Friday, February 13, 2015

Fellowship and Encouragement

- "The Greek word translated stir up has come into English as paroxysm, which means a 'convulsion.' In this context the Greek word speaks forcefully of the tremendous impact believers can have on each other." (from NKJV Study Bible's commentary) We are to stimulate one another to love (God and people) more/better and to do good works for God's glory. Let's think of ways we can get one another excited about loving (agape) and doing good deeds. I like the root words for "enthusiasm" which are 'en' (meaning 'in') and 'theos' (meaning 'God'). When we're really in God (abiding in Christ), we delight in sharing His love with others and in doing what pleases Him. We will enjoy doing good deeds, motivated by our love for God and people. Those who have been redeemed from all wickedness and been purified by Christ are eager/enthusiastic to do what is good (Titus 2:14). Enthusiasm is contagious. One of the ways to stimulate others is by example. Our enthusiasm for the work of God can rub off on each other. Other ways include praying, sharing God's Word, studying God's Word together (as we're doing here), and encouraging. Right now I'd like to encourage y'all with these verses and a quote :). "God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8) "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) "Life is ripe with opportunities to learn love...The world is not a playground; it's a classroom, and the eternal lesson is learning how to love better." (Henry Drummond)

- Do not stop meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ. Fellowship with other believers is important. It helps strengthen one another's faith and exhort one another to fruitful service. Brothers and sisters in Christ should be there for one another...helping, serving, refreshing, comforting, edifying, encouraging, praying with & for one another. The goal of our assembling is not just to have a social gathering or check off a to-do list; it's meant for mutual spiritual edification. When Christians are united in serving the Lord, they can become a mighty force for the kingdom of God. Let us enjoy the strength and fellowship available in the body of Christ. We are better and stronger together. "Christians are like coals of fire--together, they glow; apart, they grow cold." (Unknown) 
"Christian fellowship provides us

With encouragement and love;
It will help us in our journey,

Till we reach our home above." (Sper)

- As time gets closer and closer to Christ's return, we should encourage one another even more to remain faithful to Him, to be strong & courageous, to fight the good fight of faith, and to run the race with perseverance.

- Prayer: 
"Lord, help us see how much we need each other
As we walk along the Christian way;
In fellowship with sister and with brother,
You will keep us growing day by day." (Hess)

Brethren, We Have Met to Worship (written by George Atkins)

Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.

Sisters, will you join and help us? Moses’ sister aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior, tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Is there here a trembling jailer, seeking grace, and filled with tears?
Is there here a weeping Mary, pouring forth a flood of tears?
Brethren, join your cries to help them; sisters, let your prayers abound;
Pray, Oh pray that holy manna may be scattered all around.

Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to Heaven, at His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.

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