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Thursday, March 16, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS.

Fellowship with God means warfare with the world. – Charles E. Fuller.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. - 1 Cor 1:9-10. ESV

Three times a month, Jermaine Washington and Michelle Stevens get together for what they call a "gratitude lunch." With good reason! Washington donated a kidney to Stevens, whom he described as "just a friend." They met at work where they used to have lunch together. One day Michelle wept as she spoke about waiting on a kidney donor list for 11 months.

She was being sustained by kidney dialysis, but suffered chronic fatigue and blackouts and was plagued by joint pain. Because Washington couldn't stand the thought of watching his friend die, he gave her one of his kidneys. When you've got something great to be thankful for, having a "gratitude lunch" is a great way to celebrate. - Today in the Word.

Paul is emphasizing the integrity of the Father here, as he appeals to the people who were causing division in the Church. He clearly tells them that they were brought into fellowship with Jesus, by the Father, who is FAITHFUL to His PROMISES…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Phil 1:6; He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. - 1Thes 5:24.

Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called "House of Dying," where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily.

"How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?" he asked. Mother Teresa replied, "My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful." - Beyond Hunger.

There are a number of places in His word, that God has promised to bless His followers, and His faithfulness binds Him to fulfill His promises; therefore he will do it. On the basis of this, Paul calls upon the authority of the name of Jesus and encourages them to be in agreement with the teachings, in order that there would be no division amongst them and that if they complied with this they would be PERFECTLY UNITED in their minds and thoughts.

"To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may be one, even as we are one?" (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless... Unite, unite!"

Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. Our Lord's prayer in John 17 must be read in its full context. Look at verse 17: "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth."

Only those sanctified through the Word can be one in Christ. To teach otherwise is to betray the Gospel. - Charles H. Spurgeon.

What a pattern for the Church of today to follow. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be in agreement with the teachings of Christ? Our fellowship with Him would be so much more appealing and wholesome! What an encourager our God is! Hallelujah!

An elderly preacher was rebuked by one of his deacons one Sunday morning before the service. "Pastor," said the man, "something must be wrong with your preaching and your work. There's been only one person added to the church in a whole year, and he's just a boy." The minister listened, his eyes moistening and his thin hand trembling. "I feel it all," he replied, "but God knows I've tried to do my duty."

On that day the minister's heart was heavy as he stood before his flock. As he finished the message, he felt a strong inclination to resign. After everyone else had left, that one boy came to him and asked, "Do you think if I worked hard for an education, I could become a preacher--perhaps a missionary?" Again tears welled up in the minister's eyes. "Ah, this heals the ache I feel," he said. "Robert, I see the Divine hand now. May God bless you, my boy. Yes, I think you will become a preacher."

Many years later an aged missionary returned to London from Africa. His name was spoken with reverence. Nobles invited him to their homes. He had added many souls to the church of Jesus Christ, reaching even some of Africa's most savage chiefs. His name was Robert Moffat, the same Robert who years before had spoken to the pastor that Sunday morning in the old Scottish Kirk. Lord, help us to be faithful. Then give us the grace to leave the results to you. - Source Unknown.

We need no more to make us joyful, than to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an ever-flowing, and an over-flowing fountain of grace, that provides all our needs.

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be in agreement with my fellow Christians in the teachings of Christ, help me to make the effort for perfect unity, and I thank you that my fellowship with Jesus will be richer because of it! In the wonderful Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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