Sunday, February 8th, 2015
Fellowship (Part 3)
I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
John 14:20 (NKJV)
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV)
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3 (NKJV)
If God created us in His Image and for His pleasure, if God watches over us constantly and guides us surely, if God responds to our heartfelt prayers and delights in us, if God sent His Son to repair the breach and restore our place, then eternal fellowship is His goal.
Perhaps my relative newness as a Christian made the following discovery remarkable for me: 'In the entire history of Judaism--in all existing Books of the Old Testament and all existing books of extrabiblical Jewish writings dating from the beginning of Judaism until the tenth century A.D. in Italy, there is not a single reference of a Jewish person addressing God directly in the first person as Father' (R.C. Sproul).** God was acknowledged as their Father, but they did not speak to Him in such familiar terms.
Yet in the New Testament, Jesus constantly addresses God as His Father, and encourages us to do likewise: 'In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name' (Matthew 6:9). By His Son's sacrifice for our sins, our direct relationship with God was restored.
Not only does this fellowship bring us into Heaven upon earth's departure, it invites us into Heaven on this very day: 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him' (John 14:23). The proof of our commitment is keeping His Word. The Proof of His commitment was sending His Word:
'The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth' (John 1:14).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: if you want to impress an important director, commit to his lines and learn them. A relationship may follow. By his power, you may rise high in the entertainment industry.
If you want to impress your eternal Director, commit to His Lines and learn Them. A relationship will follow. By His power, you will rise not only in the entertainment industry but beyond it, to lead it. But always remember your first Love. Fellowship with God must precede and prevail over all other relationships in your life.
'And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost Commandment' (Matthew 22:37-38).
To Be Continued...
* Recommended Reading: 'Fellowship With God' (Charles Spurgeon Archives): http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0409.htm
* Short article: 'Why did God create us?' (Got Questions?): http://www.gotquestions.org/why-did-God-create-us.html
** Short article: 'What does it mean to call God our Father' (Ligonier Ministries, R.C. Sproul): http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/what-does-it-mean-us-call-god-our-father/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.