October 22, 2014 Closer than close – fellowship

22 Oct

Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 65-66, 1 Timothy 2 

It’s true that our highest joys and deepest hurts come from our relationships.

brokenIf you ever had a crush and they didn’t feel the same way you did, you may know what it feels like to have a “broken heart”.  There is a risk any time we share life together BUT there is also the potential for the greatest joys.

In Luke 15, when Jesus talks about the Prodigal Son, the Father was devastated when his son demanded his inheritance and left home.

You can feel the hurt the day Jesus met the rich man:

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” ”Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your richfather and mother.’” ”Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:17-23 (NIV)

Jesus was crushed, and so was Peter when he denied knowing Jesus on the night when He needed him the most.

marriageMarriage, which is the highest human expression of fellowship, can be among the most devastating moments for any human heart when it ends in divorce. Feelings of not being loved. Loss of worth. A sense of abandonment. Guilt over the past and questions about the future, all can leave a hole in the heart that seems at times impossible to fill, and for some, wondering how they will survive alone.

YET, with all that can go wrong within a marriage, the Lord of Creation designed it to be among the highest joys of fellowship, and compared it to THE MOST important relationship of all – the relationship, the fellowship, between Christ and His church.

Ephesians 5:32 (NIV) This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Did you know that sexual intercourse between a husband and wife comes from the Greek word, “koitē” . The word for fellowship in the Greek is “koinonia”. See the similarities?

The God-designed intimacy of husband and wife is THE ultimate human expression of closeness, second only to one relationship that is even closer:

1 John 1:3 (ESV) …fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Christ's loveThe Father’s desire is koinonia with you, a fellowship that is only possible when Christ lives in us by grace through believing.We offer Him our fellowship as we believe and love one another.

1 John 3:23-24 (ESV) …we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

As His Spirit “abides in us” it is possible for us to have a closer relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – even closer than the one He planned and designed in marriage.

the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:17 (ESV)

God chooses to live in us by His Holy Spirit. That’s close.

You honor me, Father, because You call me Your child and You love me through the merits, mercies and grace of Your only Son, Jesus Christ my Lord. I stand amazed that You willingly choose to live in me by Your Holy Spirit. By Your grace, make me pure and holy so that the name of Christ may be heard through my lips, seen in my life, and known by Your good works done by Your Spirit who lives in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Posted in Bold Church, Why Church

Copyright CWS 2013