Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

How to Grow Spiritually – (7) Having Fellowship

Ecclesiastes 4v12 “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

A few weeks ago I was trying to break a cord with multiple strands. It just would not break, I had to resort to scissors. The Devil seeks to “steal, kill and destroy,” but it is much harder for him when we stick together.

“It is not good for a person to be alone” (Gen 2v18) is often taken with regards to marriage. However, it is quite clear in the New Testament that very influential Christians were single (think Jesus and Paul). But neither Jesus nor Paul operated alone, they worked with teams and participated with synagogue/church life.

The New Testament is full of the expression “One another”. There are over 50 commands to “love one another” or equivalent (e.g. “greet”, “show hospitality to” …). The Greek word for “one another” is “allelon”: it implies difference between the individuals; so the term is a call for a community of people who are different from one another. We come together as diverse people with our commonality be in Christ and the Holy Spirit.

This community is loved by Jesus: Paul picks this up when he says, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5) The reality is, that while we all have different temperaments and work best with different proportions of time alone and time with others, we need each other. We need to encourage each other. We grow spiritually as we rub off each other and point each other in the direction of Jesus.

An illustration often given is of a coal in a fire. In the fire, each coal thrives off the heat of the others; but take the coal out and the coal will lose that heat and die down. So it is for you and I spiritually.

So in Hebrews we read, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” Hebrews 10v24


With love and blessing,