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Proverbs 20:1-22:16

Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes


with Pastor Sylvia Laughlin (7 minutes)

JUNE 2, 2023




When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. ~Proverbs 16:7


Fellowship is an integral part of our walk as Christians. It comes from the Greek word, "Koinonia", which signifies a coming together or a relationship of like-minded individuals. Charles Spurgeon said, "Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God's people." John Wesley said, "I want the whole Christ for my Saviour, the whole Bible for my book, the whole Church for my fellowship, and the whole world for my mission field." Corrie Ten Boom said, "When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy." Jesus described His desire of fellowship in John 17:22-23, "...that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one...". So many choose to avoid fellowship. Making disparaging comments about church in general, or allowing life to get too busy, many have abandoned the notion of fellowship. Many who do "fellowship" keep it very safe and superficial. We safely exchange pleasantries, maybe exchange a few comments about weather, sports, our families, etc, but we keep deeper issues and concerns away from the conversation. God knows each of us completely. We know ourselves next best, but how often do we not understand why we do, say, or think certain things? Everyone else only gets to see what we show them. If we could only see things from God's perspective, we would probably be shocked at all of the opportunities He sends our way on a daily basis to witness or fellowship that we simply miss. If we share with one individual or fellowship with someone else, we feel complete. God sees the 99 other opportunities that were missed due to being self-absorbed or by playing it safe and keeping it on the surface.

We read in Proverbs 20:5, "Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." If we are self-absorbed we are incapable of true fellowship. But the wise individual knows how to talk with others in such a way that he can bring out riches and insights from them. Unless we are willing to truly listen and truly open up, then nothing truly happens. We read in Proverbs 20:12, "The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made them both." Simply having these anatomic structures doesn't mean that they are used. When Isaiah was given his commission in Isaiah 6:8, God revealed to him the people he would be ministering to in 6:9-10, "And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed." May we not be like those that were described by this verse. We are instructed in James 1:19, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;". We read in Proverbs 20:27, "The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart." In 1 Corinthians 2:11, Paul said, "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God."

We in the Church desperately need each other. For those in the world who do not know Christ, they desperately need us. Every encounter, every interaction we make a decision to approach it in the flesh or in the Spirit. We can all be members of the "mutual admiration society", where we tell others how great we are and how great everything else is in our lives. We can also be like the Israelites wandering through the desert in the book of Numbers, complaining and groaning about everything. God placed each of us in each others lives. We are rough rocks intended to rub against one another and smooth one another out. The question is do we approach each day, each area of our lives with a mindset to engage for the things of Christ? Do we seek opportunities to make a difference, or do we choose to play it safe? Are we willing to be transparent in order to truly enter into a relationship with another? Do we approach others looking to unload about ourselves rather than draw out from them what they need in order to bless them? Without true fellowship, we are anemic at best. Let's make every opportunity to interact not with trivialities, but keep each encounter centered on the Word of God.


Pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.

— William Booth (1829-1912)

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