Monday, June 20, 2011

Fellowship with our Sisters Involves Sacrifice!

Nancy is the wife of Bill Goring, gospel preacher for the Chipman Road church of Christ. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren and has taught Bible class for over 40 years, published several books including: Behavior Becoming Holiness: Studies in Titus Chapter 2 and Overcoming our Self-Imposed Prisons.
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     Ephesians  5:1-2 tells us, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.” Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice to God on our behalf. He committed no sin but He bore the sins of the world that we might have opportunity to have a home in heaven with God. What will we be willing to sacrifice for Him? Still yet, what will we be willing sacrifice for our sisters in Christ? Fellowship with our sisters in Christ involves sacrifice.
     Ananias and Saphira were Christians who wanted to hold back for themselves, even when others were in need, unlike the many brethren who gave everything and shared with those who had nothing (Acts 5:1-11). The widow gave her two mites, which was her entire living (Mark 12:42-44). These are just a couple of examples of monetary sacrifice that Christians made. But what about simple sacrifices that we might make daily; sacrifices for our sisters? Will we give of our time to help a sister? Time is a precious today. Are we willing to sacrifice a little? Will we go visit our sister in the hospital? Will we take her to a doctor’s appointment? Will we watch her child while she has an appointment? Will we take food to her if she had had a child or had an illness? Will we clean her house as she recovers from surgery? Will we volunteer to cut out visual aids for her for Bible classes? Will we take her class when she is sick? Will we hold her hand when she lies upon her deathbed? How much are we willing to sacrifice? If we truly believe that fellowship is a sharing of our common life, we will do all of these things. When you consider the sacrifice our Lord and Savior made for us, don’t these sacrifices seem rather trivial? God gave us sisters to bear one another’s loads. Galatians 6:2 commands us to bear one another’s burdens and in so doing, we will fulfill the law. Remember how Moses’ hands grew heavy from holding them up in the air so that the Israelites could win the battle against the Amalekites, and his brother Aaron and the elder Hur helped support his hands until the evening? Joshua was able to defeat Amalek and his men (Exodus 17:12).  It becomes difficult to bear a burden after some time, but with the help of loving sisters we may be able to do so! Our sister may need help carrying her burden. If we are willing to sacrifice and help them bear their burdens and lighten their loads, we will be built up as a church. They, in turn, will support us when we need help. In the song, “Blest Be The Tie That Binds,” one of the verses says, “ We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows, the sympathizing tear.” Can you cry with your sister? We should be able to do that.
     God gave us sisters in Christ to help us through this life. We will never regret the sacrifices we make for our sisters. We only have each other for a brief time here on this earth. Let’s make the most of that time! We will never regret the sacrifices we make for our Lord. We cannot begin to sacrifice as much as He did for us, but when we sacrifice for His children we are doing it for Him. Jesus tells us that when we do these kind and loving things for His children, we have essentially, done it unto Him! (Matthew 25:34-40). I am so thankful to God for giving me wonderful sisters who care for me and will be there for me in time of joy and in time of sorrow.

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