According to the Riches of His Grace

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us…" -Ephesians 1:7-8

Category: Jesus

Baby Steps

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There is a hard struggle in being a Christian. When you begin following Jesus, he forgives you of your sins and you begin a lifelong process of following him, in which he leads you away from sinful tendencies and makes you more holy. This process will not be completed until we either die or Jesus returns.

So, my struggle is that I want to be fully free from sin, but I still have a long way to go. It would be really nice if I could be free from sin and be finished with that process next week, but the reality is that if I live to be 70, I still have a nearly 50 year battle with my sin to go. My desire is to be fully like Jesus and with him, but I have a long time to go.

Just when I think I almost have my sin under control, the Lord exposes to me 10 other areas where I am not even close to overcoming. I may be doing really well at patience and then I’ll be in a group of people and make 3 or 4 comments that I really shouldn’t have, that were arrogant, rude, or discouraging. I may be doing well at not looking at women with lust, but then lose my temper. I may have my language under control, but then cut someone off in traffic for my own gain.

I am a sinner.

And I want to be free from this curse over my flesh. I am completely forgiven of it because of the cross of Christ, but may we never use that as an excuse to indulge in it. I don’t want it as a part of my character anymore. But it is. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Maybe you feel this way. So what do you do?

I am a planner, so my one of my biggest thorns in the flesh is trying to think weeks, months, and even years out. There is value in not being content where you are in your walk with Christ, but there is also pain in fretting that you aren’t yet with Jesus where you won’t be for another 5 years. For whatever reason, God takes a lifetime to do a complete work in us and make us completely free from sin.

So instead of only focusing on the big picture, focus on today. Following Jesus and becoming more like him involves a lot of baby steps. We are never going to pole vault all the way through the Christian walk. It takes a lot of time. It is a battle. It is hard. Take it a day at a time and follow the Lord today. Keep the future in vision, so you know what you are aiming for, but don’t rush the sanctification process. Give everything you’ve got. When you give everything you’ve got and are fully surrendered to Jesus, you are in the appropriate posture at which he can do the most work in you.

“Oh that day when freed from sinning, I shall see thy lovely face

Full arrayed in bloodwashed linen, how I’ll sing thy sovereign grace

Come my Lord, no longer tarry. Bring thy promises to pass

For I know thy power will keep me til I’m home with thee at last.”

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Why Revival Hasn’t Started

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Many in the American church are majorly emphasizing revival of the United States. It is my prayer that that is what happens. However, before we call on the Lord for revival, let’s make sure we are calling for the right kind of revival.

I think very often our emphasis on revival is just a hope that all of the people in America will develop the Republican Christian view. It is hoped that abortion will be made illegal, the pull for same-sex marriage will die out, and everyone will start honoring the Bible (even if they don’t actually read it).

Let me be clear that I think all of these are issues we should fight for. We have to protect the unborn, seek the proper design for marriage, and we have to read and glorify the Word of God. But if that’s all we want, that’s not revival.

Revival is something much deeper. Revival will never happen until Christians in America actually want Jesus. So often, revival is made into a political movement. When revival comes, things will be better in the country. Of course, there will be no sin (or at least none of those murderers, rapists, and bank robbers), everyone will be nice to each other, and our kids will be able to safely play outside.

But this is not revival.

Revival will only happen when those calling for it want Jesus and him alone. It will come when the hearts of those calling for it are wholly surrendered to the will of Christ. A divine blessing on America is not enough. A Christian worldview in America is not enough. We have to love Jesus. We have to be in love with him and be willing to do anything he commands us. We have to surrender to him as the Lord of the Universe.

I want to see revival come to the United States and to the whole world. I want to see people fall in love with Jesus. I want to see Christians repair communities all around the world with a message of hope. I want to see people surrender to leave their current realities and move around the world to take the Gospel to people. I want to see the billions of people in the world who have never heard of Jesus be reached with his Gospel. I want to see the Kingdom of God come to completion.

But this will never happen until we love Jesus. Until we really love him. More than we love our lives. We must be in love with him to the point that if we have to choose between dying for Jesus or living without him, we choose death.

Until Christians in America surrender to him as the Lord of life that they love, we will never see revival. We will see churches continue to close, the buildings be abandoned, and the people dispersed to their homes. We will see sin take the country. We will see Christianity become more and more of a minority.

Do you want to see revival? It starts with you. Surrender to Jesus as Lord. Even if you have already done that. Wake up every morning, pick up your cross, and say, “Where are we going, Jesus?” And actually read the Bible, not as something to “bless your heart” but as something to actually change you into being more like Jesus.

Hear, O America. The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul and with all your strength.

A Misunderstood Humility

As a Christian culture, sometimes we are really confused about what humility is. We think being humble is saying something like:

If you are a good preacher: “I preach every Sunday, but I am terrible at it.”

If you lead worship: “I lead worship, but I am terrible at it.”

If you have a really strong prayer life: “I am terrible at praying.”

This isn’t humility. This is self-degradation.

This is done out of our good attempts to not boast in ourselves. On a lot of things, including humility, we have a tendency to over-correct and flip our car into the ditch.

If we want to understand humility, we look at Jesus. Paul describes the humble example of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11. Jesus, though he was God, laid aside his divinity and became a man who was so obedient to his Father that he was willing to die on a cross for the sins of humanity. Thus, the passage shows that this is true greatness and that Jesus will be exalted forever in it.

That is the idea throughout Scripture. The sign of true greatness is a willingness to be humble. (Matt 23:12) But the humility that Jesus shows is not like what we try to do. He doesn’t come to earth and say, “I am the Son of God, but I do a really bad job at it.”

Jesus comes fully set in his identity as the Son of God and he takes his shirt off and bends down to wash his disciple’s feet. (John 13) He shows true greatness by thinking of others before himself, even though he is the only one worthy of anything.

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Humility is not looking down on yourself but thinking of other people’s interests first. If you have a great prayer life or a great passion and talent for leading worship and then you say that you are terrible at it, what does that say about your view of the gifts God has given you?

No, we never boast in our skills. We don’t exalt ourselves over anyone. Rather, we know that everything we have, we have because God has given it to us. So therefore, we give him glory by being obedient to him and loving others and never think of ourselves.

This is true greatness, that the Son of God was so clear on his relationship with his Father that he becomes a fragile human and washes the feet of sinful humans.

Even so, come Lord Jesus

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I’ve mentioned before that I will probably never go to Passion conferences again, because it’s really an experience I only want once. However, every year, I am really eager to hear the new worship music that they produce at the conference. It usually leaks on Youtube before the album comes out.

This year, there are two songs that I really love, one of which has been part of my prayers just about everyday.

The chorus says:

Like a bride waiting for her groom, we’ll be a church ready for you.

Every heart longing for our king, we sing

“Even so, come. Lord Jesus come.”

I’ve always been a bit irritated by people who just sit around and wait for the return of Jesus. The sinful critic within myself has always thought, “You don’t understand that following Jesus is more about what you do in your life now. It’s not just some distant hope we have for the day we die in our bed of old age.”

And yes, I definitely recommend not just sitting around and waiting for “the rapture.” But I have been wrong to be critical like this.

Of course, this song from Passion is straight from Revelation 22, the final chapter of the Bible. The canon of Scripture closes with the amazing hope that Jesus is coming soon!

Lately, I have been very hungry for that moment. Don’t get me wrong. I want to live the purpose that God has for me in his kingdom. I want to graduate seminary and go on to preach the Gospel wherever God sends me. I want to make disciples of people from all nations. I want to demonstrate Christ and the church in marriage as well as parenting. I’d love to do short term or long term mission on every continent at some point. I want to see the Kingdom of God at work in whatever ways God chooses to use me in my life.

But, like Paul in Phil 1:21-26, I am torn between my two desires. I want to live for Christ here on earth and see his Kingdom move in power. But I also want to see the Kingdom of God complete and be with Jesus. I am hungry to see my Savior.

Whereas, I would normally close my prayers with “In Jesus name, Amen”, lately, I have been closing them with the chorus from this song. I long for that day when Jesus descends. When all of his work is complete. When sin is destroyed. When I no longer have to battle this war that is my flesh vs. my spirit anymore. When sorrow and pain are done away with. When there will be no more death, mourning, or crying. No more sleepless nights. No more financial insecurity. No more disagreements between friends. No more crime in the streets. No more terrorist beheadings. It will all be over. Satan will be thrown forever into the lake of fire. Stealing, killing, and destruction will be gone. And we will be with Jesus, the Savior of the World!

Who wouldn’t long for this day? This is why I am so hungry for it.

May the clouds part and King Jesus descend to remake the heavens and the earth! May he do away with evil and complete our salvation! May the dwelling place of God forever be with man!

Even so, come! Lord Jesus, come!

A Standing Ovation from Jesus

Twice over the past couple days, my attention has been brought to the death scene of Stephen in Acts 7:54-60. Once was watching the final sermon from Passion yesterday. The second time was when we studied it in my New Testament class today. Each time, a specific detail has been brought out to me. It comes in verse 56.

Stephen looks up into heaven and sees Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. Every other time in Scripture that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, he is sitting. Stephen has just finished preaching to the Jews about Jesus and they are about to kill him.

And Jesus is standing.

Why is Jesus standing? Maybe he is telling Stephen he has done well and remained faithful.

How much I long for this. I long for Jesus to stand at the sight of me one day. Not because I want glory for myself, for why in the world would I want Jesus, the only one worthy of glory to give me glory in his presence. Rather, I want Jesus to confirm that I was faithful. It’s like how a son longs to hear his father say, “I’m proud of you, son” or that moment when a father tells his son that the son is now a man.

We are really big on saying that our good works cannot please God and that is absolutely true in a salvation sense. We cannot please God with our works to merit eternal life. That is all by Christ on the cross.

But he expects us to live faithfully. When you look at Christ on the cross, you see that there is nothing you can do to save yourself. But when you look at Christ on the cross, you see that if you know him, there is nothing you can do but live for him.

If we really love Jesus and are his follower, we should do everything in our power to live for him in our thoughts, words, and actions. Of course we will screw up and Jesus forgives us there. But no matter what it takes, we must seek to live as Jesus lived. Anyone who claims to live in God must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6).

I want Jesus to stand from his seat one day in recognition of his acceptance of the life I lived for him. I may not successfully do that. But I will do everything in my power to. I will press on for the goal of the prize of the call of God in Christ (Philippians 3:14).

Followers of Jesus, will you join me?

Tug of War and Forgiving Others

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In the past year, I have been wronged by a lot of people, whether it was a big offense or a very light offense. In fact, nearly every person in my life has sinned against me in some form or fashion in the past year.

But worse than that. I have surpassed all their sins in the sins I have committed against them. If I were to post the top 10 sins I’ve committed in the past year on this blog post, it might be flagged by certain parental control programs for inappropriate content.

The fact is, I am a sinner. Jesus summed up the law in two sentences. Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. So when I fail to love God fully at any point and when I love myself more than my neighbor in any way, I sin.

But despite how putrid my soul is, despite how stained with sin I am, God didn’t hold that against me. He didn’t let that interfere in his love for me. Rather, he came into my realm as the man, Jesus Christ. Instead of holding my condemnation against me, he took the punishment for my sins upon himself and died the death that I completely deserve. He forgave the massive debt that I owed.

If you are a Christian, this is your story. You have been forgiven by an immeasurably great God! He has cast your sins as far as the east is from the west. He has forgiven all of your sin past, present, and future. There is no more condemnation for you. He will no longer have anger against you. Now, you can know him! You can love him!

With that in mind, I turn to a passage of Scripture I have been dwelling on heavily for a long time now. “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Do we grasp this? God in Christ has forgiven us so immensely that we will praise him forever for it! And that is our example of how we are to forgive other people. I understand it’s hard. And I have no idea what other people have done to you. I only know what I have done to other people and what others have done to me.

God has forgiven me for everything I’ve ever done wrong. So why in the world would I not seek to forgive others. It doesn’t necessarily happen right away. I don’t always just decide to forgive right when I am wrong. Sometimes it takes me days or weeks to work it out in myself. Sometimes, I have to stay up for an hour past when I was going to go to sleep just to spend time in prayer and not let the sun go down on my anger.

But forgiveness is the only route to go. The alternative is to hold a grudge against a person for your entire life and hate them, which is disobedient to the Lord and will tear you apart on the inside until you are a very bitter and cynical person.

A mentor of mine was preaching a couple weeks ago on forgiveness and he made an incredible statement regarding it. Forgiveness is like tug-of-war. As soon as you finally let go, the war is over.

Dwell on the fact that God has completely forgiven you, if you are in Christ, and then let go of the rope.

5 Reasons Christians Should Reconsider Telling Kids About Santa

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I saw a video going around Facebook the other day of Drew Carey speaking at a dinner. He mentioned that he reads the Bible a lot and laughed at how so much of our “Christian” holidays have nothing to do with Christianity. He included examples like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. He then joked by saying, “Why is the Christian religion the only one in the world that needs a mascot to sell their stuff? You don’t see Jewish people out celebrating with the Passover Kangaroo. There’s no Ramadan Rooster.”

Isn’t that true? The truth is, Santa Claus was taken from a fourth century Christian named Nicholas. He was a Bishop in the church who was known for his extravagant generosity. He took Jesus’s command literally of selling everything you have and giving to the needy (even though he was wealthy man). He was persecuted for his faith, imprisoned, and even exiled once.

We have taken the story of a loving man who helped the poor because he loved Jesus and turned him into the poster boy of Christmas commercialism.

Let me preface this by saying I am not against celebrating Christmas. Many say that Christmas is a pagan holiday that we’ve turned into a Christian holiday and that may be true, but I think it’s okay to take a day to celebrate Jesus becoming flesh. You might say that we should do that every day and I would say, yes. However, the Jews had a specific day of the year when they would celebrate God delivering them from Egypt (Passover). But they absolutely still believed all year that God was their deliverer.

I want to put forth an encouragement to future parents who are Christians. Make the decision now to not tell your children the story of Santa Claus that the culture puts forth. You know, the chubby bearded man in a red coat that comes down your chimney with gifts. Here are some reasons why.

1. It’s Lying

To convince your children for years that Santa Claus is real is a prolonged lie. Maybe you say, “But it’s a white lie. It makes Christmas fun.” Is Christmas “fun” really worth it? Because some day you are going to have to tell them the truth…or worse. Someone at school is going to break it to them and they are going to come home in tears and angry at you for lying to them. It doesn’t matter how fun the lie is. If you are not being honest with your children, it is a lie.

2. It’s Bad Parenting

There is a new trend among people to put an “elf on the shelf.” This little guy is a plastic elf that parents put on the shelf of their living room and he is supposed to be Santa’s spy on that child to make sure he/she is being nice and not naughty. Call me old fashioned, but I think parents should be the ones responsible for teaching their children what is right and in love for them, teach them that doing right is what is best for them. That responsibility shouldn’t be delegated to a plastic doofus on the shelf.

3. It Leads to Materialism

Do you know something that I hate about myself? After I open my gifts on Christmas, my inner excitement about Christmas is gone. Even right now, my flesh is not as much looking forward to the actual Christmas day as much as it is opening my gifts. I don’t want to be like that, but our culture has engrained it into me. Christmas is made about gifts.

So, kids (and adults) all expect to get the best of the best for Christmas. Then people are stressed out about having to spend a ton of money for gifts because if they don’t, it will be an awkward Christmas party.

Maybe you object and say that giving gifts is based on the Christmas story because the wise men brought Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Really? The wise men brought 3 gifts to the King of the Universe and so you think you, a sinner, should receive 12+ gifts (that are probably as valuable as those brought to Jesus)?

My question is, if we had never made such a big deal about Santa Claus, would there be as big of a deal on gifts at Christmas? Or would it be a time of people treating each other in a fashion of peace on earth and good will to men? You know, like the final scenes of A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is running around the streets in joy, helping people out?

4. It is Works Righteousness

Let’s get this straight. Jesus came into the world and died because we are unable to fully please God with our good deeds. We are too tainted by sin. So Jesus had to come and be the obedient son who provided a pleasing life to God and now, we get to obey God out of joy, not mandate. This is one of the great implications of the Gospel.

So we teach the opposite of the Gospel when we teach Santa Claus. We teach, “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you are awake. He knows if you been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.” We teach kids that if they are good, Santa will bring them gifts; if they are bad, he will bring them coal. It’s no wonder they grow up thinking that God looks at them with disgust if their Christian walk isn’t 100 percent perfect.

5. Jesus is Enough for Christmas

Christians are big on saying, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” They aren’t very big on going beyond that. They aren’t very big on actually making their Christmas celebration about Jesus. If Jesus is really the reason for the season, why is there more of an emphasis on Santa than Jesus?

We don’t need Santa at Christmas time. We have Jesus. He is more than exciting enough for Christmas. If making Christmas about Jesus takes the fun out of it for you, I am not sure you know him well enough.

Why do children need to have a fairytale about a man who will bring them the gift of toys when they can have the Son of God coming to give them the greatest gift of all: eternal life.

I love the way John Piper put it: “How can we ever think of giving our children a bowl of bland, sugarless porridge when they are offered the greatest meal in the world?”

Santa does not hold a candle to Jesus. Jesus is infinitely greater and infinitely more exciting than Santa will ever even think of being. Jesus doesn’t just see you when you are sleeping and know when you are awake. He knows everything about you and he is always watching you. He is always with you. You can pray to him and have him by your side all the time. He can be the one who guides you through everything you do in life. Santa comes once a year. Jesus is present all year and forever.

If you are a Christian and you plan to have kids one day, make the decision now to not tell your kids about Santa in the way that our culture does. Share with them the faith that Nicholas had in Jesus and why Jesus is better. He is so much better! So, this Christmas, and Christmases beyond, come let us adore Him.

My prayer is that Santa Claus will stand in front of the beauty and awesomeness of Jesus and say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

The Day My College Reported an Earthquake

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A couple years ago, I was in one of my classes during college and every student in the class got a text message that said, “Emergency! There has been an earthquake on campus.” The text told us to get out of the building quickly.

I’ve felt an earthquake before. When I was in high school, the ground shook at about 3:00 in the morning while I was asleep and it woke me up. The ground shook for about 15 seconds and it stopped. So I know what one feels like.

I sat there thinking, “There was no earthquake.” But my professor dismissed class and we left the room. Several people were leaving there in panic because they were worried the building would collapse on them. But I wasn’t worried at all, because I assumed no earthquake had occurred.

When we neared the door, we received another text. This one said, “Drill only.” So, of course, I said, “I told you so!”

Many people feared the text message because they perceived it to be true, whereas I didn’t worry about it, because I perceived it to be false.

How you perceive something will determine how you respond to it. This applies to Jesus as well.

If you view Jesus lightly, you will respond to him lightly. If you only view him as a teacher, storybook character, or activist, that’s how you will associate your response to him. You will try to obey his ethical teaching (ignoring the majority of his teaching which is not about morals). You will go see movies about him. You will use him as support for your social cause.

But if you view him the way the Bible fully paints him, your response will be much different. The Bible paints Jesus as something much greater than all of that. The Bible paints him as Lord of all. Lord of the universe. Lord of life. Lord of you. When you understand this, you will respond in one of two ways.

Either you will pathetically try to still be Lord of your own life and fail miserably.

Or you will surrender your entire life to him and follow him until the day you die.

Christian Role Models Aren’t Enough

Get ready. There is a new Christian superhero on the horizon. She came in second place in Dancing with the Stars. She has a new line of prom dresses coming out soon. Her name is Sadie Robertson.

It something weird that us Christians do. I see it a lot as a seminary student. We are far too easily pleased with seeking role models. Whether it is Sadie Robertson, the others from Duck Dynasty, Kirk Cameron, John Piper, David Platt, or any other, we look at humans and measure ourselves by that standard.

Let me first say that it is not bad to read books by people like Piper or Platt. They can actually be very edifying and can teach you a lot. The problem comes when these guys make us more excited than the message they preach.

As a seminary student, I see this a lot. Some guys take certain classes just because they have a weird man-crush on the professor. Some dress in certain ways that match that of a professor on campus. Some quote certain people as much as they do the Bible. So what ends up happening is that Christians are trying to be like other Christians instead of like Jesus.

I did this myself a couple years ago. I liked John Piper, his books, and his teaching so much that you could see it in sermons that I wrote. I once preached a sermon on the book of Philippians titled “Serving and Suffering yet Always Rejoicing.” I preached what Piper preaches and even quoted him a couple times. It was a train wreck.

It’s not enough when we try to imitate other Christians. Why? They fail. We raise celebrity Christians up to a higher level, even though they are of equal standing before God. We study every detail of their lives. Then, when they screw up, it goes viral. Remember Mel Gibson getting in trouble a little bit after shooting The Passion of the Christ? People looked at that and called him a hypocrite.

Maybe you say, “but what about Paul? He told the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1) Yes, but the Corinthians knew him. In fact, Paul planted the church at Corinth. He wasn’t a Christian celebrity to them; he was the founder of their church.

I’m going to guess that you probably don’t know Sadie Robertson, John Piper, or Kirk Cameron. You don’t see their life and know how they live out their faith day-to-day. I’m sure they do it faithfully, but you only see the face that is broadcast. You don’t see their failures and how they treat their family and friends. You can’t really imitate them then, can you. You can only take a sermon about being satisfied in Jesus so far in daily application. I’m sure John Piper lives that out in his life, but you don’t know what that looks like.

In truth, there is only one person that you should model your life after: Jesus. We have to model our lives after him. He is the one who never fails. We can clearly see how he lived his life from the Gospels and the rest of Scripture. So we have to be in the Word and see who he is and seek to follow him. No one else is enough.

Paul would say the same thing today that he said to the Corinthian church.

“Some say, ‘I follow Piper’ and others ‘I follow Robertson’ and others ‘I follow Platt’ and others ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Piper crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Robertson?”

Rethinking Christian “Fellowship”

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I’ve been to a lot of “fellowships” in my time as a Christian. Super Bowl fellowships. Swimming fellowships. Basketball fellowships. Disney fellowships. Movie fellowships. Halloween fellowships.

They were all great and I had a ton of fun. Some of my best friendships were built at those. But I don’t know if we can call it a fellowship. Sure, it was Christians hanging out together, but we weren’t doing anything related to our faith. We were watching sports and eating chicken wings. We were dressing up like Disney characters or superheroes. We were watching the Hunger Games.

Christians often say things like, “I am going to the restaurant with you all, but I’m not going to eat. I’m just going for the fellowship.”

I’m not sure the Bible has this kind of mentality on what fellowship is. I’m not sure fellowship in the Bible is the same thing as hanging out with people.

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” -Acts 2:42

“We who had sweet fellowship together walked in the house of God in the throng.” -Psalm 55:14

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” -Philippians 2:1-2

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to hang out with people outside of “Jesus settings” but fellowship is something much deeper than watching the Super Bowl. Fellowship is deeper family time in which brothers and sisters strive to lead each other farther in Christ and grow in him.

Think about it. If you are trying to have fellowship with Christ, you don’t just sit in your living room and say you are hanging out with Jesus. You spend time in the Word. You spend time in prayer. You sing praises. Likewise, the Bible describes Christian fellowship in that way.

“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” -Ephesians 5:19-21

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” -Colossians 3:16

 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24-25

Again, I think it is good for Christians to hang out with one another. I do it all the time. But let us seek for our “fellowship” to be more than eating chicken wings and watching television, barely talking because we are caught up in the action on the screen.

Rather, let our fellowship be a time when we encourage one another, build one another up, gracefully get in each others’ faces, and discuss Jesus. All of this so that those in the fellowship can grow to know Jesus and love Jesus more.