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I live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I remember back in the 1950s there was a short period of freak tides and currents around our coast that swept up great shoals of fish to the beaches. Before this phenomenon only relatively few people were interested in fishing but now it was so easy to catch fish that hundreds of people took to fishing and became champion fishermen overnight. Unfortunately, after a few days the sea conditions changed, the fish less plentiful and so did the amateur fishermen. The wave of enthusiasm had risen high, but didn’t continue. Fellowship in the Gospel is more demanding than that!

Perseverance is a vital element of the Christian life. I used to work for an American bank that had the slogan "Quality Loyalty Consistency - QLC". This was drummed into its employees as a means of getting the most out of them. A colleague thought they were too demanding and countered the slogan - in private - with his own interpretation of what QLC stood for: "Quality of Life Counts!" meaning that he wasn’t going to stir himself too much. But God expects more that from us - it must be "Quality Loyalty Consistency". That’s what Paul meant when he refers to "fellowship in the Gospel". Let’s be sure to put it into practice.

Some words of Jim Elliot, a Mission Aviation Fellowship colleague of Nat Saint who was martyred in bringing the Gospel to the Auca Indians in Ecuador in 1955 are worth quoting: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."

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