October 22, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4: 9-10

T hese verses reveal some of the strengths of the church at Thessalonica. They loved each other. This is one of the things we want HCC to be known for. Love will always enable a church to overcome any obstacles. A friendly church is to be more than a handshake during a fellowship song. Fellowship is more than a pat on the back or a smile. What is fellowship and how important is it?

1.          Fellowship Accepts

Often times people feel that one must look, act, and dress a certain way in order to be worthy of acceptance. Some people make you earn their friendship. A church should be a place where we find acceptance. We hope that somebody will show us that we are important and our life counts for something. We are weary of wanting to be loved, to belong, and to be needed by someone. Church should be the place where you can come empty handed, feel you are a part of the family, and be yourself. People are longing to find this type of environment and when they find it they will come!

What type of people do you like to be around?

What makes you feel welcome?

What makes you feel un-welcome?

What attracted you to HCC?

2.          Fellowship Affirms

Some of our least favorite people are the ones who don’t notice the good things we do. To get an encouraging word out of some people is like seeking water from a rock in the desert. Fellowship not only accepts us with all our faults, but it actively searches for the good in us and acknowledges it. Christians ought to be experts at affirming others. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

How do you feel when someone affirms you?

We need all the encouragement we can get!

How could you affirm someone this week?

3.          Fellowship Assists

Many people carry a heavy load in life. We may pride ourselves on being tough and independent. However we can all use a hand from time to time. Galatians 6: 2 says, “Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When people need help, they should find it in fellow Christians.

How many different ways can we minister to others?

Do you assist others in their time of need?

4.          Fellowship Attracts

Where are some places you avoid? A crowded mall during the holidays! A bad neighborhood at night! We may stay away from places where we might be miserable, bored, or uncomfortable. We flock to other places because we enjoy the food, the people, or the activities. Church should be a place that attracts people. For those who feel lonely or rejected we can help them feel accepted through the love of God. I pray that God will make us healthy and whole spiritually so that we can freely fellowship with others in a way that attracts them into the wonderful and amazing presence of the Lord!

What attracts you to someone?

What would God change in your life to make your more attractive for Him?

Will you help make fellowship more than a handshake this week?

We need the Lord and we need each other! May our fellowship become more and more!