There is a curious consistency—almost—in the Old Testament concerning offerings made to God. Anything made of grain which was to be presented to the Lord was to be unleavened—for as our Lord used it, leaven (yeast) is symbolic of sinfulness. Nothing made of grain was to have leaven it—absolutely nothing.
Except the fellowship offerings. Called a “peace offering” in the King James (and NASB), this offering is one which is not brought in obligation to the Lord, or as atonement for sin, or any other required thing. It is the offering of one who simply needs to express the peace God has planted in his life. When God is doubly good to you, then a peace offering is the fitting gesture of the thankful heart, living in God’s own peace. That offering had to be leavened.
Fellowship—the word is also translated Communion—on our part means that we bring a fellowship offering which is inherently sinful, for we are sinners. We can do nothing. But the Lord knows that. So He blesses our fellowship offering, because He wants to have fellowship with us, He knows that it will be with sinners. Yet He knows we do not want to come to Him empty handed. So He gives us the fellowship offering.
What might a Christian bring today, and why?
· Sometimes it is sheer joy. When a child (or a grandchild) is born it is fitting to tell the Lord just how much joy is in your heart. Bring a gift for the church; let it be the symbol of your commitment to raise that child in the faith.
· Sometimes it is a noteworthy occasion, such as a special anniversary. When God blesses you with a wife who carries within her the beauty that only the saints of God can carry, it is fitting to tell the Lord that you are grateful.
· Sometimes it is at the end of a trial, such as a severe illness. When He has been your Rock, your Guide and Friend, it is fitting to acknowledge Him as best you can.
Nothing that we could bring in the way of a gift, an offering, could be as perfect as He is. But He knows that, and accepts from us the imperfect, for in Love’s eyes God sees little Christs, not big sinners.
Communion is a chance to present to the Lord such a fellowship offering. We celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made, a sacrifice of all that He had—His life. By this He is Lord and Savior. What better time to bring to Him the greatest sacrifice you can make: your life, dedicated to Him. You might think that He would accept no such thing, for we are sinners. Instead, he who would save his life will lose it, and he who loses his life (for Christ) will save it. Bring it as your fellowship—your Communion—offering. He is gracious and kind; He knows what it is to give all. Even if all we have is sinful, He knows what it costs us.
8Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, Psalm 107:8
I remember going to family reunions as a kid. It wasn’t unusual to see relatives you didn’t even know. But there are some things you never forget. I can remember eating smelts for the first time. I can remember my uncle offering me a beer, which in and of itself isn’t so terrible, but I was 10 at the time. I can remember him playing softball, holding a beverage in one hand having I in each pocket, just in case he got on base and a bat in the other hand.
We were warned about certain relatives “we don’t like them, stay away from them” I didn’t know them, but we didn’t like them. Funny how they never told me to stay away from the uncle had a thousand pull my finger jokes.
Once we got settled in though we had a great time.
Fellowship is defined as “A friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interest”
Why is it important to have fellowship and what should we be looking for?
1. Getting closer to God individually means the whole church body gets closer
Hebrews 10:25 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
a. “the greek here implies a gathering to Christ to await his coming”
b. More than a few scholars agree that this scripture really isn’t talking about the church building and attending the building. It is talking about gathering to Christ with others who are gathering to Christ. The unity of purpose is what strengthens the entire body.
c. We’ve said it for years, the church has never been the building.
d. We have a picture in our halls that would seem to be our building, but it really isn’t. It is a montage of all our members that form the shape of our building. Proving the church is the people and not the building.
e. You can have fellowship with any believer because Christ’s church is universal and you can find brothers and sisters in every city, state and country of the world. I was enjoying a moment with my friends from TX and CA over the last couple of weeks. Fellowship isn’t exclusive to a building. Just look at Notre Dame fans, buckeye fans, NASCAR fans. It is a fellowship of common interests.
2. Fellowship creates a magnet of hope to draw others
a. Acts 2:42-47 42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved. Notice a few things with me about this portion of scripture
i. They devoted themselves to teaching, to fellowship, communion and prayer. They were dedicated to fellowship, they made it a priority. This scripture is particularly fitting because we have seen a really strong response to our fb live Bible study every day. Folks, I said every day. We were having one small group a week getting about 10-12 people to the church and one devotional a week getting about the same. But these daily studies…just from what I have seen in response and people I have talked to… we are getting 20- 30 people and sometimes…like last Friday we had almost 50 people. This is a dialy thing here just like the scriptures people were getting together and studying. This pandemic has forced us to embrace technology and the lord is showing us that Christians can use technology for the right reasons to propagate the gospel. There was a post on fb that showed a picture of Satan and God talking and Satan says “Well… I have shut down every church in the world because of this pandemic” God responds “On the contrary you have opened a church in every home”. Kee