#654. FELLOWSHIP HELPS US TO EXPERIENCE GOD’S LOVE (23/9/22)
This week, in our Devoted vision series, we are looking at God's desire that we be a community which is devoted to 'fellowship'.
Summary: We most often experience the love of God through one another as we are devoted to fellowship.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)
Enjoying God’s presence and love is often thought of in terms of emotions that wash over us from time to time and this is not to be dismissed. However, most of the time, we experience God’s love through our brothers and sisters in the church. As The Body of Christ, Jesus speaks to us and reaches out to us through our church family. Tim Chester wrote:
‘We enjoy God when we receive love “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another,” says John in 1 John 4 v 12-13, “God lives in us and his love is made complete in us”. John’s point is this: we can’t see God, but we can see one another. So we see the love of the invisible God in the love of the visible church. God’s love becomes a reality that can be seen and heard and touched in the life of the Christian community. And brotherly love isn’t a poor substitute for the real thing. For brotherly love is divine love. God loves us through the love of other Christians. He loves us in other ways, of course—supremely in the gift of his Son. But the love we experience from other Christians starts with God.’ (Tim Chester, Enjoying God. Page 137)
Do you see that you and I are conduits of the love of God? Jesus loves through us. As the Spirit inspires and empowers us, we use our gifts and resources to show the love of God to people. It’s so important that we understand that fellowship is about giving and receiving the love of God from one another. It’s also important that we remember to see the love of God and thank God for the good things that come to us from our church family.
God can only work through us to show His love to the church if we are devoted to it! If we are hit and miss in our attendance; if we fail to invest in friendships; if we are easily offended and so too easily move church… God cannot work through us to show His love. Let’s be expectant and ready to allow the love of God to flow through us in words, acts of service, generosity, prayer…
TOGETHER IN SEPTEMBER
During September 2022, at CCP, we are having 'Together' meetings instead of our usual Community Groups. You are very welcome to attend these gatherings.
Please come to the church building at 7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings - refreshments and a meal will be available.