The Christian community is not an optional add-on for believers
I recently had foot surgery. As a result, I was housebound for the entire month to recuperate. At that time, I quickly realized that it is neither normal nor healthy for a Christian to be estranged from the community of God’s people. We need each other to grow in him, no matter what. So while I waited and looked forward to getting better, I longed to be with God’s people in fellowship. When I finally came back, it was wonderfully refreshing. I was filled with so much joy and thanksgiving to God. This experience reminded me of Psalm 100:4. He said, “Enter her gates with thanksgiving, and her courts with praise! Give him thanks; bless his name!
It is neither normal nor healthy for a Christian to be estranged from the community of God’s people.
It is easy to overlook the time of fellowship with one another as God’s people. And yet, it is very important that we communicate regularly with each other. God commands as much. In Hebrews 10:25 we read, “Let us not forsake meeting together, as some people are used to, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching. By fellowship, I refer to Christians sitting collectively under the word of God, praying together, sharing life and a meal, as part of the community of God.
Investing in the Christian community will be expensive
I remember when I graduated from university many years ago. I was offered a part-time job at the nearby pharmacy. This would mean working some weekdays as well as weekends. However, I was upfront about my priorities to my potential employer. I mentioned that I couldn’t work on Sundays because of my commitment to church service. This decision would give me the opportunity to fellowship with other believers, as well as teach the Bible to children. My employer was not a Christian. But he respected my decision and actually offered me a full-time job.
Our priorities will shape our lives and our souls.
This plan may work differently for you in your own context. But the fact is that in all our commitments, and however difficult it may seem, we must encourage each other not to compromise by meeting regularly with our Christian community. We must ask God to give us the courage to be frank and consistent with our priorities. For our priorities matter to God, as they will also shape our lives and our souls.
Fellowship is fundamental to Christian identity
The life of communion is a fundamental part of our identity as the people of God. It is part of who we are as Christians, those who have put their trust in Jesus. Moreover, when we become Christians, we become part of the body of Christ, the church. A delightful example of Christian community is seen in Acts 2:42-47, where “believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers…and they had all things in common “.
Life is busy and demanding. We have goals to achieve and deadlines to meet. We are caught up in our work or other commitments. Unfortunately, we often end up compromising on one of the most precious things: time spent with God’s people. Now, I’m not saying that our work is less important than fellowship with other believers. My intention is rather to raise the issue of priorities.
We shouldn’t just fellowship when we have time. We should rather give him time.
We shouldn’t just fellowship with other believers when we have time. We should rather give him time. Therefore, we must live in fellowship as believers because God created us to be in fellowship with him and to be in fellowship with one another. Psalm 133:1 reminds us of the beauty of coming together in unity as the people of God, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell in unity!” God created us for fellowship.
“Don’t neglect to get together”
I have personally seen great value in meeting with the people of God. This had a huge impact on my faith. And I grew as a result of my encounters with other believers under the teaching of the word of God, to encourage, rebuke and carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2). As Proverbs 27:17 reminds us, “Iron sharpens iron, and man sharpens man.” The Christian community has also been a strength when I felt weak.
So the more I met for Christian fellowship, the more I wanted to spend more and more time with them, both in good times and bad. It’s worth more than anything. It is priceless. Thanks be to God for ministers who faithfully admonish us not to neglect meeting with other believers because it has eternal value (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We should aspire to fellowship with each other for the sake of spiritual growth.
Therefore, as the people of God, we should constantly yearn for fellowship with one another, in every season of life, for our spiritual growth and godliness. Coming together in fellowship as the people of God is rewarding and invaluable. So, we should take our fellowship time seriously as our response of gratitude to God for what he has done for us through Jesus on the cross, and for obeying him as our Lord.