Psalm 119:63-64 - I am a companion of all who fear You, of those who keep Your precepts. The earth, O LORD, is full of Your steadfast love; teach me Your statutes!
When you meet someone for the first time, do you try to find something in common with your new acquaintance? We might share information about our families and about the work we do. People may be drawn into friendly conversations about their hometowns or the success (or lack thereof) of favorite sports teams. Sometimes common challenges unite us—the joys and frustrations of work or the shared experience of a long illness.
When we meet brothers or sisters in Christ, what do we have in common with them? We share a common faith in the crucified and risen Savior. We are fellow citizens of the kingdom of God and together we seek, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to follow Jesus' teachings. We understand some things that the world around us does not grasp, such as sin, repentance, and forgiveness. We share with our brothers and sisters the comfort and hope of Jesus' return on the Last Day and a future home in His presence forever.
In speaking with fellow Christians, although we may share interests and exchange words of encouragement in the faith, it was never really our own interests that brought us together. It was Christ Jesus, who by His death and resurrection, delivered us from sin, death, and the devil and brought us by faith into His kingdom. Through faith in Jesus, we are "called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours" (1 Corinthians 1:2b).
We share the joy of the psalmist, who is a companion of all who fear the Lord and keep His precepts. However troubling the world in which we live, we share with brothers and sisters in Christ the insight that it is a world filled with the steadfast love of God, who sent His Son to be this world's Savior. We pray that the Lord would fill us with His love and teach us His commands. We share what we know with our companions in Christ, letting His Word dwell richly within us, and "teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" with thankfulness in our hearts to God (Colossians 3:16b).
We meet our brothers and sisters in Christ when we come together to worship or study God's Word together. We may meet fellow Christians in ways and times when we least expect it. In this earthly life, we will never meet them all. It is a fellowship created by the Holy Spirit that stretches back through history and extends around the world. One day we will join with them all, that "great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages," gathered before the Lamb who was sacrificed to save us. Together we will cry out, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation7:9b, 10b).
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are blessed through the fellowship we have in Your Name with our brothers and sisters in faith. Help us to reach out in loving witness so that more people will be drawn by the Spirit into the community of saints. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you generally feel comfortable hanging out with other Christians?
2. What does it mean to say the earth is full of God's steadfast love? Can you give an example or two?
3. What special benefits do you receive when you gather with other Christians?
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