Links Daily Devotional

In It Together

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints. (Colossians 1:3-4, NIV)

One of the beautiful aspects of the apostolic letters is the recognition that wherever the recipients of the letter lived, they had encountered the same gospel—and thus, the same God of the gospel. They shared a common understanding and, in following, a common pursuit.

I took great pleasure in a rare drop-by at my little office in central California last week. A young man now playing college golf in Texas showed up at my door. We had known each other slightly several years back when he played for a high school team that practiced at the same facility where my own team practices. He told me that his college coach had shown him some Links Players videos and he had recognized me in them. He had come by to talk about the way these messages had reached across the miles.

Not an hour later, I was on the phone with my ministry partner, Jeffrey Cranford, with whom I film so many of those Friday videos. He too had enjoyed a conversation just that day with someone who was watching our videos with a group in Chicago.

Now we don’t publish these videos to a public venue like YouTube without hope that they will be viewed by and instruct and encourage people in many places. That is their purpose. But it is still a great encouragement, as it was for Paul and the other apostles to hear that the fellowship of believers was continuing with health in places far and wide.

And don’t be mistaken. Our own contemporary notion of fellowship generally falls short. We think of fellowship as that time in the hall when people eat and chat and go home with cheery, placid feelings.

But koinonia, as the Greeks spoke of fellowship, denoted something far more purposeful and far more active. We would do better to think of fellowship as a working partnership. This is why we read in Acts about the believers sharing their possessions and supporting one another’s needs in numerous practical ways. It wasn’t communal living, but it was very thick community. No one was, as they say, “falling through the cracks.”

We are equally pleased, then, to hear of brothers and sisters bound in community by their faith in Jesus Christ. They understand the inseparable charges to love God and love others. And they are working together to know Christ and to make him known.

Jeff Hopper
May 18, 2015
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