“God called you into a relationship of sharing with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful.” I Cor 1:9 (Simple English Bible)
My sons had a difficult time sharing at one time in their lives. Although my wife, Pat, and I ensured that not one son was favored over another, the two boys could compare and complain. It usually was a dispute over slices of cake, the amount of candy or bowls of popcorn. Neither appeared satisfied with their lot, feeling that the other was somehow favored.
This word “sharing” in this text refers to koinonia, the Greek term used twenty times in the New Testament. It is used to affirm the Christian lifestyle reality. It is a bond created by faith with our Lord. A bond of love, caring and fellowship with all those who belong to God.
This is not just an intellectual concept but one that brings all believers into a common faith, a common lifestyle and common union. When Christians partake of the Lord’s supper, it is the same fellowship of faith.
So then, when one Christian is in need or is sick or help, it is because of our common fellowship with our Father that we spring into action. We’re all in the same family, born of the water and the Spirit, crafted by God to perform works of excellence!
Is there perhaps someone who needs you today?
“Just remember, the person who brings that sinner back from wrong, will save his soul from death and many sins will be covered.” James 5:20 (Simple English Bible).
Forgive but not forget.
I’ve heard this phrase used many times when people and especially loved ones, are wronged. They reluctantly mouth the words of forgiveness but they stubbornly refuse to forget the wrong done to them.
Maybe it is just a hiccup gene in the human DNA strand. Perhaps a glitch in the software in our brains. Or it could just be that some people nurse their sling and arrow wounds to garner sympathy and point out a horrid wrong.
James shows us a completely different result — totally opposite to what the world holds to be right! He writes that once a sinner comes to Christ, forgiveness flows over that life and covers all the sins committed against God and everyone else. Astounding!
Perhaps instead of “forgiving” but not forgetting, we should ensure that Christ’s salvation is felt instead. Not only will the sins be forgiven but any wrongs done against us will be, too!
Can we try that for awhile?
“Everything that was written long ago was written to teach us. We should learn that we can have hope through the patience and comfort in the Scriptures.” Rom 15:12 (Simple English Bible)
I often get sandwiched and sandbagged when I teach different groups and denominations. Although I preface my classes by saying that there is really only one text book in the Cape Bible Seminary, a few people bring in their favorite hobby horse or doctrine to promote their own brand of religious observance or ritual.
This is why I ask someone in the class to read the Scriptures out loud in their own language. It not only allows them to speak within their own group and language but also by hearing the Word spoken out loud, it encourages others to read it for themselves.
One man did so and right afterwards, commented that what he had just read, wasn’t done in his church! I said that I wasn’t necessarily right, that he wasn’t necessarily right but the Word was right. It had been spoken for all the hearers to listen and understand.
It is sad that sometimes, the only occasion where some Christians hear the Word is from a pulpit on Sunday morning. I believe that if Christians continued to read, then take comfort and strength in God’s Word, their faith would be greater and the impact upon people would felt.
I would encourage you to read the Word today for yourself. And tomorrow. And every day thereafter!
I will if you will.