Summary: In this passage, Paul expands on his statement of chapter 3 and verse 10. He makes a wish to God for himself and the church. In essence a prayer. So when we wish to God, here is what we sould wish for: Fellowship, Love, and Closeness to God
WHEN YOU WISH
INTRODUCTION: What we come to in this passage is the close of a very personal section by the Apostle Paul. These final verses contain a wish. A wish of Paul’s for himself and for the church. We might be able to say that this is Paul’s wish for OUR church! This wish of Paul is an amplification of verse 10:
1 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV)
10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:10 (MSG)
10 We do what we can, praying away, night and day, asking for the bonus of seeing your faces again and doing what we can to help when your faith falters.
And since this is a wish expressed to God, Paul’s wish is at the same time a prayer.
I WISH FOR MORE FELLOWSHIP
A WHAT FELLOWSHIP INVOLVES
1 Just as in prayer, the object of fellowship is God.
a We need to stop thinking of fellowship in terms of other people
b We need to stop thinking of fellowship in terms of other activities (like eating)
2 We need to start thinking of fellowship in terms of coming together for God
a God is concerned about EVERY aspect of our lives (even eating)
b We need to understand that the first and foremost reason to fellowship is because God enjoys and encourages our company with Him and our interaction with each other.
Psalms 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
3 Fellowship may include a meal but fellowship is not fellowship unless it involves
a God as the objective of fellowship
b Activity as the means of achieving fellowship
c Believers as the catalyst for fellowship
B WHAT BLOCKS THE WAY TO FELLOWSHIP
1 I bring this up because Paul asks for God and Jesus to “clear the way” or “direct” us
a The word means to guide in the right direction
b The word means to remove hindrances
c The word means to arraign in a line
WHY DOES GOD HAVE TO DO THAT?
2 Things get in the way of fellowship
a God must direct us because we will get lost
b God must clear the path because we will need help finding it
c God must remove the hindrances because it is easy to miss
d God has to line us up because it is easy to mistake something else for fellowship! “Hey, I thought this was a FELLOWSHIP meal!”
FELLOWSHIP IS NOT WHAT WE DO TOGETHER AS BELIEVERS, BUT WHAT WE DO TOGETHER AS BELIEVERS WITH GOD AS THE OBJECT.
We have to work at fellowship. We have to find the God in our fellowship or we are just having an activity.
IT is so easy to confuse activities with fellowship. So, let me ask you, “What activity will we be doing as a church that we can classify as fellowship?” Trunk N’ Treat Why, because God is the object of the activity involving believers!
If I want to fellowship with God here is, …
What I must determine to do, …. Make God the priority of my Fellowship.
II WISH FOR GREATER LOVE
A LOVE IS NEVER STAGNANT
1 Two words are used to describe the type of love Paul wished for
a Increase – which means to multiply of abound
b Overflow – to excel or well up to overflowing. Word used to describe the baskets of bread and fish for the feeding of the five thousand