2 Kings 12-14, Psalm 104
So many words which are important in our Christian walk have become watered down and devoid of their original meaning from overuse. Two of these words are discipleship and fellowship. These were never intended to be casual words. Fellowship has often become a bunch of Christians congregating and talking about anything but God. Talk centers on sports, cars, children, health, but not His Word. But if we are to be living stones in God’s Church we are to influence each other, through the Word of God. Unfortunately, many Christians stop or don’t choose to go to church for lack of true fellowship. In Hebrews 10:25, if we read the entire verse rather than just the first part we see the importance of congregating, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The other word is discipleship. This is not a casual, occasional once in a while relationship. In Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:18-20), we are commanded not to make believers, but disciples of Jesus. Those of us who are mature should be able to list a number of individuals that we directly influence on a frequent basis in the Word of God. People who know when they hear our voice, know that they are going to be counseled on the Word on a consistent basis. This can only occur if the mature Christian stays centered on God’s Word and sees the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit work through them. This is so much more than listening and stating popular Christianese phrases like “Praise the Lord”, God is good”, etc. For those who are young, or immature, or new to the faith you should be able to list names of mature Christians who you consistently seek out to be mentored by. True discipleship and fellowship is at the heart of why the One Year Bible Challenge is so important. Outside of a steady diet of God’s Word these things simply don’t happen.
As we read about the life of Joash, king of Judah, we see that as long as he was being discipled and in fellowship with Jehoiada the priest, he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 12:2). As we read more about the life of Joash in 2 Chronicles 24, we will see that once this relationship was gone, Joash ceased to do what was good in God’s sight and he fell into idolatry. We read in 2 Chronicles 24:17-18, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.” When the son of Jehoiada, Zechariah, tried to urge the people to return to God, we read in 24:22, “Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son;…”. May we never minimize the importance of Christian discipleship and fellowship.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: