Fellowship of Believers

27 03 2009

Hey guys,

 

I came across this article in Radiant Magazine this past week and I felt like I needed to share it with you guys.  I know sometimes it’s really hard to see the necessity of going through the motions of church.  Believe me, I’ve done my fair share of church shopping and I know how sucky that is.  I’ve got some pretty funny stories about church shopping too…ask me about them sometime…and sometimes membership at Bedside Baptist is so much easier.  But even if you need to take a break from Church at times please don’t stay away for good.  Its an important part of your spiritual walk.

 

Fellowship with Believers

by Ann Swindell, a freelance writer and graduate student.

 

            With the plethora of spiritual opportunities available today, it can seem like corporate worship is only one aspect of our spiritual lives. With Christian conferences, concerts, books, downloads, specialized Bibles and personal Bible studies at our fingertips, the local church has, for many of us, taken a backseat to everything else.

            But without corporate worship at the center of our walk with Christ, our faith can become polarized and self-serving. We read the Bible through our own lens of experience and fail to talk to others about what we are reading. We sense God’s guidance in our lives but never ask other believers about the path we want to take.

            And so the local church—and the accountability there—is central to our growth as believers in Christ. The reason for this importance is simple to understand but difficult to live out: fidelity. Just like fidelity in marriage, fidelity to the local church commits us to something greater than ourselves—a group of people seeking to serve Christ in and through one another.

            Staying in one congregation, especially when the going gets tough, is not an easy thing to do. The truth is this: Staying at the same church and being committed to the messy group of people who make up that unique body of Christ is hard. Like any spiritual discipline, it requires effort, energy and loads of self-sacrifice. Are the people there unlike you? Christ’s disciples did not always see eye-to-eye either. Are the leaders imperfect? Welcome to humanity. Unless you have some theological qualms with the church, or the leaders are acting immorally or condoning unholy practices, staying in our local body of fumbling believers will teach us more about Christ’s love and fidelity to us than almost anything else.

 

Words of Wisdom…

“The local congregation is the place and community for listening to and obeying Christ’s commands, for inviting people to consider and respond to Jesus’ invitation, ‘Follow me,’ a place and community for worshiping God. It is the place and community where we are baptized into a Trinitarian identity and go on to mature ‘to the measure of the full stature of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13), where we can be taught the Scriptures and learn to discern the ways that we follow Jesus, the Way.”
Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way

 

“Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. No Christian community is more or less than this … We belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

 

 “Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love. ”
Henri Nouwen

 

I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

Eph. 4:2-6 (MSG)

 

THE CHURCH NEEDS YOU JUST AS MUCH AS YOU NEED THE CHURCH.

 

Find time to be with a Body of believers this Lenten Season.  Christ wants to move in His people.

 

To the King!

Katy

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