Today, you may encounter someone who needs a word of encouragement or a pat on the back or a helping hand or a simple and yet heartfelt prayer. And if you do not extend the hand of fellowship to those around you - who will? If you do not take the time to understand the needs of your neighbors, who will?
How do we show encouragement toward others? Even those who have a different faith than we do? Or, those who do not even believe in God and Jesus Christ? Simple. We show kindness toward others.
Association with others helps us strengthen our testimony, encourages one another, celebrate one another's victories and blessings, pray for one another's needs, and shoulder one another's burden's where we mourn with those who mourn.
Today, let us be cheerful and encourage one another. Let us be a blessing to others and lift them up. Let us honor Christ through gratitude and thanksgiving. For He has given us peace and joy.
Life truly has its struggles, and we face them the best we are capable in facing them. We endure as faithfully as possible. Hoping doors of opportunity of true fellowship may open up. To see through the circumstances, we are facing and receive those blessings we stand in need of.
How do we sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron? Through spiritual disciplines and discipleship. It is founded upon the key virtue of all other virtues and that is contrition of spirit and humility. It is our willingness to allow ourselves to submit to our Heavenly Father's authority and in fellowship with others to be submitted to their authority.
It is through us - members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where we are able to bring the message of hope, the message of healing, and to encourage one another. To engage in missionary work and be of service to our neighbors in the hopes of giving them an invitation to come and see and to hopefully come unto Christ and partake in the blessings of the Restored Gospel.
What I eventually came to realize is that for the longest time - I had allowed myself to be unequally yoked with family members who continued to persist in their own toxic attitudes and behaviors.
The harsh reality is this - there is no perfect healthy congregation - not until we pass on to the other side of the veil. In fact, what makes a truly healthy and vibrant congregation of believers? One that has individuals on their own spiritual journeys and growth. Mature members who are strong in the faith meeting with those who are new to the faith and are just starting out their own spiritual journey and growth. Investigators and visitors who are coming in to see how we worship and what we teach.
Each of us defined by our own personal gifts and talents. When we explore those talents - we are able to utilize them for the benefit and good of others. And it is how we are able to be of service toward others.
The blessed opportunities my own recovery has given me is to discover what I enjoy doing. Getting back to doing those things that bring me a sense of peace, a sense of hope, and helps me live out my own sense of purpose. Among those things are fishing, writing, and personal scripture study. Establishing these as part of my life has helped me gain greater appreciation for who I am and increased my sense of purpose.
Since I have established a true connection with my Heavenly Father - I am able to experience the genuine love, mercy, and discipline needed to grow. And it is the same love I am able to stretch forth and express toward others within my family, within my place of employment, within my home, and out in the community. To Love God with all my might, mind, and strength helps me learn to grow and love myself with dignity, appreciation, and respect.
To properly serve others - am I willing to humble myself and learn to do those things that show respect for who I am? Am I willing to humble myself enough to serve my own needs first? True service begins when I am doing those menial things that I may personally detest.
Individually, we are obligated to seek after God and His Kingdom. Collectively - as faithful believers in Jesus Christ - we are to follow Paul’s counsel to exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13).
If my life is in chaos, I want to look into myself for the cause and the cure and use a fellowship of others where I am able to safely expose my shortcomings through vulnerability and courage. I seek out a fellowship with a group of others where it is a living and functioning unit where each one of us come and sharpen ourselves in order to find the cure for our sufferings. Not only the fellowship of a weekly group of others engaged in finding solutions to their own sufferings but a connection with another to continue to learn and grow in faith, spirituality, and journey. I seek to be sharpened just as I hopefully am able to sharpen another.
Over the years I have attended a variety of men’s fellowship groups within the Christian Faith. Some were quite small while others boast a good following. Some of these groups appeared to have died down and were no longer meeting. It was not until I stepped into a fellowship of those engaged in their own … Continue reading A Vibrant Fellowship Is Needed – Damascus Way Recovery
The Gospel is not a mandate to seek out those who are healthy and well. We are called to go out into the Highways and Bi-ways. To seek out those who are less fortunate. To minister to those who are broken. To sit with those who are living in sin. We are to reach those who are sick and lost.
The Savior not only taught us ways we are empowered to serve, he showed us in the manner in which we are to serve one another.
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.~ 2 Thessalonians 1:12, KJV ~ ~ January 16, 2020, Devotional ~ Friends influence us in ways that are subtle and powerful. We must ensure that the … Continue reading Honoring God Through Friendships
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!~ Psalm 133: 1, KJV ~ We build genuine fellowship and community through spiritual influence and impact The greatest tool for making a significant spiritual impact and influencing lives is that of fellowship. Fellowship and unity bring people together. It is through fellowship we are able … Continue reading Building Fellowship and Support
The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught,that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ~ Isaiah 50:4, ESV ~ The greatest challenge Christians face is fulfilling their own calling where it so often goes against present … Continue reading Strength comes through fellowship
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:25, ESV ~ In recovery, we learn the importance of the fellowship we have with other people. Many lessons are learned from hearing the story of other's … Continue reading Do Not Forsake the Fellowship of Others
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another... ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 ~ We begin to learn the fellowship aspect of recovery. Coming together with other individuals, sharing our stories becomes a contagion of hope. Hope … Continue reading Fellowship and sharing words of hope