When you think of the word "fellowship", what's the first thing that comes to your mind? Most people, I believe, would be thinking along the lines of a group getting together, whether for a Bible study or solely for socialization with other Christians. Looking in the Bible, we find that almost every single instance of usage of the word "fellowship" is not talking about anyone other than yourself and your individual fellowship (or communion) with Christ. The definition of fellowship in this case (Greek koinonia) is the spiritual union of the believer (you) with Christ.
Still, there are a fair share of instances in which God, through the Bible, tells us about fellowship with others. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is a great example of our need of fellowship with others. It says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."(NIV). In other words, it can be extremely difficult on your own to battle the devil's arrows and the temptations of your own flesh, but help is here...with God in charge and others to help you in your walk with Him. When you are in fellowship with others, the help you receive can take many different forms. By setting a good Christian example, others may be able to help you to better give to God all the challenges you're currently having in your life as well as all your worldly possessions. Those challenges may include everything from a lack of disciplining yourself to spend time with Him to losing your temper too much when tough challenges arise in the kitchen. Another way others may be able to help is if two (or more) of you become accountability partners! Fellowship might just be for the purpose of your having a good, spirit-filled Christian friend to socialize with, or maybe even for God to work through YOU to help the other person you're in fellowship with!
As we all know, it's rarely ever an easy environment in a professional kitchen, and without God's direct assistance, as well as the help He provides us through others, we accomplish nothing. With our fellowship first of all with Him directly, as well as with others, God allows us to live our lives better and fuller for Him, and for Him alone.
Therefore we should ALL strive to be in closer fellowship with God, and in doing that we should all be joining together to lift up His name as He allows us to do so. He also continually guides us to spread out and share His word with unbelievers, for Christ doesn't just do His work in us for OUR benefit, He also does it through us to help others to receive the grace and mercy He's given to us free of charge.
By Ira Krizo, CCF Director
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Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV