So there they were. Two young boys. I’d say no more than 12 to 13 years old apiece. They’re sitting down a subway train together–without any adult supervision. I’m there at the end of the car. They’re cutting up, carrying on, and just being very noisy and rowdy. They ride for a few stops, being loud and obnoxious, with the few other people in the car along with myself trying our best to ignore them. When they got off the train, they proceeded to begin banging on the windows, startling everyone inside the train. Why this sad display of senseless misconduct? Was it fun? Or bravado? I think not. This was a case of bad fellowship. They were empowered through the presence of one another to perform mischief. I am sure that had either one of them been alone, they would not have behaved badly. The truth of scripture rings loud here. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:33, ‘Do not be deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners.’ Our lives will be negatively or positively influenced by the company we keep. We need good fellowship.
Good fellowship will help you to navigate through difficult times. We all value our privacy to a degree, but sometimes you do need an ear to spill on, an arm to lean on, or a shoulder to cry on. Knowing that our ultimate comfort comes from the Lord, and that we do not put our trust in the arm of flesh, God has, however, built this organism called the body of Christ. This body functions at its peak when we are having good fellowship one with another.
In Acts chapter 4, the new born Church had just encountered its first bump in the road. Opposition had raised its ugly head, all because of the name of Jesus. Peter and John were arrested, jailed, warned and released. They were warned not to speak in Jesus’ name again. What would they do? In the face of opposition, we must be careful that fear and intimidation not overtake us. Upon their release, here is what scripture states: ‘And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.’ (Acts 4:23 KJV) I love this. What does this mean and what kind of company do we need? Let me share with six things that we need to be part of as it pertains to fellowship. We need:
a believing company – Peter and John went to ‘their own’ company. They were believers, and they went to other believers. These were those who believed what they believed, but who they believed—Jesus.
an empowering company – Peter and John were no doubt both strengthened and supported by and in the presence of their brothers and sisters in the Lord.
a like-minded company – throughout the book of Acts we find the phrase, ‘one accord’. It means to be of the same mind, i.e., like-minded. This dynamic would come into play as they cried out to the Lord.
a praying company – people who have a passion for prayer know the power and preciousness of time well spent with Jesus.
a praising company – people who know how to lift Jesus higher because they understand the intrinsic value of praise
a bold company – people who are not easily put to flight or intimidated in spite of threats or opposition.
Remember the story of the two boys on the train from the beginning? Because of their behavior, and because they were empowered by one another’s presence to accomplish mischief, certain consequences can be expected. In the same way, there are certain benefits we receive from good fellowship. Certain spiritual intangibles such as encouragement, comfort, and even correction are just some of the direct results of good Christian fellowship.
We read in Hebrews 10:24: ‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.’ Are you provoking and are you being provoked? Are you reaping the benefits from the power of good Christian fellowship?
Hezekiah Walker sings the song:
I need you, you need me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
Stand with me, agree with me.
We’re all a part of God’s body.
It is his will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive
That’s the Word! Take it with you. God bless you.