30 December 2009

And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. 1 JOHN 5:20 (NLT)

Christians are encouraged to have fellowship with other believers. Fellowship is defined as, “A company of people that shares the same interest or aim; a feeling of friendship, relatedness or connection between people.” For Christians, the connection, of course, would be faith and belief in Jesus. The New Testament speaks about the fellowship of the believers among the newly formed church (ACTS 2:41-47). During these times of fellowship, they shared meals, had times of worship and they prayed together.

The New Testament book of 1John speaks of our fellowship with God the Father and with Jesus Christ the Son. The Old Testament book of Genesis speaks of two men who walked in fellowship with God. Enoch was taken up to heaven. “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” (GENESIS 5:23,24 NLT). Noah was the only “good” man on earth during his time, so the LORD spared him; God told him to build the ark as shelter during the great flood. “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.” (GENESIS 6:9 NLT). Everyone except Noah and his immediate family was destroyed, along with all the other living creatures that did not make the ark.

When the venue of a gathering is the Church, for a Bible Study for instance, the focus of conversation would most likely be about the Bible. Subsequent discussions are generally wholesome in nature, and bring people closer together through a more intimate understanding of each other. People tend to be more careful of the context of their statements and the selection of their words, and make an effort not to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings.

Perhaps a get together is elsewhere and consists of a few friends meeting for coffee. The atmosphere is different. The conversation could start out innocently; someone asks about the well being of a mutual friend. Then, before the friends are aware of it, they are engaged in a gossip session.

In another scenario, a group gathers for a prayer meeting. It is common they begin by discussing the people they will pray for. How quickly such a well-intended effort can turn into a time of talk that grieves the LORD. It is not necessary that secrets or intimacies be revealed, and personal information about others made known, especially if it is second-hand information. It is a betrayal if something is shared when it was received in confidence, even with the best intentions.

The conversations that people share should always be pleasing to God’s ears. Regardless of where His children gather, He hears every word that is said, and He knows the content of each heart. If words are not true, helpful, insightful, necessary, and kind, they shouldn’t be said. Fellowship is a wonderful time spent with God and with each other, and shouldn’t be tainted by dishonorable conversation, any time or any place.

PSALM 41:6 (NLT)
They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while, they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

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