Ephesians 4:1-3 – I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
THEME OF THE DAY. DELIGHTFUL COMPANY. I grew up in an “Andy Griffith”, “Barney Fife” and “Mayberry” type of small town. Everyone knew everyone; neighborhoods were safe; doors in homes were left unlocked, going to the one barber in town meant three hours; thirty-minutes for the haircut and two and a half hours of talking to the town regulars. Our doctor made house calls; the little hospital had maybe twelve beds; and when high school football and basketball games were happening, the town shutdown. I have many fond memories of small town living and one of the fondest was the hospitality. It was not uncommon for friends and family to just show up at our house. No two-week appointments made; no calling in advance before dropping by for a visit. It just happened and it was welcomed. Having company with friends and families was a delight and would last for hours. And I never recall my parents enduring the unannounced visitors. They embraced them. The conversations and laughter were times of enjoyment, pleasure, and unhurried.
The church of Jesus Christ, His people, and His people living together in the bonds of His love and practicing Biblical fellowship with one another are to be just like that but with a spiritual emphasis. We gather on the Lord’s Day, and I hope outside the Lord’s Day, with the desire to be with one another in times that are unhurried, unforced, and with an emphasis on mutual spiritual encouragement. One of the things the Lord is doing in my church is developing this environment of love among His people. As a pastor, it warms my heart to watch God’s people not in a hurry to rush into church and then rush out. I am seeing more people “hanging around” and enjoying each other. And this is occurring outside of church and rightly so. I was recently encouraged when two dear sisters showed up at a Friday home prayer meeting after having dinner together. That is a great example of delighting in one another in the Lord and practicing together what the Lord desires of His people – mutual encouragement through prayer and obedience. Let me ask … is that us? Are we Christians investing in other Christians in unhurried, Christ-centered fellowship, even delighting in each other’s company around spiritual priorities? Friends, that is what the Lord desires and expects of us as His people. Such practice defines Biblical fellowship but there is a catch . . . we must be a growing Christian; growing in the four traits the Apostle Paul identifies in today’s scripture – humility, gentleness, patience, and love. We cannot be or offer what we aren’t or don’t have. These qualities are what makes a Christian spiritually attractive and a delight to be with. Are they not some of the very things making our Lord Jesus attractive and irresistible?
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have two goals to pursue in our relationships with other Christians. First, reflect Him to them in humility (thinking of others first), in gentleness (handling others with care), with patience (overlooking their failings), and by love (always putting the interests of others ahead of our own). If we are such people, who would not want to be in our presence? The other goal to strive for in our relationships with other Christians is to give them the greatest thing we can; ourselves in unhurried time of listening to them, encouraging them, and helping them grow in Christ. If for some reason, we are Christians who are not investing in other Christians, but always rushing in and out of church, never meeting with other believers outside of a Sunday morning for mutual encouragement and growth, we are guilty of two things; not practicing Biblical fellowship and not modeling the example of Christ to our brothers and sisters.
Delightful company. We should not only be so to other Christians, but ensure we are seeking to be in fellowship with Christians who are. We need it for our own growth as well as to help them grow in Christ.
PRAYER: “Lord, help me reflect You in all my relationships that I might encourage all in my relationships.”
QUOTE: “Christians should embrace our presence not endure our presence”