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FREED for Fellowship

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Fellowship is the thing I missed most when we were traveling full time in our RV. We were able to meet many incredible people on our journeys, but we were very aware that we would say goodbye and probably never meet again. It was never difficult to find friendly people along the way, however rarely could there be a deep bond of fellowship because the community we lived in was as temporary as shifting sands in the tide. The residents were always pulling up stakes and drifting to the next destination, the next campsite, where they would be surrounded with an entirely new community of people who would also be pulling up stakes and moving down the road.

There is a huge difference between sociability and fellowship. You can be sociable without really connecting on a meaningful level. Social Media is proof of this. I had over 1,500 "Friends" on my facebook page and a handful would pop in periodically to say howdy or to put in their 2 cents worth. There is no substitute for the bond of friendship that comes from a community of people who share your interests, your convictions and your deep concern for one another.

The cement of the community.

I love that this definition calls fellowship; "...the cement of the community." Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us , “… not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” . The Apostle Paul was very aware that the sheep wondering alone and in isolation was the most vulnerable prey for a hungry wolf or lion. There are many deceiving spirits in the world and when you have no one to encourage and exhort you to truth you may wander from the path and meander into false teachings. Who will sound the alarm for this defenseless individual?

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. Who hasn't been in a place where you found yourself flat on your face and overwhelmed with the enormity of that sickness, or that diagnosis, or that broken relationship? When I was diagnosed with cancer it was my church community praying over me and encouraging me and meeting my needs in a practical way that carried me through the pain and the darkness. Despair would have overtaken me without the strength of the Lord and fellowship of my church family.

"Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?" Ecclesiastes 4:11. Having lived in Connecticut for 9 years I know the meaning of cold. I can tell you that my dear husband warmed my icy toes many freezing nights. There have also been seasons in my life where I found myself stranded in a very dark, cold and confusing place all alone. It was during these times that the intimacy of one good friend, rather than a whole community, was appropriate to bring Godly counsel and "warmth" to my soul.

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”—Ecclesiastes 4:12. Have you ever slept alone in an empty house because all of your loved ones were away on business? If you are like me you lift your head off the pillow at least 20 times during the night to listen to every creaking noise the house makes. It's funny how much easier you sleep when you have the security of your strong, brave spouse by your side.

Hebrews 10:24 says, “… consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” I have certainly fallen short in this area more than once in my lifetime. When you are wounded all you can feel or think about is the throbbing pain from the wound. This pain can supersede the rational of the actual offense. If this wound is inflicted by a trusted friend or loved one it helps to have someone to give you perspective and encourage you in the ways of our Lord.

As we consider the value of friendship and the importance of fellowship lets not neglect to come together as often as we can to hold each other up, encourage one another and exhort to love and good works.

Go with God (and bring a friend!)

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