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Summary: A mini-sermon on the fellowship of believers, the communion of saints.

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Devotion for Thanksgiving Dinner

Psalm 16:3

- We all empathize with Rupert Boneham from the Survivor Reality TV show. His departing speech talked about how he has never been accepted. We can relate.

- I am sure that many of us know the show Cheers for the 80’s. About a bar where everybody knows your name.

- Making your way in the world today Takes everything you’ve got; taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? All those nights when you’ve got no lights, the check is in the mail; and your little angel hung the cat up by it’s tail; and your third fiancé didn’t show; Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came; you want to be where you can see, our troubles are all the same; you want to be where everybody knows your name.

- It is a shame that the world has places friendlier than the church.

- Most human beings have a need to belong. Look at children and teenagers. It’s built into us. The special on the Kennedy assassination talked about Lee Harvey Oswald and how he did it just for recognition. He was never accepted.

- The word fellowship means sharing something in common.

What breaks our sweet fellowship?

1. Sin.

a. Titus says that before we became Christians we hated everyone and everyone hated us.

b. Sin divides us from God and it divides us from people.

c. Praise be to God that through Jesus Christ…

d. (1 John 3:9 NIV) No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.(1 John 3:10 NIV) This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.(1 John 3:11 NIV) This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

d. Two problems:

1. Some are not true Christians

2. We all have whops sins.

e. Solution for some is to be genuinely converted. Solution for others is to practice forgiveness with God and others. IF we confess our sins…(1 John 2:9 NIV) Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

2. Pride

A. Unwilling to associate with people. Prejudice over issues.

b. We look at people through the world’s eyes.

c. (James 1:9 NIV) The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.(James 1:10 NIV) But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

d. (Rom 12:16 NIV) Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

e. (Gal 5:26 NIV) Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

3. Personalities

A. The Lord has made each person uniquely. The Lord has many flavors but some of those flavors don’t mix well.

B. Don’t let this stand in our way of getting to know some people. Think about some of the people in the Bible. Paul and Barnabas. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. They did things differently.

C. I had a relationship with a man at a church and sometimes it was rocky. He was an over the top Type A, I was a type B. His favorite person from the Bible is Peter, mine is John the Beloved. We related to each other much the same way that Peter and John would react to each other.

D. Don’t let the differences cause you to slink away. Be thankful that not everyone is like you.

4. They don’t believe this verse.

A. They come to the church and leave.

B. Some do not have an opportunity. However, others when they do have an opportunity, everything else is more important than getting to know there brothers and sisters.

C. For some it is difficult around the holidays, to be among people they barely know.

D. To sissy.

E. I am too shy.

F. I don’t know those people.

F. Most of these people don’t know the fellowship or the communion of saints.

G. Nobody knows there name.

H. Many times the best thing you can do is be there. Even if the preaching is bad, even if the music is horrible, even if the prayers don’t do it for you, the fellowship is important.

Kevin Ray- The need to belong is a need best met by the local congregation. Right where we live, right in our community, right in our neighborhood is a caring place where we can belong. There is no other institution designed to fulfill this need as well as the church.

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