of remembrance” is written before God when we do so. Mal. 3:16: “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”

I feel the need for God to “hearken” unto me, don’t you? If you do, child of God, then just be sure you engage in this fellowship – this “koinonia” – and we are assured that God not only hearkens, but remembers us and will greatly bless us.

May the Lord bless you today and everyday.

In Christ,

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor