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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sweet Fellowship

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

It's a rainy, cool day in Georgia - actually a little cooler than I anticipated. My friend that I am visiting and I had a leisurely morning. We sat, talked, drank hot tea and chatted some more. We haven't seen each other since the beginning of September, so it's been a pleasure to reconnect again.

I first met my friend about four and a half years ago. She was new to the area and was going to facilitate a Bible study at our church. Another friend asked if I would arrive early to help set up chairs or whatever needed to be readied for the meeting that evening.

This was a stretch for me, since I am more of an introvert. I remember that evening stepping outside my comfort zone to help this woman. Little did I realize that God would use this act of obedience to draw our hearts together.

Through various Bible studies we grew closer to each other. Eventually we started meeting together once a week to walk and pray together. As our hearts were joined through our time with the Lord, a special bond was created.

It was a sad day for both of us, when she and her husband left Pennsylvania to move back to Georgia. It took me a while to get back into the habit of walking regularly after she left. I just didn't have the heart at first to walk alone. I missed our times of fellowship and prayer.

It's been over two years since my friend has moved to a different state. We regularly keep in touch each week through phone calls. We try and make a point of praying with each other on the phone once a week. We have continued to remain close, I feel, largely because of this time of prayer. It has a way of drawing hearts together like nothing else.

Even though we only see each other once or twice a year now, we continue to be close. Our time together today, was as if we had never been apart. We fell back into step of talking about people we know. But it also went deeper than that as well. We talked about spiritual things and our shared passion for our Lord.

Our time together has been sweet. I praise God for the blessing of Christian fellowship. Numerous places in the Bible, it encourages us to get together with others who are like minded in our faith. I talked recently on a blog posting about not being a lone ranger Christian.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." When we get together with other Christians we share a common bond - belief in Jesus Christ. It is important that we share both our struggles and triumphs. Through sharing our difficulties we allow others the opportunity to pray for and encourage us. Also as we share our joys, it can be a way of lifting others.

I recently have gone through a series of struggles. At times I felt overwhelmed with the various situations I was facing. But my Georgia friend was one of the ones that faithfully prayed for me and encouraged me each week. I praise God for her. She is a real blessing in my life.

What a joy it has been today to have face to face communication together. Even this evening when her husband returned home from work, we had some stimulating spiritual conversations. It made me realize how much my heart longs for this deeper communion with other Christians. Our society today becomes so distracted by many things, that we tend to lose sight of the purpose that God has for us. He desires for us to go deeper.

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