Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Fellowship (Part 14)
Essentials: Quality Time
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42 (NASB)
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)
The greatest regret of modern parents is about time: too much spent at work and too little spent with kids.* Is the greatest regret of modern churches also about time? Too much spent in business and too little spent in fellowship? Are 60 minutes on Sunday sufficient? Can we go deep with our brethren when we're diving in a sermon?
Which brings two more regrets; many young Christians leave the church and most new conversions don't last. Both become victims of dip and dash: The dip into holy Baptism followed by a dash back to an unholy world: a world ruled by positions and possessions.
Too many of us skip the walk of discipleship. Between the Doorway of Christ and the Gateway of Heaven is a path. Death is its only exemption. But for those of us still here, the ones who call themselves Christians, we have a duty to fulfill on earth: a 'Walk in the Spirit' (Galatians 5:25), a 'Way of righteousness' (Proverbs 8:20), a 'Highway of holiness' (Isaiah 35:8).
To become seasoned saints takes time. Quality time. Time in fellowship with God, His Word and His people. Without this maturing process, we remain spiritual babies: vulnerable to sweet temptations, hard attacks and easy surrender. But this surrender is not to the 'King of kings' (Revelation 19:16), but to 'The ruler of this world' (John 12:31).**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Jesus spent three years training His disciples. When He left, their instruction continued by means of His Holy Spirit. So don't neglect your own training time. To become effective spiritual warriors, to become a force in media, you don't just need air time, you need God time.
Whatever you think your priorities are, reorder them to include fellowship with God, His Word and His people. Don't allow their lack to become your biggest regret.
To Be Continued...
* Parent's Greatest Regret: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/22/top-five-parenting-regrets; http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/regrets-if-youre-a-parent-youll-have-a-few-20120920-268y2.html
** Article: 'Dropouts and Disciples': http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html?paging=off
** Article: 'Why are so many young people falling away from the faith?': http://www.gotquestions.org/falling-away.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.