Showing posts with label Relationship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationship. Show all posts

Fellowship With The Father

Text: 1 John 1:1-4

Key Verse: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

Why is it that some Christians seem to be transformed by contact with Jesus Christ, but others are not? Some Christians, even Christians of long standing, still seem to be very much conformed to the world around them, even deformed in their views and outlooks. Yet all of them stoutly assert that they are Christians, that they too have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ. It is not strange that the world asks, What is wrong? Why is this condition true? The secret, John says, is fellowship.

What is fellowship? In the Navy we used to say it was two fellows on the same ship, and there is a sense in which that is true. They do have something in common—the same ship. That is the basis of fellowship, for essentially this word means to have all things in common. When you have something in common with another, you can have fellowship with that person. If you have nothing in common, you have no fellowship.

We all have things in common. We share human life in common. Most of us share American citizenship in common. But John is talking about that unique fellowship that is the possession only of those who share life in Jesus Christ together. This makes them one, and this oneness is the basis for the appeal of Scripture: to live together in tenderness and love toward one another. Not because we are inherently wonderful people or remarkable personalities or that we are naturally gracious, kind, loving, and tender all the time—for at times we are grouchy, scratchy, and irritating to others. But we are still to love one another. Why? Because we share life together. We have something in common. We share the life of the Lord Jesus, and therefore we have fellowship with one another.

We must understand the difference between relationship and fellowship. Relationship is becoming a member of the family of God by faith in Jesus Christ. It is established by asking Him to come into your life and heart. John makes that clear at the end of this letter. He who has the Son has life (that is relationship); he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (he does not have a relationship) 1 John 5:12.

The Christian life starts right there with this matter of relationship. Relationship is accepting Christ; fellowship is experiencing Him. You can never have fellowship until you have established relationship, but you can certainly have relationship without fellowship. Relationship puts us into the family of God, but fellowship permits the life of that family to shine through us. That is what marks the difference between Christians.

Fellowship is the key to vital Christianity. That is why this letter of Apostle John, which calls us back to fundamental issues, focuses first on that. The important question is, as a Christian, are you enjoying fellowship with the Father and with His Son?

*** Culled from Ray Stedman Ministry Daily Devotional | ***

...building the body of Christ

Love Works When Nothing Else Will

Key Verse: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” Ephesians 2:25

After many years of marriage, Sam decided to divorce his wife. The reasons he gave his counselor were: ‘She’s not attractive, she’s not interesting, she’s overweight, and she’s a poor housekeeper.’

So the counselor gave him this suggestion: ‘Starting today, I want you to go home and treat your wife like a goddess. Start doing everything in your power to please her. Listen intently when she talks about her problems. Help around the house and take her out to dinner at the weekend. I want you to literally pretend that she is a goddess. Then after two months of this wonderful new behavior, pack your bags and leave. That should get her attention!

Sam agreed it was a great idea and decided to implement it. He took his wife away on romantic weekends and read poetry to her every night. After two months the counselor called and asked, ‘Sam, did you file for divorce? Are you looking forward to being a bachelor again?’

Sam replied, ‘Are you kidding? I am married to a goddess. I have never been happier in my life. I’d never leave my wife in a million years. In fact, I’m discovering new, wonderful things about her every single day. Divorce? Not an option!’

The Bible says, ‘…A man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7). And when Sam changed his strategy and started sowing seeds of love, he reaped a marriage he never dreamed possible. This isn’t peculiar to only men and husbands. Wives too should embrace a loving strategy to win their husbands' hearts and save their marriages.

Nothing truly is beyond the power of love. Love conquers all and when nothing else works, love will. Do you think this same strategy Sam employed in his home could possibly work for you? Why not give it a try and see what happens? Besides, you have got nothing to lose and chances are you and your spouse will love the results.

Let love reign in your heart and home. Show it daily in deeds and truth, and not just in words (1 John 3:18). Couples must learn to forgive and understand each other. And when God remains at the center of the home, no arrow of divorce from the Devil can prevail.

...building the body of Christ