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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Words of Encouragement March 26, 2017

An elder brother, retired pastor, spoke to us again in Sunday School. Although he noted the distress in the world today, he encouraged us to be like Paul, pressing on toward the goal for the prize. Philippians 3:13-14. He inspired us by his resolute faith in God’s control of affairs.

Pastor continued the DNA Who We Are series.
Week 1. We must always be advancing the Gospel to win the world to Christ.
Week 2: We must have discipleship with movement that leads to greater commitment and life change.
This week- 3: We must have fellowship that builds belonging.

When we face new settings we often feel like strangers. Everyone else knows each other, but you are the stranger. The existing group has a closeness accompanied by openness. We want that family feel. A strong church will have a fellowship culture that is accepting; not a culture that judges spirituality.

Fellowship is defined: The communion or common faith, experiences and expressions shared by the family of believers, as well as the intimate relationship they have with God.

The church community needs time to meet face to face. There, fellowship can build trust; build belonging. Believers are all one in Christ. Galatians 3:26-29.

Fellowship breaks down the walls that our culture has put up. Shared faith in Christ breaks down those walls. There is only one significant barrier that remains - shared faith. Jesus came to divide- believers and unbelievers. We share the joy of fellowship. 1 John 1:3-7.

Point: Fellowship builds belonging. Belonging built on faith in Jesus and relationship within the church.

Fellowship is not an event, like a potluck supper, but a way of life. It should be revealed in the lives of believers. 2 Corinthians 3:2. It should result in “hearts tender and compassionate” as we live in Unity. Philippians 2:1-4.

Fellowship is intentional. Trust requires mutual vulnerability. Healthy churches have a commitment to fellowship. This is part of body ministry. A Church that welcomes and unifies family, not allowing division.

This is an old favorite song which I think fits what the church legacy should be
 – And fits the SS and Sermon messages.
Verses for Today:
Philippians 2:1-4 NLT
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Lord, help me to be committed to fellowship, sharing your love to further your kingdom.

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