Posts tagged ‘fellowship’

June 3, 2015

Daily Devotionals: (June 3rd): Prayer for Heavenly Fellowship with God’s People

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “That he who loveth God love his brother also.”1 John 4:21 

Lord, grant that the approach of eternity may urge me to greater diligence in Your service. May I have my loins girded and my lamp burning. May I spend each day, and this day, as if it were to be my last. When the shadows of evening gather around me, may I feel that I have spent a day for God. When I am nearing my dying hour–may it find me nearer heaven.

What I ask for myself I would seek in behalf of all my beloved friends. Sprinkle each heart with the blood of the covenant. May every eye be directed to Jesus and every footstep be pointing heavenward. Though severed from one another now, may we not be found gathered in different bundles on the great reaping-day of judgment.

Lord, unite Your own people more and more. Why should we be guilty of such sad estrangements, crossing and recrossing one another on life’s highway with alien and jealous looks, when professing to be sprinkled with the same blood, to bear the same name, and be heirs of the same inheritance? Let me live near to Jesus, and then I shall live near all His people, looking forward to that blessed time when we shall see eye to eye and heart to heart—no jarring or discordant note to mar the everlasting ascription of “blessing, and honor, and glory and power, to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” Amen.

Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.

John Ross Macduff was born at Bonhard, near Perth, on May 23, 1818. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire,  in 1842. In 1849 he moved to St. Madoes, Perthshire, and in 1855 to Sandyford, Glasgow. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and from the University of New York about the same time. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, moved to Chislehurst, Kent where he died in 1887.

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February 28, 2015

Open Letter to the Congregation: The Fellowship of the Saints

by Aaron Dunlop

images

Dear Congregation,

Recently I have been doing some reading on the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. I was struck by the fact that even in North America during the war there was espionage and the very real threat of attack. Because of this, cruise ships traveling to and from Britain did so in convoy with battleships. The logic was simple—lone ships are an easy target. That logic was understood in the seventeenth century as well, and the Puritan writer George Swinnock applied it to the Christian life when he said, “Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy.”

As Christians, the Bible warns us to be “sober” and “vigilant” because of the continual threat of the one who has evil intent against us. But the safety of the Christian is bound up in another important New Testament word—koinonia, translated by the English word “fellowship.” This was one of the key features associated with the strength and growth of the early church. Luke tells us that the saints continued in “the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship…and the Lord added to the Church…” (Acts 2:42-47).

It is important to distinguish between fellowship and unity; fellowship is more specific. There may be unity—i.e., the absence of division—without the enjoyment of real and vital fellowship. We are thankful to God for unity in our congregation, but we must not be satisfied to leave it there. We must work at encouraging one another, building one another up, and strengthening the body of Christ. It is here, not in unity alone, that the well being of the congregation consists. The word koinonia is used in the New Testament to press home the need for mutual interaction as a means of grace. Like other prescribed means of grace, fellowship flows directly from Christ and finds its fulfillment in the development of His kingdom and the glory of His name.

Fellowship is first of all, with “the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” In his first epistle, John uses the word fellowship four times in the first chapter (1 John 1:3, 6, 7). There it is used exclusively in the context of salvation. In other words, to have fellowship with God is to have eternal life, to be saved. It is from this that all fellowship flows and apart from this there can be no true fellowship with those around us.

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June 3, 2013

Daily Devotionals: (June 3rd): Prayer for Heavenly Fellowship with God’s People

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “That he who loveth God love his brother also.”1 John 4:21 

Lord, grant that the approach of eternity may urge me to greater diligence in Your service. May I have my loins girded and my lamp burning. May I spend each day, and this day, as if it were to be my last. When the shadows of evening gather around me, may I feel that I have spent a day for God. When I am nearing my dying hour–may it find me nearer heaven.

What I ask for myself I would seek in behalf of all my beloved friends. Sprinkle each heart with the blood of the covenant. May every eye be directed to Jesus and every footstep be pointing heavenward. Though severed from one another now, may we not be found gathered in different bundles on the great reaping-day of judgment.

Lord, unite Your own people more and more. Why should we be guilty of such sad estrangements, crossing and recrossing one another on life’s highway with alien and jealous looks, when professing to be sprinkled with the same blood, to bear the same name, and be heirs of the same inheritance? Let me live near to Jesus, and then I shall live near all His people, looking forward to that blessed time when we shall see eye to eye and heart to heart—no jarring or discordant note to mar the everlasting ascription of “blessing, and honor, and glory and power, to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” Amen.

Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.

John Ross Macduff was born at Bonhard, near Perth, on May 23, 1818. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire,  in 1842. In 1849 he moved to St. Madoes, Perthshire, and in 1855 to Sandyford, Glasgow. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and from the University of New York about the same time. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, moved to Chislehurst, Kent where he died in 1887.

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March 31, 2013

Open Letter to the Congregation: The Fellowship of the Saints

by Aaron Dunlop

images

Dear Congregation,

Recently I have been doing some reading on the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. I was struck by the fact that even in North America during the war there was espionage and the very real threat of attack. Because of this, cruise ships traveling to and from Britain did so in convoy with battleships. The logic was simple—lone ships are an easy target. That logic was understood in the seventeenth century as well, and the Puritan writer George Swinnock applied it to the Christian life when he said, “Satan watches for those vessels that sail without a convoy.”

As Christians, the Bible warns us to be “sober” and “vigilant” because of the continual threat of the one who has evil intent against us. But the safety of the Christian is bound up in another important New Testament word—koinonia, translated by the English word “fellowship.” This was one of the key features associated with the strength and growth of the early church. Luke tells us that the saints continued in “the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship…and the Lord added to the Church…” (Acts 2:42-47).

It is important to distinguish between fellowship and unity; fellowship is more specific. There may be unity—i.e., the absence of division—without the enjoyment of real and vital fellowship. We are thankful to God for unity in our congregation, but we must not be satisfied to leave it there. We must work at encouraging one another, building one another up, and strengthening the body of Christ. It is here, not in unity alone, that the well being of the congregation consists. The word koinonia is used in the New Testament to press home the need for mutual interaction as a means of grace. Like other prescribed means of grace, fellowship flows directly from Christ and finds its fulfillment in the development of His kingdom and the glory of His name.

Fellowship is first of all, with “the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” In his first epistle, John uses the word fellowship four times in the first chapter (1 John 1:3, 6, 7). There it is used exclusively in the context of salvation. In other words, to have fellowship with God is to have eternal life, to be saved. It is from this that all fellowship flows and apart from this there can be no true fellowship with those around us.

read more »

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