“let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now”
On Saturday, August 14th, we had a fellowship for our Bi-Vocational/Small Church Pastors and Wives. It was a great time of food, fellowship, and inspiration. Dr. Cook led us in a challenging devotional and Pastor Caroll Anthony shared a great characterization of an old revival preacher who took a train ride to heaven. We were all touched by his presentation. We are grateful for the six couples who attended. Our only regret is that more did not come and enjoy this great time. Our hope is to have another fellowship for them before too long.
As we gathered during this event, it was evident that there was a need for fellowship in the lives of these pastors and their wives. The fact of the matter is that fellowship is an important aspect in all our lives. We all need others around us for encouragement and support. This is an important part in the life of a church as well as in the life of the individual. The Lord designed us with the need for fellowship with others. He also desires us to have fellowship with Him and sometimes this fellowship is lacking in the lives of many Christians.
I know that the church’s fellowship activities have been challenged for the past many months and with a resurgence of COVID cases, its fellowship activities may be hampered again. I hope not, but only time will tell. But in the meantime, we should be gathering as often as we can and enjoying all the fellowship we can, but doing so as safely as we can – just using the good common sense the Lord gave us and protecting ourselves the best we can.
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT) says, 23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
Did you notice the challenges from these three verses?
First, Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Are you holding tightly without doubting to the hope you say you have in God? God is faithful. He will take care of you in and through everything. God never fails! He always keeps His promise.
Second, Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. Sadly, in times like these, it is easy to slip into a negative mindset and dwell only on the problems and troubles of life. We tend to become too centered on self and not concerned enough about the needs of others. Let’s look for ways to be positive and to encourage and spur on others to works of service to God and God’s people. Let’s commit to become an encourager and not a discourager.
Third, And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. Friends, the day of the Lord’s return is drawing near. The church needs to be meeting together and encouraging one another and looking for ways to further the Gospel. I know that some, for health reasons, don’t feel safe gathering in a crowd with others. I understand that, but let’s be real for a moment. Last year when COVID was raging, we found ways to go to the grocery store, the drug store, the fast-food drive-through, and other places. We put on masks, social distanced, and were as careful as possible so we could take care of these necessary things. Just as surely as physical food is needed for a body, spiritual food and fellowship with other believers is needed as well. One thing COVID taught us is that where there is a will there is a way. We learned to meet outside spread out and sitting in our lawn chairs. We even sat in our cars in church parking lots – but we found ways to gather as a church. Right now, we can still come to church and gather together – we just need to use caution and precaution (and lots of hand sanitizer), but we must not let anything hinder the cause of Christ in our world today. Too much is at stake. Too many lives are in spiritual jeopardy. The church has much work to do.
Friends, let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. Time is short. We need the church and the church needs us.
Please join me in praying for revival and spiritual awakening in America. Our only hope is in Jesus!
Working Together in His Service,
Roy Pr. 3:5-6