• Fellowship — A friendly association, especially with people who share the same interest; a group of people meeting to pursue a shared interest or aim.
• Ecclesia — in the Greek means church; a called out company or assembly of specific people. You are not just in church — God has called you to church. When you are called to something, you will stick with it.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
— John 17:21 NLT
• We will not always agree 100% of the time, but we can put our personal differences aside and work together toward a common goal.
What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
— Micah 6:6-7 NLT
• People are still asking what it will cost them to serve God. We are all called to be preachers and share what the Lord had done for us.
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
— Micah 6:6-7 NLT
• The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that these things should come intuitively to us. By instinct, we should know what is right. But more importantly, we should know that we have been made right. Once we know we have been made right, it becomes easier to do right. If doing right makes us right, it will never work. The law kills, the Spirit brings life.
• We should love mercy He gave you, but we should also love the mercy He bestows on others. Pray for God’s mercy on people, even when they offend you.
• For us to know to do right, we have to know what “right” means. Accepting Christ is the right thing — it is not about a list of things to do.
• In order to walk humbly before God, we need a clear definition of what that looks like. The world’s definition of walking humbly before God is laying down and letting everyone have their way in your life. That’s not humility and when you have the wrong idea of humility, you can never walk in it.
• So what is walking humbly before God? When God tells you to do something, you do it. Humility is being willing to take the step when He tells you to.
• One of the areas in the church that causes more people to have trouble receiving in the blessing of God is walking in offense. To walk humbly with God will cause you to walk out of offense every time. God doesn’t want any part of offense. God said offense will come, just don’t take it.
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
— Psalm 133:1-3 NLT
• When you have been made right with God, He commands the blessing over your life.
• How do we receive the blessing that He has commanded over us? First, we don’t speak against it. Second, we don’t do anything to shut the door to it.
• For a Christian, nothing seems to shut the door to the blessing quicker than to walk in offense.
• If we forgive someone, we are not condoning what that person did. You are walking upright before God. Let God deal with it.
• Forgiving offense is probably one of the most selfish things we do but yet it is the right thing to do. You aren’t forgiving their offense for them, you are doing it for you.
• When you are offended and take offense, it is just like you drinking poison trying to kill someone else.
• Releasing offense will set you free quicker than just about anything.
• Just because you forgive someone of offense doesn’t mean that you have to go and tell that person.
• But, in your heart and to God, you can release it. Start there and God will let you know if there is another step.
• Don’t hold grudges. Life is too short.
• There is nothing that will kill your joy, your harmony, your peace and your blessing quicker than being offended at somebody.
• If God commanded the blessing over you, stop asking Him to bless you. Just receive it. What is the blessing? He will make you rich and add no sorrow. He commanded the blessing over you as soon as you accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
When we do right (and when we accept Christ, we’ve done right), we’ll love mercy, we will walk humbly, we’ll have fellowship and harmony with each other and receive the blessing from the Lord.