Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Qualities of a Powerful Fellowship

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9
The People Have Brotherly Love
In 1969, the Hollies singing group recorded a song soon to be a number one hit across the nation.  “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” was an almost instant hit.  Who could not be touched by the poignant words and lyrical picture painted by that song.  There is just something about how love in a relationship can lighten a load.
Peter says that when you “sum it up”, one of the qualities of a powerful church is they love like brothers.  The word used is the base word for Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love.  This is not a God-love shown to each other.  It is not “agape” love that loves without having to have a reason.  It is the human kindness which is a sign of being a child of God. Jesus said of those who followed Him, By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35  
Kindness in the church is not something we demand but something we display.  There are those who join for attention instead of ministry.  Such persons in a family or a fellowship soon lose their usefulness and even become problems.  But the church that makes a difference is a church with a flowing, familial kindness and love.  There are not very many organizations that refer to each other as “brother” or “sister” anymore.  It just seems so old-fashioned and out of place.  In the world today that may be so, but the truth is those in the church are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
It feels good to have a family.  There is a sense in which I feel connected and accepted when I belong to a family.  For many of us, we are the only survivors of our earthly family. Or, our family is so spread out we really have no “ties that bind” except for the fellowship of those in the church.  I have heard family members refer to one another as “blood kin”.  Well, so are my brothers and sisters in the church; we are one in the blood of Christ! 
Peter says that an important quality of a good fellowship is that it feels like a family.  We could not agree more.

Scripture to Claim

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

Devotional Archive