On June 26 I retired after being pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Doylestown for 35 years. I’ve taken some time to look back at the main lessons God has taught me during that time. Here’s one:
When my wife and I travel it seems God always puts other Christians in our path. We look forward to our lives crossing with these friends whom we just haven’t met yet! Not too long ago we traveled to Puerto Rico and God sprinkled a steady stream of believers throughout our trip. When I go to India the help and support of believers there is essential. The further I am from home the more I appreciate fellowship with a brother or sister in Jesus.
Even when I’m not traveling, I’m still quite far from my real home in heaven. Here, too, fellowship with other believers is very important. Close contact with believers I have known a long time is a precious, valuable asset to my life’s journey. The older I become the more I value Christian fellowship: with those I’ve known a lifetime as well as with those I just meet.
I’m been learning through the years how to let people get closer to me and how I can get to know them deeper as well. I appreciate others more and more as fellow travelers who are making their way to the same eternal city I am. I enjoy their friendship, need their encouragement and learn from their example. A long, hard journey is always easier when in the company of faithful companions. That is why God gives us each other to help us through this life.
When I first meet someone who is a Christian, an instant bond is formed. It doesn’t matter what culture or country they come from, what color they are or what language they speak. We share the same values and priorities. We have the same world view. Jesus in me connects with Jesus in them. We are children of the same Father – and that makes us brothers and sisters. We fight the same enemy. We’ll spend eternity together, so why not start enjoying each other while here?
Jesus Himself needed human fellowship. He would withdraw from the crowds and get away with just the disciples. He needed them. Unfortunately they weren’t always supportive of Him, like in Gethsemane before His arrest. However if He needed others we certainly do as well. The more I progress in life the more I realize how much I need other believers and what a blessing it is that God puts them in my life. (October 31, 2016 Doylestown, PA)
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Hebrews 10:25 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.
Do you really appreciate other believers in your life, or do you just see them as tools to use in helping you accomplish your ministry goals?
How much time a week do you spend in Christian fellowship – fun and closeness with no agenda but to enjoy each other?
When do you most need the support and fellowship of other believers?
Think of those in your past whom God has used to really help you on your journey. Pray for them. Thank them (mail, email or in person) again today for the role they played in your life.
INDIA UPDATE: The translation of the newest book, Preaching and Teaching the Bible, is coming along well. It still needs to be finished and printed, and that can drag on for months in India. It is the companion book to Studying the Bible, which is translated and printed. It’s a great privilege to write and give these books to the pastors in India. I think the book ministry has far greater impact than the conferences, and will for years to come. The conferences and books go hand in hand, one without the other would be lacking. Together they make a great pair. Thanks for your financial support to help with the books.
PRAY FOR the quick completion of the translation, and its accuracy. Pray for the printing of the books in a timely manner. Last year the books I wanted to use, Bible Overview, wasn’t completed until several months AFTER the conference. Pray that won’t happen this time.
Christian Training Organization