Fellowship in Christ' suffering.
" And he killed James the brother of John with a sword." (Acts 12:2)
(St. James day)
Fellowship, the word is used to describe everything from a gathering for coffee and donuts, to meeting for Worship Services. Usually, it is associated with a gathering where there is eating. But we learn from the Bible that Fellowship is a heart issue, something to be felt and expressed, and something essential to be a part of. It is the way of life for believers in Jesus Christ, to need to be in each others company, to share things, and to help and support each other, physically and spiritually. If one of the members of our congregation hurt we share that burden.
James was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and considered the first Apostle to be martyred. He is known as Apostle of Spain, and Christians celebrate St. James day on July 25. Acts of Apostle Chapters 11-12 gives an account of that event. He was martyred by the king Herod and the Jews liked the kings action. Herod then proceeded to try and murder Peter and Jesus miraculously saved him from prison. This account illustrates James shared fellowship in Christ's sufferings.
Biblical fellowship is a family relationship. You become the part of the family of God on earth. Fellowship requires having concern and a spirit of restoration for each other. We have to bear the burden of one another. Fellowship requires us to love one another, confess to each other and to forgive. Philippians 3:10 Paul was saying "I want to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, being confirmed, molded, shaped and transformed to His likeness, even to His death". Paul wanted to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, being confirmed to His death.
When Jesus died on the Cross He was the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins. One of the last thing He said on the Cross was “it is finished" that means paid in full. Christ's suffering for sin was over. All we need to do is receive God's gift of salivation by receiving the risen Christ as our Savior and Lord. Are you in fellowship with God? Trusting in Christ? Are we in fellowship with one another? Are we forgiving? Or rather are we judgmental? Are we considerate and sensitive to one another' feelings? Accept Jesus Christ as your savior and partner in your life. Join in fellowship with your fellow Christians.
Prayer: Lord Jesus with a deeply grateful heart I thank you for your sacrifice up on the cross. Your blood has cleansed my sin and made me worthy of forgiveness....Amen
Thought of the day: Each time you see the cross remember the suffering and victory of Lord Jesus.
M.C Alexander, New Jersey MTC, Randolph