A man saved from a brutal gang gives his life to Jesus, the amazing grace of God lifts him out of the ash-heap and placed his feet upon a rock. The gang was like a family, they watched his back, they were closer than family… Surely his new found Christian family would be even closer, even more concerned about him, even more faithful…?
Some weeks following the man’s baptism, the pastor noticed that the saved gang member was absent from church – again.
They met to discuss his problem. He could not understand how the gang had his back, they shared everything, they would have died for one another but now, this new found Christian family was content to meet for an hour or two each week. They weren’t looking out for him, he felt abandoned…
This illustration comes from a series by Francis Chan, this particular episode was a teaching on fellowship.
I frequently become frustrated with the lack of fellowship, not just for me but for the numerous friends in different churches that express the same desire.
How much more should we desire to be with one another, our desire should be greater than that of a gang member, come on!!
The problem may stem from unforgiveness; why would I want to spend time with people that have hurt me? Or it may be that we are consumed with our own problems and concerns… Maybe we just don’t realise that we are a privileged people that have been saved into the family of Almighty God?
Acts 2 v 42 reads:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Ask yourself, ‘Am I devoted?’
Devoted to the teaching from the bible?
‘Am I devoted to fellowship?’
Fellowship with the woman in church who is opinionated.
Fellowship with the man with tattoos, an odd piercing and let’s face it we don’t know too much about his past!
Fellowship with the noisy family.
Fellowship with people from a different background, different aged children, a single parent…
All of these people make up the church, we have baggage, we find it difficult to forgive and well, who knows what our community thinks of us.
The church of Jesus Christ should be a community of believers that dwells together, not in the same house but they should be a community that interacts, that demonstrates forgiveness. His church should love one another so deeply that they guard one another, they should never be found to be gossiping about each other or even allowing others to say a bad word about their brethren.
Jesus laid down his life for His church. We are in ‘His gang’ and we should love each other so much that we are prepared to die for one another!
Are you devoted to the family of God? It’s a challenge for us all but Christ says “I will build my church.’