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March 21, 2020, 12:05 PM

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Like everyone, I've been around my house more over the past week. Practicing "social distancing" and self-quarantine has been awkward and frankly, I'm not very good at it.  Certainly one of the bonuses of being at the house more has been seeing my family more than usual. Not only have I spent more face to face time in conversation with them, I've also seen Ace more too (he's my dog for those who don't know). These two positives have been comforting to say the least.

Being around my family & my dog has helped to make this ordeal bearable, but it has also reminded me of how God has made us. God made us for fellowship. God himself, in whose image we are created (Genesis 1:27), has been in perfect fellowship within the Godhead (Father, Son, & Spirit) for all eternity. When Adam was created, God noted that it was not good that he be alone (Genesis 2:18).

Even as I type this I am reminded of 3 realities of fellowship.  The first reality is that everyone has their own level of what I would call "need based" socialization - meaning, some people are introverts and some extroverts. Some feel a stronger need to socialize in groups and gatherings more than others. While it is certain that everyone needs to have interaction with people, some need a bigger group than others, and that's ok. Use this time to soak up the small gathering you have in your home & smaller than normal circle of interaction.

The second reality is that some people are more isolated right now than others.  For anyone reading this who lives alone and is unable to be "out and about", it is important to remember that God is with you! The presence of God in your life will sustain you through this drought of interaction with others. Be encouraged by the fact that many of God's people have experienced difficult seasons of isolation. While there are many examples, the prophet Elijah comes to mind the quickest (1 Kings 18-19) Elijah was alone after the encounter with Jezebel & the prophets of Baal. He cried out to God in his despair, and God answered him. God never left his side & God promises to never leave you either. A great promise of God can be found in Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

The third reality is that our need for fellowship is both horizontal & vertical. To be more specific, all of us have been designed for interaction with other people (horizontal) as well as with God (vertical). God has designed us to need fellowship with Him.  This is the heart of the Gospel.  Fellowship with God was broken in the Garden when Adam and Eve sinned and since that time, all mankind has suffered from that separation. The only answer was a perfect lamb to be sacrificed & atonement for sin offered before a Holy & Righteous God. Jesus satisfied the justice of God (Hebrews 2:17; John 2:2;1 John 4:10) & demonstrated the love of God (John 3:16Romans 5:8) in spite of our rebellion & sinfulness. God initiated the vertical part of our relationship (Luke 19:10; Romans 3:10-11) & we must receive by faith the gracious offering of salvation (Ephesians 2:8). Our salvation in Christ is the restoration of broken fellowship with God (vertical relationship).  The beauty of fellowship with God is that it never ends. The promises of God to be with us are powerful & eternal promises.

Our hearts desire connection & fellowship.  As we continue to move through these difficult times & as we are somewhat disrupted from our normal times of fellowship with others, let us hold to the hope of Christ & allow Him to comfort us through the power of His Spirit who dwells within those who belong to Him. God is faithful & true - trust in Him!

Blessings,

Jay




Comments

03-21-2020 at 2:40 PM
Larry and Betty Robinson
I am with you on this shelter in place thing. My children tell me we are really awful at social distancing. Seriously though thanks for the encouraging thoughts. We just need to remember God is still in control.
03-21-2020 at 1:14 PM
Diane Landgraf
Thanks Pastor Jay for the 3 realities of fellowship and encouraging words...GOD Bless you, family & pets...!!!
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