Summary: Spending time with the Father should create visible results in our personal lives and in our fellowship with one another.
Spending Time With the Best
In 1991, Ryan, our son, age 6 at the time, played Challenger Baseball, a modified version of the game for disabled children. At the end of the season, each child received an official Challenger baseball for his or her participation.
We asked Ryan what he wanted to do with his; put it in a frame or case, or just play with it. He said he wanted to give it to his hero, Nolan Ryan, who was, at that time, a Texas Ranger baseball player.
Ryan wrote Nolan and we sent the letter to Nolan Ryan, General Delivery, Alvin Texas 77511, supposing it was near his home. Not long after that, we received an invitation to meet Nolan Ryan and free tickets to the Ranger game. We got to meet the legend himself. In my opinion, we met the best.
Ryan handed Nolan a gift bag, and inside was a Ryan White autographed Challenger baseball. I am thinking that through the years, many people have asked Nolan Ryan for autographed baseballs, caps, gloves, shirts and anything else they could think of.
I am also thinking that he has received few autographed Challenger baseballs.
That afternoon, we spent a little less than an hour with the legend, the best. Then we watched the Ranger game from prime seats.
I was a softball player at the time. My time with Nolan Ryan didn't make me a better softball player. Ryan's time with Nolan didn't make him a better Challenger baseball player. We have photos and memories, but that's about it. Nolan would not even recognize us if we met again, and may not remember the meeting. He may not have kept the one "Ryan White" autographed baseball in the world.
But when we meet with God, things are much different. In Him is light, and that light chases away darkness. We are changed and continue to be changed as we fellowship with Him.
1Jn 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (The nature of God:)
The nature of God is established: Light, no darkness. Good, no evil. It does not say that God is well lit and there is no darkness. God is defined as light itself.
We understand that this passage is speaking of good and evil. That will become more apparent as we continue. That means anything you can't grasp that a good god would do but our God does or did, those are things you just do not understand. No evil intent, wrong idea, bad mood, mean-hearted or selfish motive or action can be attributed to God. Emphatically, there is no darkness in Him at all. He is the very definition of good and righteousness.
How in the world can we fellowship with a God who is purely perfect?
1Jn 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (The first result of fellowship with God)
We cannot have fellowship with Him and continue to walk in darkness.
The profession of every religion is to have a connection with the god of the religion. Every religion practices is to become like the god of its choice or modeling his or her character. Every religion teaches that one can have some level of fellowship with their god.
This is also true with Christianity. The result of fellowship of God is a changed character. However, to say you have a fellowship and connection with God and to not model His attributes and character indicates a lie in our values and dishonesty in our practices.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Walking in the light is having fellowship with God through Jesus Christ and His shed blood. The second result is fellowship with one another.
What are the sources of broken fellowship in a Church community?
There is a horizontal implication to Christianity and fellowship with God. If, in fact, God is light and association with Him drives away darkness...and...If, in fact, we seek fellowship with Him that models His character....and...If, in fact, His light purges us as we fellowship with Him....Then, we would certainly get along better than any other people in the world. Fellowship with each other would be natural and automatic.
This fellowship is based upon the most important commonality in our lives; forgiveness of our sins. The basis of forgiveness: The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If Christians don't get along, our testimony is that we lie about being forgiven. We lie about fellowshipping with a God that allows no darkness. See, we cannot be forgiven and brought into fellowship with a God in whom is no darkness if we are unforgiving. Something is amiss if we are unforgiving. What is amiss is, based upon this passage and all others about forgiveness, our relationship TO the Father.