Summary: Prophets, missionaries, ministerial workers and teachers, not to mention just your average mature Christian, are well aware of the POWER LINE that is found in Romans 1:1-5.
Series Title: The Line in the Sand
Message Title: The Power Line
Scripture: Romans 1:3-5
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
I love a good fiction story. Give me a good fiction from Ted Dekker, Randy Alcorn, or Frank Perritti and I could have a very comfortable and relaxing evening. I also love good books on many Christian subjects. I’ll pick up a book from any one of those authors I just mentioned and probably buy it without even reading or knowing what it’s about. Or, for other authors, such as Swindoll, Zacharias, MacArthur, Spurgeon, Murray, or Jeremiah, I’ll quickly scan the back cover [just to see if it’s a subject I’m interested in], and may buy it without even reading a sample chapter. Why is that? I already know those authors. I’m acquainted with their biographies and their testimonies, so I’m not worried about them being too far off base.
I’m sure many of you are the same way. You all have authors that you agree with, so you read their books. You have authors that you know and like, so you read their books. You have authors that you believe in, so, of course, you read their books.
So let me ask this question… Why don’t more people read the Bible? Is it because they disagree with the Author? Is it because they don’t know the Author? Is it because they don’t believe in the Author?
Let’s go a little further.
Don’t you love spending time with people that you really like and can fellowship with… [read: agree with my way of thinking?] Do you like taking walks in parks with close friends? Do you like spending what may seem to some, an excessive amount of time in good, meaningful conversation with someone?
So, with that said, why, in some churches, do people rush right out the door as soon as church is over? Is it possible to miss lunch just one day and sit down and talk?
Let’s dig even deeper. Let’s cut right to the marrow…
Our lives are so crowded and busy with doing, that we miss out on fellowship, one of the essential ingredients to healthy living. Our schedules are, in my thinking, purposefully crammed so full and so active that, deep down, we knowingly miss out on the important ‘something’ while we’re “fellowshipping.” And, when we do get together in fellowship with someone, we fashion it around an event, such as lunch, dinner, or Bible study. Don’t get me wrong, eating and Bible study are good for you. But, don’t you long to just sit on the couch and have a good talk with about four or five people that you really don’t know that much about? Instead, we’ve gone the opposite direction.
There is no relation in relationships.
There is no fellow in fellowshipping.
We should re-term it “Dinner-shipping” instead of fellowshipping, because over the years we have re-formed fellowship into something it is not. And, since we have grown up observing fellowship that is wide of the mark, and we are not used to ‘real fellowship’ then we are scared of really having a meaningful conversation or listening to someone else’s problems, we just want to cover them like gravy on a pork cutlet.
In today’s world, both in and out of the church, it’s almost impossible to talk to someone unless we take them out to lunch or dinner, or go somewhere for tea or coffee. Some people consider it an offense if you don’t pay for the bill. After all, you’re the one that wanted to talk, right?
Before I go any further, I want to say that I’m not against eating, or even potlucks [which may one day find its way into the church constitution as an ordinance]. But, when I go somewhere to eat, that’s the reason I go, to eat and not to talk. Yet, many times, we unknowingly apply, use, or add superfluous and unnecessary requirements or subtle restrictions to our fellowship that it becomes watered down and diluted.
We’re initially prompted by the thought that I need to talk to someone, so we invite them out to dinner. But, when we get there, we’re clouded by the superfluous and we forget to bring up what’s bothering us.