Tag Archives: Fellowship

What Good Friday Is All About

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.“ Hebrews 7:25

The great passion of the writer of Hebrews is that we “draw near” to God (Hebrews 4:16; 7:25; 10:22; 11:6). Draw near to his throne to find all the help we need. Draw near to him, confident that he will reward us with all that he is for us in Jesus. And this is clearly what he means in Hebrews 10:22, because verse 19 says that we have confidence “to enter the holy place,” that is, the new heavenly “holy of holies,” like that inner room in the old tabernacle of the Old Testament where the high priest met with God once a year, and where his glory descended on the ark of the covenant.

So the one command, the one exhortation, that we are given in Hebrews 10:19–22 is to draw near to God. The great aim of this writer is that we get near God, that we have fellowship with him, that we not settle for a Christian life at a distance from God, that God not be a distant thought, but a near and present reality, that we experience what the old Puritans called communion with God.

This drawing near is not a physical act. It’s not building a tower of Babel, by your achievements, to get to heaven. It’s not necessarily going into a church building, or walking to an altar at the front. It is an invisible act of the heart. You can do it while standing absolutely still, or while lying in a hospital bed, or while sitting in a pew listening to a sermon.

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Love to the Uttermost Devotional Readings for Holy Week
John Piper

Spiritual Community

1 Chronicles 12:21-22 They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army. For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.”

Hebrews 10:24-25And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

It must have been amazing to watch David amassing men around himself until it was like the army of God — God is doing exactly the same thing in our days. The difference is the kinds of battles we’re fighting. David and his men engaged in physical warfare against bands of raiders; Philistines and local Canaanite tribes. We are in a spiritual war … “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

isolatedA program by National Geographic gives a powerful illustration for us. In the great annual wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park in Africa a giant herd, thousands of wildebeest, slowly move in groups across the plain. They are invariably followed by stalking lions. But the lions never attack the herd – they simply watch carefully for the stray wildebeest, either careless or seeking greener grass, who separates himself from the larger groups of animals. The isolated wildebeest will become the sudden prey of the lions who attack with lightening speed and ferocity.

We all need real relationships and spiritual community. It’s not enough to simply “go to church”. We need to be the community of believers, actively participating in loving, serving, praying, counseling, encouraging, admonishing, eating, rejoicing, weeping, and forgiving as the family of God.

Far too many people are isolated. Are you one of them? Do you know someone who is isolated? David’s army was successful and safe because they were together in mind heart and purpose. Wildebeest, as well, survive when they stick together. Find your spiritual community and be faithful to it. It should not be a formality, but a family reality with a warfare mentality.

You’re Helping to Build the Army of God!

1 Chronicles 12:21-22 “They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army. For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.”
Hebrews 10:25 “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
It must have been amazing to watch David amassing men around himself until it was like the army of God — Jesus is doing exactly the same thing in our days. The difference is the kinds of battles we’re fighting. David and his men engaged in physical warfare against bands of raiders; Philistines and local Canaanite tribes. We are in a spiritual war against “…principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” [Ephesians 6:12]
A program by National Geographic gives a powerful illustration for us. In the great annual wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park in Africa a giant herd, thousands of wildebeest, slowly move in groups across the plain. They are invariably followed by stalking lions. But the lions never attack the herd – they simply watch carefully for the stray wildebeest, either careless or seeking greener grass, who separates himself from the larger groups of animals. The isolated wildebeest will become the sudden prey of the lions who attack with lightening speed and ferocity.
In spiritual warfare isolation is equally dangerous, as our enemy roams like a roaring lion looking for separated brethren to prey upon. We all need real relationship and spiritual community for protection against our enemy who is constantly stalking vulnerable prey. It’s not enough to simply “go to church”. We need to be the community of believers, actively participating in loving, serving, praying, counseling, encouraging, admonishing, eating, rejoicing, weeping, and forgiving as the family of God.
Far too many are isolated, and seriously vulnerable to the spiritual attacks. Are you one of them? Do you know someone who is in this dangerous condition? David’s army was successful and safe because they were together in mind heart and purpose. Wildebeest, as well, survive when they stick together. Find your spiritual community and be faithful to it. It should not be a formality, but a family reality with a warfare mentality.

Avoiding Burnout In Your Walk With Christ

Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Often today, I hear about people who are burning out, wiping out, and shipwrecking their faith because they’re just tired. They’ve worked and worked their entire lives for the ministry until one day, they just decide it’s too much, so they quit. And some even become so jaded and burnt out that they completely abandon their faith.
I don’t want that kind of burnout to happen to me and I certainly don’t want it to happen to you. And the best way that we can be sure it won’t happen is by walking in the presence of Jesus and giving time for him each day. We do this by spending time in his Word, seeking his will in prayer, and fellowshipping with one another.
The best part of the Christian experience is walking day by day, one step at a time, with your God. When you do that, being faithful to your family, to your friends, and to your church will be a natural outflow of your walk with God.
AVOID BURNOUT IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BY WALKING IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS AND SPENDING TIME WITH HIM EACH DAY.

Avoiding Burnout In Your Walk With Christ

Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Often today, I hear about people who are burning out, wiping out, and shipwrecking their faith because they’re just tired. They’ve worked and worked their entire lives for the ministry until one day, they just decide it’s too much, so they quit. And some even become so jaded and burnt out that they completely abandon their faith.
I don’t want that kind of burnout to happen to me and I certainly don’t want it to happen to you. And the best way that we can be sure it won’t happen is by walking in the presence of Jesus and giving time for him each day. We do this by spending time in his Word, seeking his will in prayer, and fellowshipping with one another.
The best part of the Christian experience is walking day by day, one step at a time, with your God. When you do that, being faithful to your family, to your friends, and to your church will be a natural outflow of your walk with God.
AVOID BURNOUT IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BY WALKING IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS AND SPENDING TIME WITH HIM EACH DAY.