I just left my first of 23 (already on the calendar) Home Fellowship Groups. What a blessing! I designed these group meetings so that I could encourage the FBC family, but I left the meeting as the one encouraged.
That’s how Christ’s body works. He loves us through each other. He blesses us through each other.
The love of Jesus is not sappy sentimentality. It is the life of the Holy Spirit in and through us – God’s love “poured into our hearts” (Romans 5:5). Wow! That’s what I experienced in the home of one of our church members.
I observed hospitality, service, sacrifice, and fellowship. But I also witnessed Christian believers shouldering the burdens of others, sharing the wonder of Christian joy, and pursuing genuine unity – all for God’s glory. Kingdom living. Where Christ dwells, there are open doors and open hearts.
Pastor Chris Strevel writes: “The single aim of every Christian is for the Lord to be glorified. How else can he be glorified unless we know his presence in our midst? How is his presence known except by the teaching, serving, helping, loving, giving, encouraging, and governing that he continues to exercise in his church through his love-gifts to the whole body? Then, when each one of us feels his dependence upon the Lord, when we see that he supplies for our every need by his fullness in our midst, then we are led to give him all the praise, honor, and glory. We recognize that our lives belong to him – look what he has made of such sinners – a selfish sinner encourages; an ignorant, blind man teaches; a greedy man gives of his goods to help another. What else is this but the power of Christ in our midst? Who would not wish to share in … his own love for his Bride?”
There ought to be no such thing as a solo Christian, for all of us stand in perpetual need of the mutual encouragement that should mark the body of Christ. When we care for one another, we demonstrate the compassion that took our Savior all the way to the cross. Our hospitality, generosity, and kindness become the practical and real outworking of the love of Jesus.
Beloved, you have no idea how poised this church is to seriously advance the kingdom of Christ! When I look around this place, I see a hunger for truth, a Scriptural gospel, a passion for worship, a love for the lost, a brokenness over past sins, a gratitude for today’s blessings, and a prayerful (Biblical, hopeful, trusting, confident, faithful) expectancy for the days ahead.
And the glimmering bow on the shiny package on my first meeting was a roomful of people who want to die to themselves and live for Christ and others.
My cup runneth over.