Tag Archives: servitude

The Finest in Fellowship

fellowsI had no idea in 1996 when I kneeled at that altar of grace and ask Jesus to save my soul, what a package deal it was. Jesus not only became the best friend that I could ever have, He gave me a flock of friends that I didn’t even know! As I read Philippians 4 this morning, I identified with Paul from the standpoint that I long for the fellowship of His people, because they’re my people. I’m in awe sometimes when I realize the depth of friendships that are unexplainable. It’s not until I lose one, and realize the very deep hole in my life, that I understand the angst in Paul’s writing  in 2 Timothy 4:10 when he said “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;”  While he Philemon 1:24 he had written that Demas was a “fellowlabourer.”

Church fellows are special…

Fellowship defined is a group of people sharing and pursuing the same passion and interest.  I wouldn’t say that in any church everyone is in fellowship. There are those who attend church for reasons other than spiritual edification… I don’t get it, but I know it’s true. It’s my prayer that they will eventually get it. Until then I’ll continue to love and pray for them. But it’s not them that have my heart stirred this morning, it’s the church fellows. The ones I labor with and long for. They’re a special lot that only a child of God can have the privilege of knowing.

Fellowlabourer

The church worker. Society would call it “volunteerism,” God says it’s our job. We’re not left down here to take up valuable pew space, nor are we left here to be entertained by the Pastor. It’s not his job to spoon feed me my daily victuals of the Word of God, nor is it his job to take care of everyone in the church. It’s his job to train and lead folks how to serve God and to encourage them. He too is a fellowlabourer in Christ. He’s just got more responsibility and accountability.

Paul tells the people of Philippi in Philippians Chapter 1, many of whom he had no doubt won to the Lord, “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Stand fast! You’re jewels in my crown and you are loved! That’s how I feel about the people that I serve with in Victory Baptist Church, and those that the Lord has given me through other avenues of the faith. They bring such joy to my heart! I know that we are laboring for the same cause and I long for their fellowship. Even for those I’ve yet to meet face to face! That’s the unexplainable… that you know them because of the Spirit of God in them and in you.

Fellowprisoner

Paul, at the writing of the book of Philippians, was in prison and yet had joy. His joy was not likely contributed to his stellar living conditions, but rather to his stellar friends. Even in the worst of days the people of Victory Baptist Church and my other friends of faith bring joy to my life because they encourage me and they have a genuine burden for me when I have struggles in life. Paul’s friends weren’t Sunday saints. They were seven day a week, we’re in it to win it fellowprisoners with Paul. He may have been behind bars but they were behind him in prayer and provision. Glory to God! Is that not what we should be to one another? I’m blessed with that in my life…

Fellowservant

Paul’s friends weren’t perfect, they evidently had issues like we Baptists, else why would he say in verse 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” Evidently they’re minds had not always been the same, a division was there. And let me tell you who loves division… that’s Satan’s playground. He’ll play on that merry-go-round forever if he’s allowed. He’s on those monkeybars in my life right now. Division comes when people get their minds off the purpose of Christ which is to get people in a relationship with Him. So what if we have an opinion… was it Christ’s opinion? And did that opinion help you serve the Lord or did it hinder the service of the Lord because you were wrapped up in it? We’re not here to serve ourselves. I praise God for a church and pastor that preaches servitude in our community!

Church fellows are special people, not to be taken for granted. Paul mentioned by name those who he cared for… in verses three and four he laid the charge to his “true” yokefellows, those that believed as he did – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Although I love and live to serve every fellow in the church, that’s not what makes me rejoice. What makes me rejoice is when their name is written in the book of life, it’s written upon the hand of Jesus and then He inscribes their watch care to me and mine to them through the Holy Spirit. Paul’s people took care of him, take care of your people. They’re special…

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

How to Survive a Marriage

chick marriage

Last evening I sat across the table from a preacher friend at Bearfork Bluegrass. As he waited for his hotdog to cool down we talked about love and life. Eighty three years old and he just lost the love of his life last fall; I’ve met few people in my lifetime who loved their spouse the way he does. Alzheimer’s took her to meet Jesus, but he travels on alone down here, and while he does he’s learning to play banjo! That’s right, 83 and taking beginner banjo lessons, I love this man’s enthusiasm for living and I love his passion for living out the gospel.

I heard it once said that marriage is not so much the Love boat as it is a battleship. That’s a true story. I haven’t had 35 years of wedded bliss, I’ve loved David for 35 years, but he, nor I have always liked the other. I’m just being real. So why did we stay married? Because when I married him I committed my love to him till death do us part; somedays I thought one of us might kill the other and death would happen, but the next day was better and so it’s been our story. Life’s not always easy…

In today’s society marriage is like a car purchase and the commitments about as long. Before they’ve invested any money into the principal payment, they’re cruising the showroom for a new model, and usually one with a higher payment. Mine’s a 1980 model with a lot of miles. The paint job needs touched up and the gasoline in my tank is now a half dozen different vitamins and a few Tylenol each day, that’s what I run on! But I’m blessed.

The preacher reminded me of that last night when he discussed his counseling method for couples desiring his marrying officiation. He told me he required four sessions before he’d agree to conduct the ceremony. One each for the bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. That’ll preach! I told him, he said it did. He also began his sessions with the scripture in John 2:1-11

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Three things hold true on why my marriage has survived.

1. Jesus was invited into the Marriage

Although Jesus was a late invitation into mine, He was still invited into my marriage. How much wiser had it have been if He had been an invited guest at the wedding? But having a Christian foundation from my childhood and two parents who lived out the Christian marriage before me, I held onto what I’d been taught until Christ became a guiding factor in my own life. Once Christ was invited in I realized that we are all sinners saved by grace, and grace is what we afford those we love. Praise God it’s been afforded to me many times down through the years.

2. I Celebrate servitude

When Jesus changed the water into wine only the servants knew the truth. Everyone else drank of the result. I love being a wife. I love cooking dinner and doing laundry and sweeping the floor dozens of times a day from muddy work boots and such. (Said no woman ever) But I do love serving my husband, and if that’s the things I need to do to make his life better, then I’ll gladly do it. Thirty five years have taught me to appreciate the things David does. He provides for our family, he works hard and he has a servant’s heart for volunteerism. We both love serving people. It took me a while to learn that an attitude of servitude is what makes a happy home, but it’s truth.

3. I Listen to Jesus

Marriage didn’t come with a manual but it did come with a book, the Bible. As I read and studied the scriptures the very things I needed for the very day I needed it was there. David and I may not have always shared love letters, but Jesus and I did. His word reminds me every day of how much He loves me. Jesus never brought up my past, He only spoke of this day and the future. And that’s how I’ve loved David. I love him today and look forward to the future. I reminisce on the goodness of the past, but I bury the hard bad times like Christ buried my sins. Oh sure, Satan tries to bring them up, but I plant a flower in that ground, say “rest in peace” and move on!

 

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]