Fellowship in the Lord

A man with his arms raised inside a colorful light bulb.

Over the last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of traveling. I went to Nebraska to speak at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, the LCJE missions conference in Colorado, and the New Jersey District Pastor’s Conference. Each event and each day began and ended with prayer and reflection on God’s Word. Why?...

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3, ESV)

...Because it is Christ who joins us together. Our fellowship, our joy in the message of the Gospel, and our desire to share it with others begins with Jesus.

At the pastor’s conference one of our devotions revolved around 1 John. We read a few passages and then discussed them with one another at our tables. As we were reading I John 3:1-3, verse 2 jumped right out at me. “We know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is” (1 John. 3:2, ESV). So, who or what joins us together? Is it our fellowship? Is it our favorite hymn or musical style? No, it is Jesus - as we see Him, we become like Him and begin to love even as we are loved.

If we want to grow in our unity together, if we want to grow in fellowship together, if we want to grow in our zeal for reaching the lost, then we must keep Christ and His word in the center. People do not need more programs. They need more of Jesus, and they need to see and experience Christ’s love in our churches. That means we do not necessarily need big events. What we may need may just be to pray together and to share our faith around a movie, some food, or a campfire, or some other simple opportunity to be together, to build relationships, and to pray together.

While I was at the New Jersey District pastor’s conference we talked a lot about how to reach the next generation with the Gospel. One of the things that came up again and again was that people joined churches because they felt and received love, they were heard, and relationships were built. In other words, what drew them in was they could see and experience Christ-like love. Think about it this way:

Jesus is the light of the world (Jn 8:12). That means that we as Christians can only be the light of the world if we — like the moon — reflect the light of the Son. Scripture teaches us that God is love (1 Jn 4:7-21), and so if we want to be rooted and grounded in love, we must have the love of God working in our lives.

So, what steps might we take?

First, we can begin our fellowship events in our homes and churches with prayer and a brief devotion centered on the good news of God’s love for us revealed in Jesus Christ.

Second, we can pray to God that He would lead us by His Holy Spirit so that we would seek Christ and that, seeking Christ, we would be made more like Him. We can pray that Christ’s love would fill our hearts so that we would see everyone that is placed in our lives as Christ sees them.

Finally, spend today reading some of the great passages that remind us of God’s grace — unearned favor — shown to us in Jesus Christ. Passages that remind us of the love of God that we do not earn, do not deserve, but that He gives and reveals to us in our Lord (Isaiah 53:1-6; 1 John 4:7-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:14-17).

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, You show and teach us what love looks like. But more than that, in you, we receive and experience the unearned love of God. Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit that being conformed to Your image and experiencing Your abounding mercy and favor we may also grow love for one another. May our churches be places where people see You and where people feel welcomed into the family of God. In Your holy name, we pray.



Pastor Peiser

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Download Our Latest Newsletter