…fellowship… (four times in 1 John 1:3, 6, 7)
The word “fellowship” is the Greek word koinonia. It means intimacy of relationship.
All of the apostle John’s books carry this key theme: Jesus loves us so this is how we should live differently because of that love.
Koinonia means giving all I’ve got to someone else, and graciously receiving all they have to give to me. This creates a…
John says that fellowship with God can’t help but be expressed in fellowship with others. And then fellowship with others stimulates us to a deeper relationship with God. This love dance is itself a picture of the Ultimate Koinonia of the Trinity—“I am in You, Father, and You are in Me. These followers of Us are in Me and I in them,” said Jesus.
Don’t try to pursue a relationship with Jesus on your own, but find people that you can be in fellowship with and then watch how that deepens your fellowship with God!
If I were to ask you to define the material/physical part of you versus the immaterial part of you, it probably wouldn’t be too difficult. Obviously, we can touch the physical part but we cannot touch the immaterial part.
But human as a three-part being—we have a body, a soul, and a spirit. So if I were to now ask you to describe the “dividing line” between the two immaterial parts of us (the soul and the spirit), you would probably have a more difficult time coming up with a definition.
Both terms are used throughout the Bible. Sometimes it seems the words soul and spirit are almost used interchangeably, but they are most assuredly two separate parts of what makes us us.
Please check out this chart that I shared with my friends at Calvary Assembly of God, and perhaps even take a few minutes to watch the video below. If you would like to download a PDF version of this chart, you may do so by clicking here → Soul and spirit side-by-side ←
Verses referenced—Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7; Ezekiel 18:20; Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 4:12
Sarah Young beautifully weaves together passages from the Bible to help us hear Jesus talking to us in the first person. Check out my review of Jesus Always by clicking here.
“‘Rejoice always’ [1 Thessalonians 5:16]. When your mind is going down an unpleasant, gloomy path, stop it in its tracks with this glorious command. See how many times each day you can remind yourself to rejoice. … These joyful thoughts will light up both your mind and your heart, enabling you to find more pleasure in your life. Choosing to rejoice will bless you and those around you.”
“You definitely need Me as your shield. I protect you from many dangers—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Sometimes you’re aware of My protective work on your behalf, but I also shield you from perils you never even suspect. Find comfort in this assurance of My powerful presence watching over you. Fear no evil, My cherished one, for I am with you.”
“The Trinity, comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a great gift to you; it is also a mystery far beyond your comprehension. This blessing of three Persons in One greatly enriches your prayer life. You can pray to the Father in My name; you can also speak directly to Me. And the Holy Spirit is continually available to help you with your prayers.”
“Although many of your prayers are not yet answered, you can find hope in My great faithfulness. I keep all My promises in My perfect way and timing. … I hold back till you’re ready to receive the things I have lovingly prepared for you.”
“Living in this very broken world requires bravery on your part. Since bravery is not the default setting in most human hearts, you will need My help to be strong and courageous.”
“I have infinite power, so ‘impossibilities’ are My specialty. I delight in them because they display My glory so vividly.”
“No matter how you’re feeling, remember that you are not on trial. There is no condemnation for those who belong to Me—those who know Me as Savior. You have already been judged ‘Not guilty!’ in the courts of heaven.”
“Your best preparation for the journey ahead is practicing My presence each day. … Trust Me—your Guide— to show you the way forward as you go step by step. I have a perfect sense of direction, so don’t worry about getting lost. Relax in My presence, and rejoice in the wonder of sharing your whole life with Me.”
“As the world grows increasingly dark, remember that you are the light of the world. Don’t waste energy lamenting bad things over which you have no control. Pray about these things, but refuse to let them haunt your thoughts. Instead, focus your energies on doing what you can to brighten the place where I have put you. Use your time, talents, and resources to push back the darkness. Shine My light into the world!”
“Be willing to take responsibility for your own mistakes and sin without feeling responsible for the sinful failures of others. I am here to help you untangle your complex problems…. Be willing to live with unresolved problems, but don’t let them be your focus. My presence in the present is your portion.”
“An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God—that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying—the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on—the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life—what I called Zoe or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.” —C.S. Lewis
Sadly, Brennan Manning pointed out that Christians “have come a long sad journey from the first century, when pagans exclaimed with awe and wonder, ‘See how these Christians love one another!’”
When I read this, I don’t want to throw in the towel, but I want to reclaim this awe and wonder!
One of the things that will quickly kill relationships is having low expectations for the other person or for the relationship itself. This can be counteracted by having higher expectations for other people and for our relationships with them.
John Maxwell noted, “People rise or fall to meet our level of expectations for them. If you express skepticism and doubt in others, they’ll return your lack of confidence with mediocrity. But if you believe in them and expect them to do well, they’ll wear themselves out trying to do their best.”
Consider the high expectations that God had for a relationship with us. If He had low expectations, one of the best-known verses in the Bible would be, “God thought a few people in the world had something worth saving, so He sent a handful of angels to tell us His story.”
Instead, the verse tells us: God so loved the entire world that He sent the very best that He had—He sent His One and Only Son!
Since God has this high expectation for us … what would happen if we had the same high expectations for everyone with whom we came into contact? What would happen if we believed the best for everybody, and then gave all that we could to bring the best out of them? I think that once again people would exclaim with awe and wonder,
We will be talking more about Relationship Builders & Killers this Sunday and I would love if you could join me!